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Be Afraid Ferrari???

2309 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  drronh
wow..BMW uses the Bangcock Times for their BIG Media Announcement :eek:

Be afraid, FERRARI...

BMW is set to revive the M1 spirit with a new 550hp roadster likely to be called Z10 when it goes on sale in 2008


Despite making some of the world's most sporting cars, BMW hasn't made a bona fide supercar since 1979's M1. All that will change in 2008, though, when the company launches a high-tech, V10-engined, lightweight Lamborghini-chaser.

Plans currently being hatched by the Bavarian engineering department and the company's Californian styling studios are for a replacement for BMW's ill-fated Z8 roadster, codenamed ``Large Roadster''.

Conceptually it bears no relation to the Z8, however, and is unlikely to reuse its name, with Z10 the most likely monicker. Although there have bee rumours of BMW persisting with the front-engined layout for the new car, engineers acknowledge that the only way the company can compete with the best supercars is to make mid-engined cars and harness technology already employed elsewhere in the BMW empire.

``If BMW were to decide to come up with another out-and-out sports car, don't count on another superstar,'' said the company's head of development, Burkhard Goschel. ``We are not in the business of winning the horsepower race.''

Company insiders claim that Gosch is determined to come up with what they claim to be ``intelligent'' ways of outsmarting the supercar establishment and the key weapon is thought to be concentrating on keeping the new car's weight down.

Use of aluminium spaceframe technology is central to BMW's secret plans. The company first used it in the the Z8 and refined it with the British-built Rolls-Royce Phantom. Aluminium technology is likely to be moved forward again with the Z10 and rumours suggest that it could even be built in the UK, utilising spare capacity at Roll-Royce's Goodwood factory.

One factor that could work against this is that BMW also aims to make extensive use of its newly acquired carbonfibre know-how. The company's Landshut factory in southern Germany is already mass-producing large carbonfibre pieces for roof panels on the recently launched M6. The Z10 is destined to have more extensive carbonfibre content. Other lightweight materials such as magnesium are also likely to be used.

High-level sources indicate that the Z10 will have similar dimensions to the Lamborghini Gallardo, yet its target weight is reported to be 250kg less, making it around 1,200kg.

As it's expected to be powered by an upgraded version of BMW's impressive 500hp V10, already used in the M5 saloon and M6 coupe{AAC}, that sort of weight advantage should be strong enough to compete with many supercar this side of a Ferrari Enzo.

But just how much more power can be extracted from the 5.0-litre V10? It's broadly accepted that 30hp should be possible. However, BMW engineers have told Autocar that with such a small capacity increase, say to 5.5 litres, another 50hp is easily achievable, still driving through the same seven-speed sequential gearbox.

With 550hp and a 1,200kg kerbweight the Z10 could have a power to weight ratio of 458hp per tonne. By comparison, the 483hp Ferrari F430 has a rather more anaemic 333hp per tonne, and even the Porsche Carrera GT can only muster 410hp per tonne.

Naturally enough, one of the key concerns of the Z10 development team is being able to offer a cutting-edge driving experience _ and not just beating other supercars, but also the internal competition.

``Our idea of a sports car is to offer the ultimate in lateral dynamics,'' says Goschel. In other words the Z10 won't come near to being signed off until it proves that it can outgun an M6 round the benchmark Nurburgring circuit, not forgetting the forthcoming V8-powered M3 and Z4M.

To achieve this it's likely that the Z10 will employ the latest electronic and mechanical aids to enhance its on-road capabilities. Wind tunnel work is also currently underway to ensure aerodynamic downforce is part of its armoury. Active spoilers and a venturi underbody _ which sucks the car to the ground the faster it goes _ are thought to be part of the package.

Our exclusive artist's impression of the Z10 takes account of the design direction the company is heading in. Critics of the Z8 partly blame its lacklustre sales _ just 5,700 were sold between 2000 and 2003 _ on its retro styling, it looked too much like a pastiche of the classic 1950s' 507 Roadster. So BMW's Californian-based Designworks studios is being pushed to come up with contemporary, aggressive styling that could even form the core look of other Z models, including the Z4's replacement.

The design studio and engineering departments are also working hard to incorporate a carbonfibre folding roof into the Z10's design, enabling it to have the attributes of both a coupe{AAC} and roadster and so able to compete with the Mercedes SL.

Just as important as the looks and technical package is the Z10's pricing. For the past 12 months BMW's financial analysts have been paying close attention to the supercar market. The conclusion from the bean-counters is that going too high-end will be a grave error when the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and Porsche Carrera GT are struggling to find buyers.

Even the much cheaper Lamborghini Murcie{AAC}lago and Gallardo don't sell in sufficient numbers for VW to turn a decent profit. Therefore the target is to stay close to the Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin V8 Vantage. That equates to an estimated cost of around 6.3 million baht when the car hits showrooms in 2008.

With this sort of mouth-watering performance and spec the Z10 promises, it could even be a bargain at this money. AUTOCAR/BANGKOK POST SERVICE
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very impressive! lightweight and powerful.

However, this sounds like the concept is only "on paper" and there is no product. A press release 2+ years before product launch?

It will be interesting to see how this car will perform. It is one thing to drop a 550hp engine into a light car. but will it handle well? will it maintain traction? we'll see
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