Look-a-like: BMW Z4 Concept and… [w/ poll]

The new BMW Z4 Concept is a good, maybe even great-looking car: it has great proportions, some really nice and aggressive detailing, and is finished in a very eye-catching combination of sunset orange and brushed aluminum. But is it a great-looking BMW? Cover the grille, or simply merge the two kidneys into one single item, and many would struggle to ascribe the car to a particular brand – the Z4 blends a lot of cues, many seemingly from other carmakers, making the finished product seem a bit too un-BMW-like for my taste. And while the outside influences could be ascribed to many different sources, there is one concept in particular that the Z4 reminds me of…

The 2003 Vauxhall VX Lightning concept was one of the many spun off the GM Kappa platform, along with the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Curve and Chevrolet Nomad. In the end, even though it produced its own concept, the VX Lightning was put into production as the Saturn Sky and Opel GT. While the production version retained most elements from VX Lightning, it’s the concept that the BMW most resembles in my eyes.

First, there is the side vent behind the front wheels: it has a very similar size and shape on both cars, and combines with the cutline of the clamshell hood to start a character line that runs across the door and onto the rear fenders (though, of course, this line climbs more steeply on the BMW). Then, there are the flying buttresses behind the seats’ headrests. And finally, the rear lights, which while much more exaggerated from the back on the BMW, look almost identical from the side. All in all I think the VX Lightning is the more attractive car despite being 14 years younger, mostly because of its taut proportions and tiny front overhang, and while I don’t doubt the Z4 Concept will morph into a very attractive production model, I do wish it looked a bit more like a BMW.

Let us know what you think below:

What do you think of the new BMW Z4 Concept?

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  1. I could not agree more. The first time I saw the Z4 Concept I thought Toyota’s design team has taken over München. Not because it looks terrible, certainly not, but I don’t see a BMW. This car doesn’t have the distinctiveness and elegance of predecessors like the Z3. Above all, it lacks the typical roadster look.

  2. I know it is controversial looking but for me the best-ever looking BMW roadster is the 2003 Z4. I don’t put the Z8 on that comparison because it’s probably an all-time-favorite, but I really prefer the Bangle-era Z4 over the current gen and over the Z3.

    This concept is definitely interesting, especially the front grille which looks similar to the M8 concept. It definitely gives a taste of what the upcoming BMW lineup is going to look like. But I agree that the headlights specifically are a bit too different to what we are accustomed to from BMW.

  3. There is only so much you can do with a roadster whilst representing your brand – only Mercedes and Audi appear to have come up with anything remotely original.
    That Vauxhall is not much like the BMW concept at all – it is too short and dumpy.
    However the windscreen surround seems to be shared with Vauxhall/BMW/FIAT/Mazda/Corvette …… and no doubt several others.
    Apparently this concept marks the future design language for BMW – could get interesting!

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