I love prototypes which have been lost or aborted during their development—-they have a curious aura of mystery surrounding them, and blistering questions of “what may have been” and “where are they now”. in 2001, BMW was working on a lightweight (2500+ pound) coupe with 300+ HP capable of 0-60 times of under 5 seconds. Judging by the Toyota-like styling, and not-so-BMW-like design features and its MK1 Audi TT inspired minimalist interior—-it is very possible this car was merely a test bed for new technologies. I don’t think the world will have a breakdown because it was never produced, however it can definitely be added to the list of mysterious prototypes which were tested and then dissappeared. I’m guessing this car eventually morphed into the Z4 Coupe in 2006 and maybe used the carbon fiber technologies towards their M3 CSL.
Autocar article: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/BMW-Concepts/248500/
BMW themselves eventually released photos of the car in 2010, as part of their 25th anniversary celebration of BMW Technik GmBH.
The two-seater sportscar was designed to be as light as possible through the use of high-tech materials.
The centre section of the car – from the front bulkhead to the rear bulkhead was a monocoque made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastics. The front and rear subframes were made of aluminium. The final prototype weighed just 1166kgs.
The Z29 was powered by the then-current 336bhp straight-six engine used in the M3, which gave the car a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds.
The Z29′s unusual scissor doors never made it onto a production car, but the Z29 is said to have influenced the 2006 M Roadster.
However the project had its biggest influence on the 2004 M3 CSL, which used carbon-fibre, reinforced plastics for the roof panel, as well as various other body mouldings including the front bumper.
BMW founded the Technik GmbH division in 1985, with the intention of using as a think-tank to ‘develop and innovative, future-oriented and original overall vehicle concepts and sub-concepts away from the constraints of a specific series workflow schedule’. However, the board added that Technik’s objective should ‘always be to develop solutions that have the potential for series development.”