BMW is planning a high-end sports car that will compete with the Mercedes-Benz SL. The new model will be a luxury roadster, on the same size as the 6-series, but the mechanical parts will be from both the 6 Series and the 5 Series and engine from the 3-series. The new Z6 will be a succesor for the Z8, produced from 2000 to 2003.
There were rumors that the new Z6 will replace the BMW Z4, but this can’t be happening. That’s because the new Z6 will have bigger enginess than the Z4, with bigger output and a different orientation than the Z4. The luxury option from the Z6 will make the car to have a price arround $130.00, while the Z4 which starts at $40.000. A succesor for the Z4 will come indeed, but in 2010 and will be named Z2. The successor to today’s Z4 will remain near $40,000 and will continue to compete against the Audi TT, Porsche Boxster and Nissan 350Z.
The Z8 was powered by a traditional 5.0 liter V8 engine pumping out 400 horsepower. The car made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in under 5 seconds and had a top speed of 155 mph. Comparing to that, the new Z6 will come with a range of engines.
The Z6 will come in a traditional front-engine format and not mid-engine, how was suggested before. The available engines will be a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder, a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and a 5.0-liter V10.
The output for the new Z6 will be: 300 hp for the Inline-6 engine, 360 hp for the V8 version, and also a M-version it is also expected (powered by the V10 engine) with an output arround 500 hp. The 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made under 6 seconds and will have a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).
The Z6 will be about the same size as the existing 6 Series and will be built around an aluminium spaceframe chassis incorporating many elements of 5/6-Series structure. The design will be inspired from the California Spyder Concept presented at Los Angeles in 2005 (sttyled by DesignWorks studio in California). The Z6’s design will also feature cues from the Z4. The highlight of the new sports car is its high-tech structure—a combination of aluminum space frame and steel unibody construction. It will feature a retractable hardtop roof, exactly as the Mercedes SL, but comparing to it, will be longer, with a bigger storage space. The Z6 will weight less than 3300 lbs.
Z1 - first model from Z-series
The BMW Z1 (Z=Zukunft, in german means future) was produced from July 1988 to June 1991. The Z1 featured unusual doors which, instead of opening outward or upward, dropped down into the door sills. Only 8,000 copies of the Z1 were produced. The vehicle was never exported to the United States.
It was powered by a 2.5 liter inline-6 engine with an output of 170 hp at 5800 rpm and 164 lbs-ft of torque. The car had a curb weight of 2756 lbs.
One of the most interesting features of the Z1 is its unusual doors. These doors retract vertically down into the car’s body instead of swinging outward or upward. The inspiration for these doors came from more traditional roadsters which often feature removable metal or cloth doors. Because removable doors did not fit within BMW’s design goals, the retractable doors were installed instead.
Because the body, with its’ high sills offers crash protection independent of the doors, the vehicle may be legally and safely driven with the doors up or down.
BMW 507 - predecesor for Z8
The BMW 507 was a roadster produced by BMW from 1956 to 1959. It is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful automobiles ever produced.
The BMW 507 had its debut at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show, where it was the undisputed star. When the first 507’s were eventually delivered to customers in November of 1956, they came with a hefty price tag, which limited sales to only 252 units. Elvis Presley bought one of the cars.
The 507 was produced in two production runs; Series 1 and Series 2. The Series 2 cars had an updated dashboard. Also, the rear bulkhead was moved back slightly to provide more luggage space behind the seats. 42 Series 1 and 210 Series 2 cars were built in the four years the 507 was in production.
It was powered by a 3.2-liter V8 engine with an output of 160 hp. It’s design was the inspiration for the Z8.
The initial prototype (the Z07) was designed in order to celebrate the famous’ BMW 507 50th birthday. The incredible success of the concept-car produced the decision of building the vehicle in a limited series, designated Z8. Produced in fewer than 5700 units between 2000 and 2003, the Z8 is already a collector’s car.
In the development of the new roadster, the BMW designers had to imagine what the original 507 roadster would have evolved to it would had never ceased production over four decades ago. The outcome of all of their efforts is a contemporary, but ever-lasting interpretation of the famous roadster of the 1950s – a car that is beyond doubt the perfect mix of power, sensuality, cutting-edge technology and classic elegance.
Delivering 394 horsepower and 368 lb-ft. of torque, the Z8’s aluminum engine was shared with the BMW M5 of that time. That power unit is known for being completely civilized in traffic and around town, thanks in part to its infinitely adjustable, electronically controlled valve-timing system. Called High-Pressure Double VANOS, the system varies valve timing on the intake and exhaust valves of both cylinder heads – thus on all four camshafts – helping optimize power, torque and emission control.
A Getrag 6-speed manual transmission with specially reinforced clutch, also from the M5, is mated to the Z8’s engine. The net result of all this industry-leading high-performance technology is an elegant sports car that will sprint from a standstill to 60 miles-per-hour in a soul-stirring 4.7 seconds and have a top speed of 155 mph.
The SL-Class is powered by a range of V6 and V8 engines, as well as an even more powerful V12 powerplant, deliver assured driving pleasure.
With an output of 388 hp and 390 lbs-ft of torque, the newly developed V8 engine in the SL 500 offers everything that is expected of a powerful sports car. The eight-cylinder unit has a displacement of 5.5 litres and is one of the most powerful engines in its displacement class. The SL 500 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds (predecessor model: 6.2 seconds). Despite the 26 percent boost in performance, the fuel consumption (NEDC combined) matches that of the predecessor model at 12.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The six-cylinder engine in the SL 350 is another new unit. Although this 272-hp V6 powerplant achieves fuel savings of over one litre per 100 kilometres, its output is 11 percent higher. The combined NEDC fuel consumption is 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres. The SL 350 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, making it more than half a second faster than the predecessor model.
At the top of the model range is the SL 600 with its V12 biturbo engine. The output and maximum torque of this unit have been increased to 517 hp and 612 lbs-ft respectively. This twelve-cylinder engine accelerates the SL-Class from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds (predecessor model: 4.7 seconds).