BMW likely to build new Z2 roadster in South Carolina

z2.jpgA Detroit automotive magazine has reported BMW is considering building a smaller version of its roadster to be called the Z2 — probably to be built in Spartanburg as soon as 2010.
The car is likely to be limited to a four-cylinder engine and designed to compete with the Mazda Miata, according to AutoWeek.

“Details remain scarce, but insiders say the new entry-level model would take at least four years to bring to market, suggesting it probably won’t arrive until after the next-generation Z4 arrives in 2009,” AutoWeek reported.

“As with the Z4, the new car is likely to share components with the existing 1 Series and 3 Series models to keep costs down and streamline development. That makes it highly likely the Z2 will be built alongside the next-generation Z4 at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg,” it said.

BMW’s sales of Z4s have risen 10 percent through August. If that rate holds, BMW would sell about 11,000 Z4s this year, far short of the 20,169 cars sold in 2003, the roadster’s first full year on the market after replacing the Z3.

A 2006 Z4 starts at $36,300, compared with $22,000 for a Mazda Miata. Mazda sold about 9,800 to 10,000 Miatas yearly from 2003 through 2005, but sales through August have more than doubled, reaching 12,558 cars for the first eight months of this year.[The State]