1999 BMW Z9 Gran Turismo Concept
BMW turned heads once again with the Z9 gran turismo concept car when it made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. First unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September the year before, the Z9 is clearly a glimpse into the future of automotive design and technology. This dramatically styled sports coupe showcases innovation in both interior and exterior design, futuristic lightweight construction technology and a totally-new interaction philosophy for audio, communication, comfort, drive and other functions.
The Z9 gran turismo concept car features the long hood and short rear deck that have become hallmarks of BMW sport coupe design. Beneath the elegant carbon fiber body panels resides an aluminum spaceframe chassis offering both extraordinary rigidity and light weight. Large wheels - 20-inch front and 21-inch rear - provide a hint of the performance capability of the Z9’s 3.9-liter V8 turbodiesel engine which delivers a stunning 413 lb-ft of torque.
The full-length gull-wing doors, which have conventional front-opening doors built in, open to reveal an interior which incorporates a masterfully simple, uncluttered driving environment. Instead of the usual array of buttons, switches and levers, the dashboard houses only the starter button and light switches. A unique control knob (with corresponding TV monitor) resides in place of the conventional shift lever operating a number of functions for both the driver and passenger.