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Z9-a Audi TT Wannabe? I don't think so-read this! (archive)

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Posted by Rich on September 23, 1999 at 22:14:13:

I've excerpted this from a a much longer article in the British car magazine AutoExpress which analyzed the Z9 (they, BTW, saw the Z9 up close and personal and never mentioned any resemblance to the TT: "German giant BMW has revealed a stunning new grand tourer, reincarnating the legendary 6-Series. Presented by BMW chief Joachim Milberg at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Z9 Gran Turismo is a 155mph, diesel-powered sports car, aimed at stealing sales from Ferrari and Aston Martin.

"This is a car that revives the tradition of the 635CSI grand tourer of the mid-Eighties; it's a car that will cruise happily all day along Europe's motorways but is equally at home on the race track - if you've got the money and urge to throw this luxurious beast about.

"... The second thing to catch your attention is the car's sheer size and aggressive appearance. Sitting on its specially commissioned magnesium wheels (21 inches at the rear, 20 inches for the front) the Z9's muscular flanks give an impressive road stance. From the tip of that remodelled and brushed-aluminium grille to the butch, pumped-up rear end, the Z9 looks like it means business. It's powered by "the world's most powerful diesel engine, with a torque curve that puts the hot
M5 or V12 range-topper to shame. It will also return a relatively conservative 29mpg - perfect for a long-haul trip. In keeping with its GT spirit, top speed will be electronically restricted to 155mph, as it is in the rest of Germany's high-performance machines.

Built on an extended version of the same lightweight chassis used by its smaller Z8 brother, the Z9 has
an aluminium framework with a carbon composite skin. Not only does this save tonnage, the skin also helps add rigidity, which can only enhance the handling.
Will it ever be made? Although Professor Milberg was at pains to point out this is only a concept, several key members of the design team confirmed exclusively to Auto Express that BMW only makes concepts when the car is a long way down the road to production.
If the Z9 does reach the streets - and we are certain a slightly more conservative version of it will - anyone with the money (100,000 is a suggested purchase price) can secure a very special machine indeed.

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