Completed in 2001, the two-seater BMW Z29 Concept car was a result of a collaboration between the BMW Technik GmbH and the M Division. Optimization of the vehicle weight by deploying the most advanced high-tech materials was the focus of development for the BMW Z29 concept study.
The vehicle exerts fascinating appeal with flowing lines and lambo-style doors. The principles underlying the outstanding potential of the BMW Z29 for dynamic driving can be found under the engine bonnet and below the surface of the paintwork.
The power was generated by the in-line six-cylinder engine of the BMW M3 which at the time generated 252 kW/343 hp. The passenger cell was manufactured from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic while the rear axle, and front and rear module were designed in aluminum. The most important results of this combination: a weight-to-power ratio of 3.4 kg/hp and an acceleration ratio of 4.4 seconds for the sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h. The Z29 boasts an impressive top speed of 270 km/h.
The lambo-style doors clearly marked out the visual appearance of the concept car from all the series models manufactured under the brand. The BMW Z29 accommodates a maximum number of two occupants in the passenger cell with a structure comprising a monocoque made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. A front module manufactured in aluminum is bolted onto the monocoque to accommodate the six-cylinder power unit mounted as a front mid-engine and the double wishbone front axle also made of aluminum. A sequential M six-speed gearbox transfers power to the rear axle. Aluminum for the rear module and rear axle also plays a role in reducing the weight of the vehicle still further.
The engineers garnered further weight savings with innovative structures in the cockpit. The air outlets from the ventilation system were designed as a structural member on which the instrument panel is mounted. This measure and similar design features reduced the kerb weight of the vehicle by some 26 kilograms.
The prototype has a length of precisely 4 meters and a height of 1,265 millimeters. The weight of the vehicle ready to roll is only 1 160 kilograms. The resulting weight-to-power ratio is 3.4 kg/hp and is at the level of a thoroughbred racing car. The axle load distribution achieves the ideal value of 50:50.
Another interesting concept from BMW and we cannot stop wondering what other “secrets” are hiding behind the Munich-gates…..some that we might see at the next important anniversary.