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      08-04-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Brookside
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BMW Z29 Prototype Coupe

Do any of you remember this BMW prototype that was floating around on the web?
For a long time I doubted it's authenticity and believed this was only a (very nicely done) photoshop.
It was rumored to be the "Z5" - an ultra-light sports coupe, that seemingly was coming our way after the Z4 roadster was introduced.
Massive, block-like front with upward curving fenders.
I had hoped that it would enter production...though I doubt I'd ever be able to afford it...
anyway after awhile I just filed it away as some kind of pipe dream from out of the ether.
It turns out to be a real car- built in 2002-It was a lightweight prototype built by BMW Technik GmbH, mainly built from alu alloys & carbon fibre.



BMW "Z29" unveiled






BMW "Z29" unveiled
& now this>BMW has apparently put together a prototype lightweight coupe called the Z29. Based on the Z4 (platform), the car is said to weight just over 2,500 pounds.
It features the same engine as the Z4 M and M3, and is built of aluminum and carbon fiber. 0-62 mph takes around three seconds.
Further details remain very sparse, and it's not clear if the car is a project between BMW and a tuner, or if hints to a forthcoming model.. .

translated from AutoMotor und Sport, August 4th, 2006

BMW Technik's Z codes vs BMW AG's Z codes
Zukunft is German for 'future'. Just to make things confusing, BMW uses Z codes in three different ways:
- Z codes used for prototypes (e.g. Z11),
- Z codes used for concept cars (e.g. Z9), and
- Z codes used for production models (e.g. Z3)

The research group BMW Technik GmbH uses 'Z' plus an ongoing number as an internal engineering code for new products or prototypes. Normally the ZT projects are top secret--current projects are in the range Z22 and Z30. If a car is shown to the public the internal ZT (Zukunft Technik) code is used externally. The ZT codes started in 1985 with the Z1 and that is the only case to date where the internal code was also used as the sales name.
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      08-05-2006, 05:40 AM   #2
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This from EniLab GCZ on the Z29....
"It's only a prototype - built in only one edition.
They are not design exercises - just a ad hoc designs for working prototypes - this one particulary (like I said before) is for testing lightweight body structures.

The technology is still not ready yet. The car has combined alu - carbon fibre body construction which is very expensive to repair after the eventual crash - even further: the abnormalities on the structure are very hard to find, and they can be only finde by a very expensive method. Neither the crash impact consequences are fully researched. But BMW engineers are working on proper solution - but as you know time is needed (and money of course). And when the solution will be production ready I know BMW want hesitate to put it in production - for super light coupe (but not mid-engined!)."
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      08-05-2006, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside
This from EniLab GCZ on the Z29....
"It's only a prototype - built in only one edition.
They are not design exercises - just a ad hoc designs for working prototypes - this one particulary (like I said before) is for testing lightweight body structures.

The technology is still not ready yet. The car has combined alu - carbon fibre body construction which is very expensive to repair after the eventual crash - even further: the abnormalities on the structure are very hard to find, and they can be only finde by a very expensive method. Neither the crash impact consequences are fully researched. But BMW engineers are working on proper solution - but as you know time is needed (and money of course). And when the solution will be production ready I know BMW want hesitate to put it in production - for super light coupe (but not mid-engined!)."
Bummer. When I saw this I was really hoping it might happen, and if so, I'd be first in line.

The great news is . . . this may be hinting that BMW is beginning to look at what I've felt has been their weakness for the last few years - oversized, overweight cars.

I've always been a fan of the "less is more" philosophy of car engineering. Lower weight not only provides better acceleration with less power, but braking and handling are improved at the same time.

That's what first drew me to BMW, but I find my current 3-series, while relativley low weight for a car of it's size, is still a relatively big, heavy car.

That's why I've been hanging out on these forums. I love BMW, but I'm looking for something smaller.

If the Z29 won't make it to production, at least maybe the result will be a two series coupe that comes in at a relatively low weight. I'd take that as the next best thing to a production Z29.
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      08-06-2006, 05:38 AM   #4
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As I was trying to sleep last night, I had several thoughts running through my brain. Now I'll be the first to admit this is probably based more on wishful thinking than anything else, but hear me out and think about some of this:

1. A few months ago, I noticed that BMW had registered the name "Z2" with the US Patent and Trademark office: http://www.2addicts.com/forums/showp...01&postcount=3 (the link has expired, but if you do a little digging at USPTO, I'm sure you can find it again).

2. Then of course there was this rumor: http://www.2addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241

3. Now moving to the latest. This Z29 concept has (according to this article http://www.autoblog.com/2006/08/05/b...oupe-revealed/ ) an M3 engine and weighs in at 2557 lbs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking the M3 engine weighs more than the 265 HP 3.0 liter in the Z4 coupe. Replace the M3 engine with that engine (or an even lighter 4 cylinder on a true base model) and replace some of the carbon fiber with more traditional materials, and I'm guessing you could have a production Z2 come in at close to 2700 lbs.

