Back in 2016, we reported that Austrian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr would build BMW’s next Z4 and its upcoming Toyota platform-mate, the Supra. Yesterday, it was finally confirmed that Magna would build the BMW at its Graz, Austria plant, with production set to begin later this year.
BMW outsourcing Z4 production to a contract manufacturer makes a lot of sense—the automaker knows this two-seater isn’t going to sell in big volumes, and building it in-house could lead to financial burden. Without a company like Magna Steyr, it might not be realistic for BMW to build the Z4 at all. The implications of this outsourcing are pretty funny, though.
Since 1979, Magna Steyr has been the production home for one of the world’s most venerable off-roaders, the Mercedes G-Wagen. Over 300,000 have been built to date and that number is increasing, with Magna building both the all-new G and an evolution of the 1979 original.
Magna has built a number of wildly different cars over the years—the Mini Paceman, Chrysler 300C, and Aston Martin Rapide among them—but to us, there’s something very funny about the G-Wagen and the Z4 coming from the same place. Strange bedfellows, for sure.
It’s expected the Supra will be built by Magna Steyr too, though the company hasn’t yet confirmed it. Reached by email, a Magna spokesperson said they could only comment on the Z4.
In any case, this means we’ll see the Z4 in its final production form very soon, and hopefully, the Supra too. Next year should be a good one for rear-drive sports cars, then.