Rumor: New BMW Z3 to be launched?

According to BMW insider Scott27, the Munich-based automaker is looking to revive the BMW Z3, the popular roadster that proved to be very successful among BMW fans.

As always, take these rumors with a grain of salt while we’re digging around for confirmation from other sources. Here is what the BMW insider has to say:

The new roadster strategy included a Z2, but while the Z2 was originally part of the F20 modular matrix expansion, BMW has now downsized the car onto another cost-effective platform – the UKL matrix, the modular structure that will accommodate the next MINI and the BMW FWD family. The decision was made to allow BMW to have an entry level roadster as part of its new FWD family which will be under the designation of the BMW 1er. The BMW 1er Sporthatch which will be seen this week will accommodate sDrive badges to distinguish the RWD from the FWD 1er models.

Now the proposal is seen as a BMW Z1 which will allow BMW to share the Z1 Roadster with the next generation MINI Coupe/Roadster/Spyder. The new MINI Coupe and Roadster are very short lifecycle cars. The idea is for the Z1 Roadster to sustain the small Roadster segment whilst a new MINI Coupe and Roadster will arrive in the second half of the decade. The direction the next MINI Coupe and Roadster take will depend on the reaction to the new car which will break cover in a few weeks time. The car could take on a more individual appearance from the next MINI.

Z1 will allow the BMW 1er FWD family to offer a variety of cars to customers who are expected to migrate from other brands to BMW. The company recently held workshops in cities in Germany where they did a survey on the FWD City Compact and the FWD GT. Subjects chosen were not BMW customers but from other brands, and found the two cars different and very appealing. The Compact was very well received as was the GT which was tested amongst current owners of euro- mini MPV’s.

With the movement of the Z2 to the UKL matrix, but under a newer design guise to bring it into contention with the other UKL cars, the original Z2 proposal will now move upwards to effectively replace the Z4 as the premium entry roadster market which is proposed as a BMW Z3, the resurrection of the 1995-2002 first modern BMW Roadster. Given that the segment grows not only in markets but also in dimensions, the Z3 allows for the Z4 to take another surge upmarket and retain its current appearance with a folding hard-top as the Z5. Effectively in what the Z2 was – RWD , soft-top , compact and additional Coupe ,will now be the Z3 if BMW’s executives get their way.

The return of the name is something that could bring the nostalgic owners back and another choice for the “Homecoming” visitors who take their annual pilgrimage to Spartanburg each year to it’s home. Z3 could even return to Spartanburg for production if it proved cost effective for BMW?”