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BMW'sZ4 Coupe Concept Car
Stands on its own this time

BMW's Z4 Coupe concept car: concave and convex design language.

13th September 2005.

If the Coupe version of BMW's Z3 small sports car didn't stir so much emotion, or at least, not as much as its roadster twin did, it looks nearly certain today with the Z4 Coupe concept car which BMW unveiled at the 61st IAA Frankfurt motor show (public days: 15 to 25 September), that things got to change drastically this time.

Contrary to the Z3 Coupe which has been in production between 1998 and 2002, the Z4 Coupe doesn't look this time as a mere addition to the original Z3 roadster (1996-2002).

The 3rd brake light under the spoiler lip emphasises the width of the rear end, just in the right dimension to complement the rear glass lower edge.

The Z4 Coupe stands more clearly as Coupe on its own, not just another version of the open-top brother.

Expected to hit the showrooms next summer, the US-made (in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the Z4 roadster and the X5 crossover SUV are made) Z4 Coupe will target principally Porsche's new Cayman coupe which, in turn, is none but the Boxter roadster's brother.

BMW describes its Z4 Coupé Concept Car as an extremely driver-oriented sports car designed without compromise for agility and dynamic performance.

As usual at the Bavarian luxury brand, the long and sleek engine compartment lid pushes the passenger cell to the rear, while the short front and rear overhangs, through their proportions, express the typical attributes of BMW design.

The engine muscles its power under the long wheelbase, to the rear axle.

Far from being a mere design exercise, the long engine hood is there to cover the longitudinally mounted 3.0-liter straight-six engine developing 265 hp/ 6650 rpm (no less than 88 hp per liter), with 315 Nm of peak torque available between 2500 and 4000 rpm. The same engine is used too, with different settings, in the new 130i, the 330i, the 530i and the 630i Coupé.

In its latest generation, BMW’s 3.0-litre straight-six engine is equipped with a composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase, VALVETRONIC valve control, and other technical innovations, making it the world’s lightest six-cylinder with a power-to-weight ratio of 1.18 kW or 1.60 hp/kilogram. An M3 engine version (inline-six, 3245cc, 343 hp) is expected to crown the Z4 Coupe later with a power boost to 360 hp.

Luggage compartment with the rear lid, wide and high opening angle.

Like most other BMWs, the front engine muscle sends its power under the long wheelbase, straight to the rear axle where the Z4 Coupé is expected to have a final drive ratio shorter than in the Z4 Roadster, allowing even better acceleration, all with the "just in case" safety equipment such as the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), enhanced Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electrical Power Steering (EPS) and a high-performance brake system.

Design - The two-seater Z4 Coupé Concept Car combines the dynamic concave and convex design language of the Z4 Roadster, with the proportions of a classic Coupé based on the body and overall layout of the Roadster.

Elegant and practical... or as practical as a small coupe can be.

More than just putting a roof, BMW’s cardesigners made a Coupé with beautiful dimensions and all-round balance, the A-pillar extending through the roof in a soft curve all the way to the rear end, where it merges with the surrounding areas. The frameless side windows also emphasise the overall dynamic looks.

The luggage compartment offers enough room for two large golf bags beneath the rear lid which opens up wide to a high angle.

Glacier Silver paintwork developed exclusively for this Concept Car gives the Coupé the silken-matt gloss of a sculpture made of solid aluminium, while the nineteen-inch aluminium wheels, made in elaborate casting technology, stand out in three-dimensional appearance, through their dark finish, with the tyres running on 8-inch-wide aluminium rims.

Contrasts of matt / glossy, aluminium / leather, clear / dark colours.

The spoiler integrated in the rear lid enhances stability by pushing the rear-driven wheels downward, while the wide third brake light, just under the spoiler lip, gives further emphasis to the width of the rear end.

The rear lights were developed exclusively for this one-off Concept Car. With a little edge in between, the lights take up the profile of the seam around the rear lid.

Like on both the BMW 1 Series and the 6 Series, the large BMW logo in the rear lid also serves as the mechanism for opening the luggage compartment.

Interior - The matt and glossy finish form clear contrasts with one another in and through the many solid aluminium elements within the car, with soft, high-quality leather in warm colours.

Black and coloured surfaces delineate the various function areas from one another. In its dark finish, the sill line harmonises smoothly with the natural, light interior leather.

In the world of motoring, aluminium and leather are strong symbols of value, elegance and sporting performance. The roof lining is finished completely in light-brown Nubuk leather polished on the surface, contrasting with the glossy leather of the seats, door trim and the steering wheel.

The aluminium pedals feature black leather inserts as a further sign of quality. This special burr leather is a particularly thick, robust and high-quality rendition of cowhide.

19-inch aluminium wheels stand out in three-dimensional appearance.

The floor is carpeted in a special technical textile. Function elements made of burr leather are also integrated in this special textile – and since the strong, sturdy and highly resistant leather integrates the function required directly into the floor cover, there is no need for an additional protective mat on top.

Various combinations of high-quality materials are also to be found in the luggage compartment with the travel baggage directly integrated therein.

Three-dimensional rings around the circular instruments, the spokes on the steering wheel, the door openers and compartment openers, the rotary knob for the air conditioning, the pedals
and the loading sill leading into the luggage compartment are all milled out of one single block of aluminium.

High-gloss polished on the front surface, the three-dimensional rings around the circular instruments  are brushed around the outside. Visual and touch-related contrasts of warm and cold are also to be found in the door handles combining “cold” milled aluminium trim with a “warm” Nubuk leather body. The steering wheel comes with cool aluminium spokes combined with the rim made of high-grip glossy leather.

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