No doubt if this comes BMW will essentially be re-skinning a Mini roadster. It will help keep costs (and weight) down and the BMW official is justifying it thusly, “It is of similar size to the E36/7 [the codename for the Z3 produced between 1996 and 2002] but is planned to use the front-wheel drive platform to keep costs down and achieve a margin level that ensures it is sustainable at comparatively low production volumes.”
Does not sound like a Z3 successor to BimmerBoost. Doesn't really sound like a BMW roadster at all. It sounds like something that belongs in the Mini portfolio not in the Ultimate Driving Machine portfolio. Supposedly an "engineering source" as Autocar stated said that there is no reason front wheel drive can not offer the same driving dynamics as a rear wheel drive car. No, seriously, they are claiming a BMW engineer said this, "There is no reason why a front-wheel-drive car can’t offer a similar dynamic experience to a rear-wheel-drive car. The advancement of various driving aids, with features such as electronic differentials, virtually eliminates the influence of drive forces on the steered wheels when done properly.”
BimmerBoost finds that statement a little tough to swallow. Making front wheel drive cars for cost and volume is one thing. Claiming it will be just as good as the rear wheel drive BMW Roadsters and offer the same driving dynamics as a rear wheel drive is just sipping kool-aid. It's really tough to know if Autocar is just making this up or if a BMW engineer really said that. With no name given (how convenient) who knows.
The one saving grace is that all wheel drive *may* be offered as well. Will that stop it from understeer and being nose heavy instead of the traditionally 50/50 balanced BMW? Who knows at this point.
This car is currently rumored to debut at the Geneva Show in 2014. If one wants a preview, go drive a Mini Roadster. Same driving dynamics, similar platform, similar engineering, different badge. But not a BMW and not offering BMW rear wheel drive driving dynamics.