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REPORT: BMW backtracks on calling Z4 successor Z5


In a reported reversal of decision, BMW has indicated that the replacement for its new roadster could retain the Z4 moniker instead of being called Z5 as speculated until now.

Speaking in an interview with over the weekend, BMW Americas President, Ludwig Willisch, said it is unlikely that the replacement for the outgoing E89 generation Z4, co-developed with Toyota, will be sold under a different name despite ongoing reports.

"There’s no such thing. There will be a sports car, yes, but it’s not going to be a Z5. That’s something that someone else has made up. It will be called Z… probably 4," he said.

Quizzed about possible engine options for the newcomer, which will also spawn the revived Toyota Supra, Willisch merely stated that its name won't have bearing on displacement, suggesting the availability of a straight-six engine likely to be turbocharged.

While rumours on whether the Supra will use BMW powerunits or vis-a-vis continue to mount, Willisch has however hinted that Z4/Z5 will not be offered with a manual gearbox following its recent decision to axe three-pedal options on all M cars.

"Even a lot of people say… ‘That’s great, you still have them, but you ask them, ‘What do you drive?’ [and they say] ‘Well, I have an automatic. If the customers don’t want it, we don’t have to offer it," he said.

Production versions of both cars are slated for official reveal later this year or early year next, with Toyota expected to debut a concept Supra at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.

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