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Offline AshSimmonds

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BMW Z10 - Supercar Survivor

By Georg Kacher

These are dire days for high-end, high-performance automobiles, so dire that BMW has red-flagged the M1 Homage (which wowed the crowd at Villa d'Este in 2008) and the Z9 two-seater (which was to be derived from the four-door CS show car from Shanghai in 2007), but development work on the mid-engine Z10 continues. The car is being engineered as a coupe and a roadster; both body styles are proper two-plus-twos with substantially more interior room than a Porsche 911. The target weight of the Z10 is in the vicinity of 3300 pounds. When the original supercar idea was outlined a few years ago, a twin-turbo V-8 was the engine of choice. But now that Efficient Dynamics is the name of the game at BMW, engineers are concentrating on a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight six rated at 450 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque (basically an uprated version of the engine that powers the next M3) paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Rumor has it that BMW is also toying with a twin-turbo V-6, which would be lighter and more compact, but those advantages are unlikely to offset shortcomings concerning prestige and heritage.

The Z10's cutting-edge elements include an aluminum and carbon-fiber structure, magnesium chassis parts, and a compact hybrid system that uses an integrated AC motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries. A thermal-management system improves efficiency by preheating lubricants with exhaust gas and by restricting internal airflow. For minimal aerodynamic lift and drag, the ride height and various undercar spoilers and air deflectors are actively controlled.

Positioned above the M5, the Z10 would be priced in the US$110,000 range, although the car is now unlikely to appear before late 2014 or early 2015.


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