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      12-14-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
Brookside
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Z6/Z8/Z10? Mule Spotted!

Next BMW UberSportAuto Test Sled



Spy photographers caught an unusual BMW test mule in transit from the company test track to BMW headquarters in Munich.
Given the size and the wheelbase in play here, this is very likely to be the first serious test bed for the next-generation Z8 — BMW's.
It's not known if the car will be called Z6, Z8, or Z10.

BMW has used this disturbingly unique mule construction method before, circling the Nürburgring about 18-months-ago in another, larger, high-performance-bread-van-looking concoction.
That mule was most likely an early testbed for the X6, which has recently come to fruition as a real vehicle clearly in BMW's new model pipeline.





Despite their rough, agricultural appearances, sources say these test mules are very advanced chassis development platforms.
Different dynamic set-ups are said to be much easier to achieve than on more traditional mules,
and this rough-hewn architecture reportedly allows for more convenient, and more detailed vehicle performance analysis.



If past timing holds true, we expect to see more evolved Z8 prototypes (actually approximating the proportions and design of the final car) to break cover in the next 12-to-18-months.


Source: LeftLaneNews
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      12-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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I know it's a mule, but this thing is seriously cool-someone in BMW's machineshop has a flair for the grotesque. Reminds me of the SoCal rat-rod
aesthetic...without the conformity that plagues that look.

Check out the pipes- some hard-core plumbing goin' on.
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      12-14-2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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X6 test-sled. Nicer headlights, better paint job. A more cosmopolitan, more refined mule...yes?
Let's see the Koreans copy this look!
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      12-14-2006, 11:39 PM   #4
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Lest we forget...nobody...nobody does fatsuits better than BMW.
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      12-15-2006, 08:53 AM   #5
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From EniLab on GCF....

"Yes, this is a mule testing a chassis for upcoming BMW top-end roadster (Z8 successor).

This is still a very early development phase. Testing new suspension solutions, new lightweight constructions etc.

The car is designed to carry a folding hardtop, and a V12 engine. But according to my info there is still not decided / known whether this features will make it into production: it depends on marketing decisions (engine), and appropriate technical solutions (ultra lightweight folding hardtop).

Expect this car to hit showrooms in 2011/2012. So, we are still a few years away from getting a final design.

What is interesting here - according to my sources - a team of engineers from Goodwood is participating in development. ? Could it be some future RR will be based on a same platform (eg. RR roadster / 2-seater coupe)? ?


PS: we are only few weeks away from FEP 2er cabrios (no more heavy camo!), and first original prototypes of F5 crossover (heavy camoed!) to hit the roads. According to my sources F5 will be camoed to mimic a touring shape (similar camo to X6 - hidden rear)."
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      12-15-2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
PS: we are only few weeks away from FEP 2er cabrios (no more heavy camo!)
This would be a nice Christmas present... FEP is "final end product"? Or "fully evolved prototype"?
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      12-15-2006, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest View Post
This would be a nice Christmas present... FEP is "final end product"? Or "fully evolved prototype"?
Yes, what is "FEP" and why do we care so much?
I think it's "final end product" but I really like "fully evolved prototype".

I still love these mules that BMW has running around the German countryside.
I prefer the primitive one's to the fatsuits. Maybe we could have a vote on which new model in disguise BMW should bring out...as is!
Seriously, it's quite amazing how much trouble and care BMW goes to in testing new models.
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      12-16-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
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Screw the M2, I want a MULE! The urban assault look has it over the fatsuits any day of the week. :thumbup: Then again, I own an E23 so must confess a bit of bias to the "slab sided" look
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      01-07-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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You could hold out a little longer for a mule of the the upcoming 12-series Coupe-Cabrio/SUV/mag-lev vehicle. :roundel: :roundel: :roundel: :roundel:
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