BMW Planning Z Spyder Stradale As Successor To Z8?

BMW Planning Z Spyder Stradale As Successor To Z8?

The "halo car." It's a term that gets thrown around almost as much as "supercar"--to the point that it has lost a lot of its meaning. But BMW may be looking to breathe some life back into the concept with a car being called the Z Spyder Stradale. Attributed to BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and aiming for the stratosphere, the car would be a sort of spiritual successor to the Z8, but with a truckload of technology on top.

Starting with a very low-slung, open-top roadster, the Sypder Stradale would add aluminum and magnesium to the typical steel unibody mix. A carbon fiber passenger tub bonded to aluminum is also rumored to play a role. There is even talk of active aerodynamics to provide adequate ventilation at lower speeds, but reduce drag and improve both top speed and fuel economy when rolling fast. But it's the powertrain that starts the real future tech, and earns the Spyder Stradale potential halo status.

How does a nine-speed dual clutch transmission paired with a hybrid electric/V-8 or V-10 drivetrain rated at over 600 horsepower sound? Unrealistic? Perhaps. But Porsche's 918 Spyder Concept proves that it's possible to get near those marks right now, and the Spyder Stradale isn't due out until 2014 at the earliest, according to the report.

Beyond the advanced construction and drivetrain, the Spyder Stradale could also be a rolling testbed for many future sustainable technologies and materials, including shark skin upholstery.

Right now, all of this amounts to little more than wild speculation from a source of unknown credibility. But it surely hits the sweet spot of fun-to-daydream details.

On the other hand, certain aspects of the Spyder Stradale strike similar notes to the rumored-for-production BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. The power goals for that car are a bit lower, and it's not expected to be a roadster, but parallel design premises underlie both:  legitimately greening up the next generation of high-performance cars while retaining a level of design and exclusivity appropriate to a luxury carmaker.

[e90post forums]