Future sister the BMW Z9 :
to the family
Gran Turismo Coupé
|The lines of the
exterior design are clean, simple, yet dramatic, with a long,
sleek bonnet and short, muscular tail. At the front is the unmistakable BMW kidney grille and from the side,
the huge wheels - 20 inch at the front and 21 at the rear - and high waist give the car real
presence. An aluminium space frame gives the monocoque chassis excellent torsional rigidity and crash
performance, while carbon fibre bodywork combines great strength and light weight.The Z9 is
large car, five metres long and two metres wide with a 3.1 metre wheelbase. Access to the interior is via two full-length gullwing doors, which open
at the press of a button.
| Cleverly, conventional doors are designed into each "wing" for use when space
does not allow the gullwings to be used.Once inside, the lines of the cabin are clean and simple and the ambience extremely light and
airy Most noticeable is the lack of switchgear. All the secondary controls are operated by a single
rotary/push unit on the centre console and four buttons to select "audio", "communications", "comfort" and "drive".A large screen in the centre of the dashboard displays all the information the driver requires in a
simple graphic display, apart from the speedometer and rev counter which are conventional
analogue instruments directly in front of the driver.
The only other driver controls in the cabin are a starter button on the dashboard, and gear
selection and indicator stalks on the steering column.Power comes from the world's first V8 turbo
diesel, which featured for the first time in the 740d when it was launched earlier this year in Germany to wide critical acclaim.
It is a common rail, direct injection unit which produces more torque than any engine in BMW's history.
Peak torque is a staggering 413 lb ft (560 Nm), which is maintained constantly between 1750 and 2500 rpm to give
outstanding performance even at this low end of the rev range. Maximum power is an impressive 245 bhp.
Choosing a diesel engine to power a large sports coupé is a reflection of BMW's confidence in the refinement
and performance characteristics of this ground-breaking unit.
Similar in balance to the Z3 and Z8 it's been styled with a short rear and a lengthy bonnet.
The doors make a massive style statement. Depressing the button on the remote control will both open and
close a door. In fact holding the key down will see the door repeat the procedure indefinitely,
flapping it's wing in an amusing trick for the office car park. Strangely, conventional doors are
fitted into the gull wings, should you wish to enter the car in a less ostentatious manner.Enormous wheels grace the back of the car with a whole 21 inches of alloy sitting in the arch. The front make do with mere 20 inch wheels. The face of the car takes some traditional design
cues including the now familiar twin headlamps and kidney shaped grille. The headlights merge into neon indicators on top, the same neon technology as used for
the rear indicators. Rear light clusters are made up of sets of light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Starting the engine is achieved with a simple starter button and drive or reverse is engaged via a dash mounted lever.
The Steptronic gearbox is operated with steering wheel mounted buttons.
Classic circular dials provide the feedback to the driver. All other functions normally provided by an array of
dials and switches are accessible via a floor mounted lever in place of the gear lever
placing it within reach of the passenger as well as the driver.The control consists of a rotary/push button for the selection of functions with confirmation of
mode by a dash mounted screen. Several hundred functions can be controlled using this device.
|| 3.9 litre
V8 turbo diesel
|| 413 lbs/ft
(560 Nm),constantly 1750/2500 rpm
its predecessor, the Z9 Gran Turismo Coupé , the Z9 convertible once
again represents BMW’s design philosophy of the future. With its
classic silhouette combining a long engine compartment with the short
rear end, this unique convertible bears out all the dynamism of BMW
design. From the front to the rear, all the car’s lines and surfaces
create a feeling of excitement and tension, the highly expressive
lines of the car reduced to the bare essentials exuding that
characteristic BMW profile. You might well say without exaggeration
that the energy of this unique car literally “flows” from front to
rear. The strategy pursued in creating this design was of course to
highlight and reinforce the car’s major elements, BMW design thus
pointing into the future according the new philosophy of “dynamism
very first sight the interaction of the interior and exterior colors
full of contrast clearly alludes to the outstanding character of this
concept car: The dark anthracite gold metallic of the body accentuates
the light cream and silver-gray interior, BMW thus focusing in
particular on the area of the car the customer will experience much
more intensively day in and day out than its exterior: the interior
forming the very “heart” or center of sheer driving pleasure. The
interior design is “open” and light, following lines clearly
inspired by the world of architecture.
