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I'm one of the 'BMW converts' that was mentioned earlier, and I've been following the development of this and the Supra hyper-closely for a couple of years now. I'm not a fan of the new Z4 (though unlike @Grasshopper , I am glad that it opted to get rid of the hard top for weight reasons, and actually really dig the shooting-brake look of previous Z3s and Z4s.). Two big reasons for this:
- No DCT. It's a good ol' ZF8. Again. Great transmission for what it is, but it's not a DCT -- and, therefore, it's limited.
- No planned ///M variant. This bodes badly for BMW's sporting intentions for the car -- and it's the main reason I don't believe it will come close to competing with the 718 as an all-around sports roadster.

That said, the Supra is rumored strongly to have a hybrid variant that will be available either at launch or soon after -- a hybrid Supra mule has been spotted/heard in multiple places. (Some of you may recall that the Lexus LC launched with a similar strategy last year.) My prediction is that BMW won't adopt that hybrid powertrain (or the coupe body style, but that's another post) for the Z4 until LCI -- likely 2021 -- and by then the car may actually compete with a next-gen 718 if it's also a hybrid -- which I personally believe it will be.
If you don't like folding hard tops because they add weight (about 50kg) then I don't think you'll like a hybrid (which adds up to about 300kg depending on battery size).

There was a recent survey in the UK where they calculated the fuel consumption of various hybrids (from company car records I believe) and found that they're no more fuel efficient than straight petrol/diesel versions - despite the very flattering mpg figures that the old official test promised. (Which made our government look pretty stupid because they've been giving big cash incentives to make people buy these cars). It'll be interesting to see how the new WLTP test rates them. Presumably they'll be downgraded very significantly on efficiency, which will make them much less attractive to manufacturers. The manufacturers already dislike them because they cut profit margins (according to Autocar) because they're so expensive to make. It may well be that they're confined to expensive sports cars in the future - but who knows.
 

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When it comes to "green" cars, the way the country generates its electricity is paramount. Here in Australia it's the equivalent of about 28 mpg(US) so none of the electric/hybrid cars are really any more ecological than a 718.
 

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If you don't like folding hard tops because they add weight (about 50kg) then I don't think you'll like a hybrid (which adds up to about 300kg depending on battery size).

There was a recent survey in the UK where they calculated the fuel consumption of various hybrids (from company car records I believe) and found that they're no more fuel efficient than straight petrol/diesel versions - despite the very flattering mpg figures that the old official test promised. (Which made our government look pretty stupid because they've been giving big cash incentives to make people buy these cars). It'll be interesting to see how the new WLTP test rates them. Presumably they'll be downgraded very significantly on efficiency, which will make them much less attractive to manufacturers. The manufacturers already dislike them because they cut profit margins (according to Autocar) because they're so expensive to make. It may well be that they're confined to expensive sports cars in the future - but who knows.
I don't mind folding hard tops on the right car. A medium-sized roadster that's never had out-and-out luxury as its first priority is not the right car. The Mercedes SLK? Yes. The 2nd-gen Lexus SC? Yes. The Cadillac XLR? Yes. The Z4? I would argue no.

I've owned a hybrid: a Lexus CT F Sport. Fuel economy is just as much a function of how one drives a hybrid as most every other car -- and I'm sure the WLTP test will reveal that to an extent.

But the problem with any governmental test (or any test, really): it reflects one driving style and one driving style only, no matter how 'scientific', 'broad' or 'real' the test purports to be. It's only meant as a baseline for comparison -- and taxation, which is frankly the far, far bigger issue with fuel consumption measures as it relates to the manufacturers themselves.

There are many, many other issues at play here, as I'm sure you're aware -- and this isn't the thread to discuss them.
 

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If you don't like folding hard tops because they add weight (about 50kg) then I don't think you'll like a hybrid (which adds up to about 300kg depending on battery size).

There was a recent survey in the UK where they calculated the fuel consumption of various hybrids (from company car records I believe) and found that they're no more fuel efficient than straight petrol/diesel versions - despite the very flattering mpg figures that the old official test promised. (Which made our government look pretty stupid because they've been giving big cash incentives to make people buy these cars). It'll be interesting to see how the new WLTP test rates them. Presumably they'll be downgraded very significantly on efficiency, which will make them much less attractive to manufacturers. The manufacturers already dislike them because they cut profit margins (according to Autocar) because they're so expensive to make. It may well be that they're confined to expensive sports cars in the future - but who knows.
Not sure what survey you're speaking of, but it sounds like a "This guy I know" story from the internet. Anecdotally, our hybrid Volvo SUV weighs 4,600 lbs and easily pulls 45mpg. Not bad for a big ride.

