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05-31-2006 10:15 AM #1
Z6 details beginning to take shape
Autoweek magazine reports in its May 29, 2006 issue that details for the upcoming BMW Z6 are beginning to take shape. Conceived as a follow-up to the Z8 and intended to compete with Mercedes' Sl line-up, the new front-engined/rear drive 2 seat sports car will be available in a roadster and a coupe version. Pricing is expected to be below the Z8's $130,000 with volume considerably higher. Still in the prototype stage, one full-size model is reported to exist in Munich and a test mule has been spotted lapping the Nurburgring. The Z6 is expected to be about the same size as the existing 6 Series and will borrow mechanical components from both the 5 and 6 Series. BMW hopes to keep weight under 3300 lbs. by increasing the use of aluminum in the chassis. 3 engines choices are planned including the new 3-liter, twin-turbocharged inline six, a 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 (read Alpina), and an updated version of the M5's 5-liter V10. Despite protestations to the contrary, styling is expected to take its cues from the Z4 (see Z-Achterbahn below). Also in the works are an entry level Z2 and a replacement for the Z4. The real question is: where does all this leave the Z8?
05-31-2006 10:33 AM #2
05-31-2006 10:47 AM #3
06-01-2006 06:56 AM #4
06-01-2006 08:44 AM #5
06-01-2006 10:29 AM #6
Re: Many E31 owners would disagree with that...
I have always been a fan of the 8-Series' styling and almost bought one when they first came out. The design is very handsome and I still think they are the best looking coupes BMW has ever produced. However, to me eye, the Z8 is in an entirely different class, competing successfully with some of the most beautiful automobiles ever built by any company. Given BMW's current styling brief, I think Jack and Z8 Bob are absolutely correct in their assessments and the Z8 does represent the high water mark in BMW design. I fully expect to see the Z8 achieve "classic" status in the future as more and more people react to the gimmicks passed off as styling cues on its contemporaries. So where does that leave our discussion? How about one of each and we can rest our case!
06-01-2006 04:18 PM #7
Happy to have an 8-series as my work car...
I too think it's a cool car but agree wholeheartedly with GM. Are there any car companies doing enything truly amazing with design? Even Ferrari is putting out some pretty uninspired designs of late. The 360 looks like it could have come off of an Acura assemblyline.
I like that DB9 (no surprise) but most everything else leaves me cold. That Bentley is such a waste. My wife says it looks like a Chrysler and I can't really argue with her.
What else is out there?
Audis are bulbous.
Mercedes new SL is downright feminine (at least they can sell to half the population) and their other cars seem to take their styling cues from either Lexus or the Ford Taurus. Don't get me wrong, they've got some nice bells and whistles but I'm talking about pure styling.
Jaguar had its moment 40 years ago and has never come back.
Nothing from Japan.
Ditto the USA.
A shame really.
06-02-2006 01:02 PM #8
06-02-2006 11:13 AM #9
Re: Z6 details beginning to take shape
One of the many things that led me to buy a Z8 was the idea of having something with classic looks and contemporary performance. If one gets in the game of having the latest thing, such as buying the hottest Porsche (I think they're great cars) available today, you can be assured that in 6 months or a year you won't have the latest and greatest. I was hoping to get out of that cycle, and still have something that's fairly reliable and that I can get serviced here in the hinterlands - the frame controversy has put a bit of a dent in the "practical exotic" notion, but I still think the car will look great to me in 10 years (if I'm around then).
I had been on the waiting list for the new M5 (had an e39 M5 as a daily driver for 3 years and loved it), but after buying the Z8 decided against the new one, in part because of the SMG tranny. Assume the Z6 will have the same, though BMW may be offering a 6-speed option in the U.S. for the M5 eventually, which might also make it easier to do one for the Z6. I'm sure it will be a great car, with some features I'd prefer (a better folding top with a glass window, for example), but I'm not terribly interested at the moment.
06-02-2006 07:25 PM #10
Re: Z6 details beginning to take shape
I think you've hit upon one of the most appealing aspects of Z8 ownership: the car's styling is timeless which raises it above the "flavor of the month" status most other contemporary exotics must endure. Combined with exhilarating performance and less than exotic maintenance requirements, you end up with an ideal candidate for a satisfying long-term relationship, something which has become almost impossible to find in so many areas of modern technology, not just the automotive world.
As far as transmissions for the Z6 are concerned, the current plan is to equip the car with an all-new double-clutch sequential manual gearbox. Grease Monkey
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