4. Leave out heated, electrically adjustable seats, traction control, SMG's and all the other crap that makes the Z4 lean more toward "luxury" than "sport", and you'll keep weight and cost down.

Add all that up, and you could be looking at the "Z2": A 2700 lb. 265 hp true sport coupe that could come in at a ballpark $30,000 price point, have more usable trunk space than a Lotus Elise, and, with the huge advantage low weight provides to acceleration, braking and turning, could turn Nurburgring laps in the same region as a 3000 lb. Cayman S.

Sign me up! If they could bring that in at a price close to $30,000, I could even afford to buy a Chevy Cobalt for those times I need a back seat or more luggage space.

Of course the big, gaping logical hole in all my dreaming would be the problem with marketing both this car and the Z4 coupe. Having two such similar, low volume cars wouldn't really make much sense. . . unless they realize they made a mistake with the Z4 and really should have slotted it as a sportier lower priced car to start with.
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      08-06-2006, 06:29 AM   #5
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Oh, I think you're your on the right track here...hang on...I think we have thread linkage ...
there's some talk that Dr. Helmut Panke wasn't forced to retire from BMW because he hit the mandatory 60-years-old retirement age...
but, that he didn't introduce more automobiles during his run as CEO at BMW despite BMW's historic profits.

Also that he nixed new relatively low-selling niche models (such as the Z29) which he saw as merely design or engineering excersises,
rather than regarding them as genuinely viable product that had the potential to extend the line.
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      08-06-2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside
Oh, I think you're your on the right track here...hang on...I think we have thread linkage here...
there's some talk that Dr. Helmut Panke wasn't forced to retire from BMW because he hit the mandatory 60-years-old retirement age...
but, that he didn't introduce more automobiles during his run as CEO at BMW despite BMW's historic profits.

Also that he nixed new relatively low-selling niche models (such as the Z29) which he saw as merely design or engineering excersises,
rather than regarding them as genuinely viable product that had the potential to extend the line.
Really? So there could be a chance?:thumbup:



I think BMW needs to offer something in the US lineup soon that is smaller, lighter simpler - a true "Driving Machine".

If you step back and look at their current US line-up, it seems they're really drifting away from their roots and their long-term image could suffer.

If you walk into a US BMW dealer today, you see a room full of large sedans loaded with luxury items in sharp contrast to the light, simple, spartan cars of the eighties that had tight suspensions and small but efficient engines that clearly set themselves apart from the softer sprung, larger, heavier, more luxurious cars that filled the competitor's showrooms.

If BMW isn't careful, they're in danger of becoming . . . Cadillac. (an exageration, I know, but I think you get my point)
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      08-06-2006, 09:44 AM   #7
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I totally agree with you. I think there is a chance of something along the lines of the Z29 being built, even tho it's they say it's a one-of-a kind....
I'd love to see the idea expanded on and some of the design kinks (that roofline) tweaked.
Apparently Suzanne Klatten, one of the three majority stockholders of the Quandt family who control BMW,
was furious that Mercedes has put out so many new models.
It was this competetiveness with Mercedes (people say) that sealed Dr. Panke's forced retirement.

To me, the crucial choice at BMW now is what do they focus on building? A CLS competitor?
Maybe, but I'd also like to see BMW return to its roots.
I hope that the 2-series introduction is stepped up. I'd like to see a super-light coupe such as the Z29.

The Z4 architecture is a great place to begin...it is a dedicated chassis...no other car rides on it but the Z4 series.
No matter what you may think of the design, the handling characteristics are wonderful- and it seems a crime to simply have Z4 exclusivity.




This is absolutely beautiful (imho) -scaled to fit on the Z4 chassis. It would, tho, basically be competing with the Z4 M coupe...
which to me. was way overdue, and consequently late to the market.
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      09-08-2006, 03:48 PM   #8
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Another take on the BMW Z9

The latest issue of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport features a cover story on the much-rumored BMW Z9,
which is expected to be offered in coupe and convertible forms to take on both the Mercedes SL and, to some degree, the Audi R8.
All recent reports have indicated the car will get a front-engine layout, meaning it will be a bit more like an SL or Aston Vantage than an R8 or Porsche 911.
The new AMS rendering (available in low-resolution only) shows a more traditional take on how the Z9 could look.
At this point, we suspect BMW is considering a whole slew of designs, since the roadster/coupe isn't expected on the market for three years.
source: LeftLaneNews
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      09-28-2006, 03:02 PM   #9
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some of you may have seen this one...a proposed design (I suspect this was a photoshop for the 6-series coupe but I'm just guessing it's lineage)
that didn't hit the target. Nevertheless, it fits into the design dna of the Z9 with a massive and brutal front end.
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