BMW has unveiled one of its hitherto secret supercar projects as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of BMW's Technik GmbH subsidiary.
The Z29 prototype, completed in 2001, was a collaboration between Technik and BMW's M division.
The two-seater sportscar was designed to be as light as possible through the use of high-tech materials.
The centre section of the car - from the front bulkhead to the rear bulkhead was a monocoque made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastics. The front and rear subframes were made of aluminium. The final prototype weighed just 1166kgs.
The Z29 was powered by the then-current 336bhp straight-six engine used in the M3, which gave the car a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds.
The Z29's unusual scissor doors never made it onto a production car, but the Z29 is said to have influenced the 2006 M Roadster.
However the project had its biggest influence on the 2004 M3 CSL, which used carbon-fibre, reinforced plastics for the roof panel, as well as various other body mouldings including the front bumper.
BMW founded the Technik GmbH division in 1985, with the intention of using as a think-tank to 'develop and innovative, future-oriented and original overall vehicle concepts and sub-concepts away from the constraints of a specific series workflow schedule'. However, the board added that Technik's objective should 'always be to develop solutions that have the potential for series development.”
Technik's (which was initially run by Ulrich Bez, now boss of Aston Martin) initial aims were to run on projects under the working title “Auto 2000” and “Local Vehicle”.