When it comes to "green" cars, the way the country generates its electricity is paramount. Here in Australia it's the equivalent of about 28 mpg(US) so none of the electric/hybrid cars are really any more ecological than a 718.
Of course how the electricity is produced makes a massive difference. That said, even a piece of **** oil burning turbine from the 80's w/ heat recovery and secondary steam generator is going to have wildly better efficiency than the one engine per block of steel w/ a driver approach. I tend to distrust your 28mpg estimate.

Hybrids are certainly a transitional technology though. The world of full electric is on it's way. The upside is with that realization comes investment from commerce that drives Moore's Law style improvements in utility and performance for us, and margins for manufacturers. This is a pretty amazing time to be a car lover. I can't wait to see what comes next.

.
 

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And the irony of pollution/mileage......................there is more pollution generated per year by the 15 dirtiest operating super freighters due to use of bunker oil, than all the cars in the world......if memory serves.
 

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Not sure what survey you're speaking of, but it sounds like a "This guy I know" story from the internet.
It was a survey commissioned by the BBC:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46152853


But the problem with any governmental test (or any test, really): it reflects one driving style and one driving style only, no matter how 'scientific', 'broad' or 'real' the test purports to be. It's only meant as a baseline for comparison -- and taxation, which is frankly the far, far bigger issue with fuel consumption measures as it relates to the manufacturers themselves.
My point was that the very high mpg figures that the old test calculated for hybrids were a major reason why manufacturers made them - it allows them to meet the various legal efficiency requirements that both the USA and the UK have. For example a BMW i8 (which is a bit like a 718 hybrid would be) has official figures of about 150mpg, whereas it actually returns more like 40mpg in real life. It's completely irrelevant that this figure is wrong and everyone knows it's wrong - it's what the legislation relies on. When the official figures change (as they will with WLTP) it will be less advantageous for manufacturers to make hybrids. Given the fact that they're also less profitable to make it will probably mean that manufacturers are less keen on making them - except where they give a significant benefit. They certainly work for supercars, but it's unlikely that Porsche are going to use the technology on the entry-level sports car. It would cost more than a 911.
 

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They certainly work for supercars, but it's unlikely that Porsche are going to use the technology on the entry-level sports car. It would cost more than a 911.
You're forgetting that the cost of manufacturing a hybrid is far lower than it was even five years ago. Economy of scale has seen to that.

Also remember that fuel savings is only one reason for a so-called 'conscious' consumer to buy a hybrid. There are others that have nothing to do with any fuel efficiency standards that exist at any given time.

Also remember that many countries have already enacted mandates for hybrid vehicles in some form -- tax incentives, percentage of sales, MPG figures (even if the gap will close soon), etc. Sure, governments could remove these, but I seriously doubt they will with as much market saturation as there is in developed countries.

Finally, the next-gen 911 will almost certainly have at least one hybrid variant right off the bat later this year. Porsche has poured far too much R&D into the current 718 engines for them to last just one model cycle. The easiest way for the company to keep them distinguished enough in the marketplace that will exist in 2021-22 -- when the second-gen 718 bows -- is to incorporate hybridized powertrains. This is especially key because the 718's competition will all almost certainly have hybrid variants by then, including:

Chevy Corvette C8
BMW Z4
GR/Toyota Supra
Jaguar F-type
Audi TT

Like I said: far, far too many variables to discuss in this thread. I'm going to stop here, after saying this: If you think Porsche is going to maintain a model lineup that lacks, at a minimum, significant hybridization across the board while its corporate mantra almost exclusively revolves around Mission E, you don't understand what role Porsche has played in the vehicular marketplace in the past, you're not looking broadly enough at what Porsche is now, and you aren't paying attention to what Porsche seeks to become in the next 3-5 years.
 

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You're forgetting that the cost of manufacturing a hybrid is far lower than it was even five years ago. Economy of scale has seen to that.
I'm absolutely sure that Porsche will make 911 hybrids, but these will be very high performance 4WD supercars - where there is a significant advantage in using an electric motor because of its huge torque from zero rpm. And they will be very expensive. Look at the BMW i8, which is basically a mid-engine configuration (1.5 litre turbo) with a small electric motor driving the front wheels. It's basically got the performance of the 718 but it costs 3 times the price. There are economies of scale that can be made - and Tesla has recently built the largest factory in the world to bring down the price of making batteries but there are intrinsic costs in building these batteries which can't be lowered, like the cost of the raw materials. And Tesla cars are very expensive and they're still losing a billion dollars a year.

