BMW Z4 Coupé and Z4 M
BMW has confirmed that a production version of the show-stopping Z4 Coupé Concept, first unveiled at this year’s IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, will go on sale in the UK in summer 2006. The new Coupé takes much from the acclaimed BMW Z4 Roadster it is based upon, but benefits from a fixed, contoured roof for greater headroom and a large hatch-style boot lid for improved versatility. The use of a conventional fixed roof, instead of a convertible hood on Z4 underpinnings, results in improved levels of body stiffness and a consequential benefit to the car’s already outstanding handling.
Powered by the world’s lightest six-cylinder petrol production engine - the same unit that will be used in the recently announced BMW Z4 Roadster - the performance of the Z4 Coupé should prove rapid. In the Z4 Roadster, the 265hp powerplant powers that car from zero to 62mph in 5.7 seconds before going on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed manual gearbox. Also joining the Z4 Coupé will be the new high-performance BMW Z4 M Coupé. Utilising the five-time class-winning International Engine of the Year, the 3.2-litre 343hp Z4 M Coupé promises to have scintillating performance. The same engine will be used in the forthcoming Z4 M Roadster due in the UK in spring 2006. In that car, acceleration from zero to 62mph is achieved in under five seconds and top speed is an electronically limited 155mph. The powerplant of the new car is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and BMW M’s variable M differential for optimum performance and handling.
The styling of the BMW Z4 M Coupé differs significantly from the ‘standard’ model in a number of ways. At the front, a lower front spoiler provides greater downforce while the removal of the front foglights and the sculpture of a larger air intake have been designed to aid engine breathing and brake cooling. Unique ‘M’ light alloy wheels, M badging and quad tail pipes at the rear also set the car apart.
Full specification and pricing details of the Z4 Coupé and the Z4 M Coupé will be announced in 2006.
New design studio to open in Singapore
January 2006 heralds the opening of a new BMW design studio. Based in a continent where more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lives, the Singapore Studio is charged with tapping into the trends and buying patterns of consumers in Asia. The design team will work on projects in conjunction with DesignworksUSA.
The Singapore Studio will be based in BMW Asia’s offices at Keppel Bay Towers in the centre of Singapore. The design team will initially consist of experienced designers from other BMW offices. However, the long-term goal is to work with local design institutions to identify Asian talent for training internships to build a more diverse team of designers. Verena Kloos, president of DesignworksUSA, said: “By tapping into Asia’s emerging markets, DesignworksUSA gains a deeper understanding of Asian consumer behaviours and offers a global perspective to its clients in Asia, while incorporating the Asian characteristics in projects for its US and European clients.”
BMW M6 sets ’ring time
Thanks to the combination of lightweight technology, supreme handling and an F1-inspired drivetrain, an electronically restricted BMW M6 has lapped the tortuous Nordschliefe, the northern loop of the Nürburgring, in a time of eight minutes nine seconds.The BMW M6’s 507hp V10 engine is capable of propelling it from zero to 62mph in 4.6 seconds before going on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. But it is not just the drivetrain that is responsible for such a quick lap time of arguably the most punishing race circuit in the world. Lightweight components that include a carbon fibre roof which is 4.5kg lighter than a conventional steel item - a 50 per cent weight saving - have kept weight to a minimum while lowering the centre of gravity for greater dynamic capability. Engineers predict that a derestricted M6 would achieve a time much closer to the illustrious eight-minute mark.