Last month, a new rumor surfaced in the BMW world and a new concept seemed to rise from ashes: BMW Z Spyder Stradale. According to sources close to BMW, 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.
Labeled as Dr. Norbert Reithofer’s “Dream Project”, the BMW “Z” Spyder Stradale takes off from the original BMW California Spyder Project. The new concept is said to have 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 are equally important in this model and there is an evaluation to present the car when the customer opens the door.
The key element behind this concept 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.
The Spyder Stradale picks up where the Z8 left, and retains an aluminum structure. The front of the car will be a mix of steel, aluminum and magnesium. For the passenger area, there is an addition of a carbon fiber tube that will be bonded with an aluminum floorplan. The rear cross frames will also be carbon fiber with the rear suspension a mix of aluminum, 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 aluminum and reinforced plastic is being used for the front wings and rear bootlid.
Design elements are still in initial phases, but BMW sources say to expect a very sport, aggressive front end with signature indicators (a feature of all up and coming BMW Coupes and Roadsters) underneath the headlights which will be smaller thanks to the latest developments in LED technology.
The BMW Z Spyder Stradale will feature a larger kidney grille that allows more air into the engine. Also, a movable front spoiler will move 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 that lifts up and then slides out. There is also an additional lip on the top of the spoiler that 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 new luxury.
The dashboard is very minimalistic, the larger air vents are removed and replaced with thin strips across the dash. The metallic knobs seen in the new Z4 will be introduced in Spyder Stradale also. Entertainment and navigation functions are hidden from view, to further enhance the minimalistic look.
Sustainable drivetrains could be featured in the Spyder Stradale as a substitute 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.
The concept could have its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but a production car would not arrive until 2014.
As far as badging, the usual suspects have been identified: Z6 , Z8 , Z9 or even Z10, but the Spyder Stradale designation will remain.
Rendering by Andrei Avarvarii for TopSpeed