The current reasons that people buy hybrids (in the UK anyway) are that a) some people are fooled by the fake mpg figures and b) the government has been subsidising them with cash and low taxation - which is particularly attractive to company car buyers. But the govt subsidy is being withdrawn and the WLTP will almost certainly make the mpg figures look less attractive. And the reason that manufacturers are keen on making them is because it helps them meet govt legislation - but this will probably not be true after official emission figures have been revised. So logic would say that hybrids - which were always a con trick to fool the EU tests - would decline. My own opinion is that battery powered cars will fail because of their inherent problems - which are numerous and intractible. But who knows.

As Thomas Paine said "Time makes more converts than reason". We'll see. It's going to be interesting anyway.
 

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Porsche ARE building an all electric car - Taycan next year with a cross over to follow I have read

a hybrid 911 is coming but I don't think from launch of 992 but at 992 gen 2 - again read it somewhere but cant remember where

there was one hybrid but not for the budget conscious - the epic 918

and they did quite well at Le Mans with a petrol hybrid - the 919

the age of the fast milkfloat will be upon us soon enough and we will all remember the irony of the "enthusiasts" who said a flat 4 turbo motor cant power a real Porsche
 

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All of the major car manufacturers are building electric cars. One nice thing about electric cars is that they have a tiny fraction of the components of an ICE car so they can be built with far less initial investment. There's a far lower "barrier to entry" for their manufacture, which is why Dyson (the vacuum cleaner maker) is starting to make them. However, all the major car manufacturers can drop them like a stone if they don't sell so it's not a problem for them. It's makers like Tesla and Dyson that would be in trouble.

To clarify, I'm not saying that the future isn't electric - just that it's not battery electric. Hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) has many fewer problems - as discussed on another thread. But I don't see that anyone would ever build a hybrid HFC car. It just wouldn't make any sense on any level.
 

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There's a comparison of the new Z4 with the 718 Cayman in the latest Car magazine - also a review of a pre-production Toyota Supra. There's no link I'm afraid but they seem to like them.

The price of the Z4 M40i is about the same as a similarly equipped Cayman (base - latest WLTP version) but it has a better engine, they say - more power (336bhp against 300) and more torque(369lb ft against 280). It also sounds better (like a "detuned M1" rather than an "air-cooled beetle on steroids"). It also has better mpg, a better interior and better sound insulation - more modern as against the "olde world" 718. They regard the Cayman as the benchmark for handling but said that the new Z4 matches it in most situations. In fact they reckon it's so good that it should have been called the Z5.

Unfortunately it still doesn't look very good IMO. The new Supra is much better looking - the Supra is the hard top and the Z4 is the soft-top. Also, although BMW seem very proud of achieving 50/50 weight distribution, the inevitable result of using a straight 6 engine at the front - and moving it as far as possible behind the front axle - is that the driver and passenger are still nearly over the rear wheels. So that weight distribution will be variable depending on the number and weight of the occupants. Since the driver and passenger are probably heavier than the engine they've kind of wasted their time moving the engine back as far as possible to get the 50/50 distribution because it just pushed the occupants nearer the rear wheels. Also the transmission is an 8-speed torque converter, which is not ideal.
 

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I always loved the Z3. A great design.

But the Z4 never appealed to me. The newer version of the Z4 is better, but it still falls flat in terms of looks (to me, at least).
I know it's a great car (better than the Z3 in many ways) but I can't get passed its appearance. I don't think Chris Bangle styled it but it looks like he had some influence. To me it's the Daimler SP250 of our era.

I was always a fan of the Z1 roadster including the weird doors. But it was never imported to the US when new so there's only a few here now via the 25 year rule.

I love the Z8 with all its classic 507 styling cues....that's the BMW roadster I really like.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I love the Z8 with all its classic 507 styling cues....that's the BMW roadster I really like.
I don't care much for the Z1 but the Z8 is the most timeless designed car BMW ever made imo. I'd love to have one but a good specimen will set you back $190K. :eek:
So I just keep drooling over the one in the BMW Museum Spartanburg whenever my travels lead me in that direction...
 

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……….the Z8 is the most timeless designed car BMW ever made imo……...
Agreed.

To me, it's right up there with the Ferrari Lusso, the 250GTO, the Ginetta G4, C-Type Jaguar and the original Alpine A110......and, frankly, the 718 Cayman too.

But yeah, they are priced out of my "toy limit" these days...….that ship has sailed.

It's cool how they took the styling themes of its 507 "Großvater" and made Z8 look even better.

 

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Neither a Porsche or a BMW, but I couldn't help but admire this achingly beautiful & fully factory restored Mercedes Benz 300SL on a recent trip to Berlin. I'd hate to think what it's worth.
 

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