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Z29 supercar unveiled as part of 25th anniversary celebrations of BMW's Technik GmbH subsidiary

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.

See the BMW Z29 prototype pictures

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”.

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Rover P6 3500S 30 March 2010

Re: BMW unveils secret supercar

Uncle Mellow wrote:

Symanski wrote:
PLEASE bring back Chris Bangle......

For what purpose ? Could he be taught how to design attractive cars ? Surely he's a lost cause ?

I'm sorry, but Bangle has produced some enduring classics. The Fiat Coupé, for a start. I believe the conservative trio of E46/E39/E38 was at least partly his work (though not distinctively his). The original Z4 is beautiful. The E60 5-series is absolutely stunning, it's got such presence. I feel that, unlike all other 5-series, the saloon is better-looking than its Touring sister (the E61). The facelifted E65 7-series is a stunner, too. The 6-series is very handsome from the side, but the ends are unfortunate. Same goes for the original E65. The 1-series is very pretty indeed (and the coupé especially so, with a better-resolved tail than the hatchback - although the convertible is a niche too far, sitting uncomfortably between the Z4 and the 3-series convertible). Bangle is a hugely influential and highly-acclaimed designer. Yes, I too recoiled in horror when I first realised what he was doing with BMW style-wise, but I've really warmed to most of them. You'll notice I've left the 3-series off my list. This is no accident. It's essentially well-proportioned, but the detailing is poor (especially from the front) and the convertible, like all metal-roof dropheads, looks top-heavy and big-bottomed.

Rover P6 3500S 30 March 2010

Re: BMW unveils secret supercar

S3_SportGuy wrote:

Rover P6 3500S wrote:
Anyone else see a bit of Z4 M Coupé in the side?

Has Chrysler Crossfire written all over it:


Hey, don't insult the Crossfire! OK, so the interior was a bit nasty, and the ride/handling/refinement should have been better, but it's actually quite pretty.

Rover P6 3500S 30 March 2010

Re: BMW unveils secret supercar

HiltonH wrote:
I think that's a bit harsh. It's a unique carbon fibre monocoque and an M3 drivetrain. The styling is a tad unresolved, but that's because the Technik division did its own design work. If it had gone into production, the BMW design studio would have polished it up. As for the engine's power, BMW told me it was 343ps - which is 336bhp.
Well, the drivetrain (and probably suspension & steering) was pure M3. The wheels were probably parts-bin raids (the steering wheel and handbrake likewise).