No Z8 has been hurt during the making of this film. Now that that’s settled, what exactly is this retro-flavored coupe? It started out as a BMW Z4 before engineering brothers Willem and Kaess Smit decided to create a hybrid. No, not the hybrid you are probably thinking of right now. The design takes after the 507’s modern-day equivalent, but every body panel is custom-made from carbon fiber.
It’s called the Smit Oletha and came together in the last couple of years after borrowing from Bavaria’s parts bin. The Californian duo made the E86 BMW Z4 three times stiffer than the Z8 and utilized the E92 M3’s 4.0-liter unit. It was more than just an engine transplant as it was heavily modified to mirror the bigger 4.4-liter V8 of the M3 GTS.
Top Gear has released a new video with the achingly beautiful coupe, and boy, it sounds absolutely glorious. The engine puts out 450 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear axle. A six-speed ZF manual gearbox from the E92 M3 channels the power and works with a mechanical limited-slip differential. The custom engine breaths through a pair of 3D-printed exhaust tips. 0 to 60 mph takes around four seconds in a car that weighs 1,401 kilograms (3,088 pounds).
The BMW Z4 Boasts An Extensive List Of Mods
As for the wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, they’re milled from a single piece of aluminum. They have an old-school design to echo the classic theme of the build while using modern technology. Behind them are AP Racing brakes to cope with the extra oomph coming from the V8. Due to packaging reasons, the BMW Z4 inherits the steering pump from an E60 M5.
We could go on forever, mentioning the deployable rear spoiler specifically made for this unique build. The restomod BMW Z4 also has an adjustable suspension and more than 100 3D-printed components. As you have likely figured out by now, it’s quite expensive – $450,000. While the car Top Gear drove had a left-hand-drive layout, the Smit Oletha has been engineered with an RHD configuration as well. Only 100 conversions are planned.
[Source: Top Gear / YouTube]