technical terms the Z9 convertible follows in the footsteps of its
coupé predecessor. Measuring 4,760 mm or 187.4" in length, it is
slightly shorter than the coupé, but exactly as wide with its overall
width measuring 1,970 mm or 77.6". Thanks to the open roof, the
Z9 convertible measures exactly 1,280 mm or 50.4" in height, 60
mm or 2.4" less than the gran turismo. Wheelbase, finally, is 100
mm or 3.9" shorter at precisely 2,950 mm or 116.1". Unlike
the Z9 gran turismo, the laminated carbon outer skin of the
convertible rests on an extra-strong frame guaranteeing superior
stiffness also with an open car. Power is to be provided by BMW’s
proven 4.4-liter V8 developing maximum output of 210 kW (286 bhp) and
maximum torque of 440 Nm (324 lb-ft). 285/40 tires running on 21-inch
rims at the rear convey this superior power to the road, while the
front tires measure 245/45 and run on 20-inch rims. Extra-large sports
brakes, finally, ensure optimum stopping power.
iDrive: a new definition
of active motoring.
introduces a new definition of active motoring, occupant- and, in
particular, driver-oriented ergonomics of the revolutionary standard
so typical of BMW.With
up to 700 different control functions now being conceivable, any
conventional arrangement or concept would clearly lead to an
unmanageable inflation of knobs and controllers. A further point is
that modern driver assistance systems as well as numerous
communication and comfort functions covering new and increasingly
comprehensive purposes and applications have been introduced in the
cockpits of modern cars to an increasing extent in recent years. Now,
benefiting from the digitalization of electronics and communication
technologies, this trend will continue at an ever-faster pace. Any
attempt to operate and control all options and functions conceivable
in future by means of “hard keys”,
that is physical switches and control units, would by far
exceed the space available around the driver. The result would
inevitably be a cockpit completely overloaded with knobs and
instruments, making it impossible for the driver to perform the
necessary functions even if the standard of ergonomics were improved
to the highest level possible. Driving pleasure as an elementary
experience appreciated so much by the BMW customer would therefore
become quite inconceivable.
thorough analysis – for sheer driving pleasure also in future.
this problem and its consequences, BMW has consistently re-analyzed
all features of the man/machine interface – the function and
information channels between the driver and his car – in the process
carefully checking their structures from the ground up. The amazingly
simple result is that the innumerable functions and the flow of
information to which the driver requires access merely have to be
tailored to each specific driving situation in accordance with their
significance, that is according to current requirements. A further
point is that this re-configuration must be intuitive, allowing the
driver to perform the necessary functions without having to search for
a long time and therefore without being distracted from his actual job
– and, of course, from the motoring pleasure he wishes to enjoy.
The optimum solution:
functions exactly where they are needed.
result of this new perspective covering all function areas is to
structure the functions on three levels, depending on the frequency of
the applications involved and their relevance to motoring. The basic
functions most significant for motoring and safety on the road are
moved to the direct vicinity of the driver. All driving functions are
in the area around the steering wheel, offering the driver direct,
immediate access. Basic functions frequently used and therefore also
requiring rapid access come on a second level and are controlled by
conventional switches on the instrument panel (for example the
lights switch or basic comfort functions such as the temperature
setting on the automatic air conditioning.)
comfort, communication and driver assistance functions account for by
far the largest share of new options and features in a modern car.
Precisely these functions and settings, however, are only rarely
adjusted while driving – although again the information they provide
must be rapidly available at any time. These requirements are
therefore perfectly fulfilled by the Control Center comprising all of
these functions in a logical, ergonomically optimized arrangement
allowing intuitive control by the driver. The monitor directly in the
driver’s line of vision provides all the information required at any
time, without taking the driver’s attention away from the road,
since the monitor, unlike other display concepts, is fitted in the
direct vicinity of the driver’s line of vision to the road ahead.
Through its simple and intuitive control, finally, the operation unit
in the center console gives the driver direct access to the many
function, information and communication options he will be enjoying in