Last summer, BMW unveiled the BMW M1 Homage concept, a taste of what a BMW mid-engined sports car could look like-only to follow up later with confirmation that it had no plans to produce such an Audi R8 competitor. Instead, the board member in charge of BMW's EfficientDynamics division, Klaus Draeger, said BMW would focus on green technologies.
Citing an unnamed insider "privy to BMW's plans," Autocar is reporting today that BMW's previously announced focus on green technology will yield the BMW Z10 ED, a flagship that will showcase new drivelines, electronics and body construction. The Z10 ED will be a two-seater costing around $105,000, developed by BMW's Technik division, and sold in limited numbers.
"The idea is to bring all the very latest technology together in a way that will allow a high level of performance without overburdening the environment in a way that the current crop of supercars do," said the insider. "There is no reason why they need to be mutually exclusive when you consider the sort of technology that exists today. It is just a matter of applying it correctly."
By utilizing its carbon fiber construction techniques, BMW intends the Z10 to weigh no more than 3,087 pounds. Moving forward from just carbon fiber body panels, BMW's engineers have found a way to combine several pieces of the frame into a single sub-assembly. They are also exploring integrated door frames and sill panels to lower curb weight and improve rigidity.
Engine possibilities include a high-pressure turbocharged direct-injected straight six-cylinder making a projected 400-hp. That engine could replace the 3.0-liter in the current BMW lineup. The engine has been conceived in two variations: a conventional mechanical valve system with BMW's VANOS variable valve timing, and another with an electronic valve control that allows a variable compression ratio.
The Z10 ED will also feature stop-start technology, a generator, and brake energy regeneration engineered to story energy in a lithium-ion battery. All of these technologies will filter down to the higher volume BMW models, if all goes according to plan.