Another day and a new rumor in the BMW world. The restless Scott27 surfaces again with some exciting information for BMW fans: BMW “Z” Spyder Stradale.
With the economy on its way to recovery and BMW’s recent strong sales, many of the postponed projects are starting to come back to reality. It all started last month with the BMW Gran Coupe, a continuation of the canceled CS Concept, and a new opportunity for BMW to join another niche segment: four-door coupes.
As always, we will let Scott27 tell us, in his own words, all about the BMW Z Spyder Stradale, but despite his solid track record, we will have to label this as a rumor, until a second source confirms.
“Now that BMW have commenced the current priority Project-i initiative in developing new concepts for sustainable mobility, the attention turns to the Premium segment, especially where high end luxury is concerned.
With a burgeoning premium compact sector to contend with, BMW are again returning to their previous strategy of bringing exciting new premium concepts to the market. If we look at what was scheduled before the world’s economy took a turn for the worst, we can see several projects, all in different levels of excitement, either in development or evaluation.
Just as we have seen the Gran Coupe arise like a Phoenix from the flames of the Concept CS, another project is about to complete its Lazarus moment .
Norbert Reithofer’s “Dream Project”: BMW “Z” Spyder Stradale.
Originally put forward in 2005, when Norbert Reithofer took the reigns of the BMW Group, as a highly emotive dream project that embodies the epitome of BMW’s values, premium luxury, forward thinking design and great driving dynamics. Two years of feasibility studies and development of ideas came to a close when the economy went into meltdown.
Why not a Roadster?
The term Spyder Stradale is a concept not unknown to BMW , a streamlined version of the 328MM was termed as the Spyder Stradale.
With BMW’s apparent affinity to using such grand emotive terms for their new concepts, ”Gran Turismo” and soon “Gran Coupe” and “Shooting Brake”; terms that describe a luxurious way to travel. BMW seems keen on resurrecting the term “Spyder Stradale” for its new premium high end Sports car.
BMW’s attention is on making such exciting projects that will spawn from the upcoming next generation BMW 1er . They are keen to spread this across to the premium segment, Gran Coupe is one such concept. Spyder Stradale will be another one. BMW sees the Spyder Stradale as a car to inject more emotion into the BMW brand, at the upper end of the luxury segment, in a specific class where BMW are well versed in, some to great success, some less successful.
The idea for the Spyder Stradale takes off from the original BMW California Spyder Project, a low driving position, set back towards the rear axle with a heavily raked screen and long hood and short rear overhang.
Form and function is equally important and there is an evaluation to present the car when the customer opens the door.
It could be like a scissor style ( a bit too common), conventional (never fails), or indeed rear hinged (too Rolls-Royce?)
The return of the Spyder is due in turn for BMW preparing for it’s future and without Project-i, Spyder Stradale would not exist.
The key is BMW’s joint venture with SGL Carbon which will produce components and panels for the MegaCity vehicles, and eventually spread to other BMW models. Spyder Stradale will be one of the beneficiary because this joint venture is going to be highly cost effective for BMW. Future cars will see more mainstream approaches to using carbon fiber in reducing weight.
The Spyder Stradale takes off where the Z8 left and retains an aluminium structure, the front of the car will be a mix of steel, aluminium and magnesium. For the passenger area, there is an addition of a carbon fiber tub that will be bonded with an aluminium floorplan. The rear cross frames will also be carbon fiber with the rear suspension a mix of aluminium, magnesium and steel.
The original idea of a folding hardtop is retained with its two piece folding top being constructed of carbon fiber. The door skins and bonnet will be aluminium with reinforced plastic being used for the front wings and rear bootlid.
Design elements are still in the gestation period, but expect a very sport, animalistic front end with signature indicators ( a feature of all up and coming BMW Coupes and Roadsters) underneath the mainlight units which will be smaller thanks to the latest developments in LED technology.
EfficientDynamics are not being forgotten when we conceive a new BMW and Spyder Stradale is no different. The usual expectations of Stop-Start technology, Brake energy regeneration; will all be there. But the design of the car will use the same approach as taken with the Vision Efficient Dynamics and make use of an advanced aerodynamic treatment. Another up and coming term which will be revealed soon is Active Aerodynamics.
In the Spyder Stradale because the larger kidney grille allows air into the engine, a smaller scoop underneath the license plate in the center, conceals a movable front spoiler that moves in the direction of airflow. At the rear of the car, for the first time in a BMW, we will see a Pop-Up Aerodynamic aid which will lift up and then slide out, an additional lip on the top of the spoiler that also raises for extra downforce.
The interior is being seen as “an environment that is free of complications or distractions”, lightweight bucket seats with a hooded collar that can be covered in leather or a range of sustainable materials;, sharkskin is looking to be an unconventional choice in a search for a new luxury.
The dash of the car lives up to the above comment, as it is very minimalsitic, the larger airvents are removed and in place, we will thin strips across the dash. Also, we will see Z4-like metalic knobs facing the driver. Entertainment and navigation functions are hidden from view in which could only decribe the dash as minimalistic.
Another factor in the Spyder Stradale’s cost effectiveness is the sharing of the backbone and major components from the matrix that spawns across the 5, 6 and 7 series. The Spyder Stradale could also form the basis of a Two seater Rolls-Royce Roadster in which customers have asked for something more “intimate” than a Drophead Coupe.
Sustainable drivetrains could be featured in the Spyder Stradale, as a susbstitute for conventional petrol choices. A mild or full hybrid could be offered with the electric motors being placed alongside the transmission, including a variation of BMW’s upcoming Hydrogen fuel cell technology. Petrol engines could retain a high performance V8 or indeed a V10 study that BMW considered for the next M5 which would release more than 600 PS; this could either be mated to a conventional automatic transmission or a future 9 speed double clutch transmission.
Since the project has recently gotten underway and the excitement of such a concept is filling the corridors with excitement, it is possible that the “Vision” designation could be attatched to this concept, possibly to embody its German ancestory.
A debut could take place at next year’s IAA in Frankfurt. A Production car would not arrive until 2014.
What’s in a name? The usual suspects have been identified such as Z6 , Z8 , Z9 or even Z10, but the Spyder Stradale designation will remain, all it needs is a figure.
There is still plenty of time to Dream.”