Our buddy Richard continues his research on the new 2009 BMW Z4 model with some new insight on the development process behind the new roadster.
Recently, he interviewed Heinz Krusche, the BMW’s chassis guru, responsible for the Z4 project and shared with us some of the chassis secrets. Today, among other things, Richard tells us how 2 different chassis setups were engineered for the BMW Z4.
“We spoke in the lobby of the launch hotel. Once we’d got drinks (Krusche: cappuccino. Me: OJ. PR men: water), it was down to business. When did development of the E89 start?
3 years ago, said Krusche, but they only started drilling down to production finites 18 months ago. Prior to that, they were assessing 2 types of car – both ‘flexible’ roof and hard top. Interesting… as was the revelation that there was a philosophy change with the E89, towards ride.
This had to be balanced with an internal BMW edict, that every single car has a different concept to one another. Crucial point, this: just as the 5 cannot simply be a shrunken 7 or a big 3, so the Z4 should not be a quasi-M, or a 135i Coupe with 2 less seats.
Much of the on-road testing happened in Munich – specifically, the country roads around the factory. They’re twisty enough to be a good base. Sweden’s Arjeplog was for low-friction testing, while Miramas was the base for dynamic stuff.”