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BMW Z9 Concept: The prototype that set trends in BMW vehicle design.

In the world of classic cars, there are models that stand out for their innovation and vision of the future. One of these is the BMW Z9 Concept, a car that set a milestone in 21st century automotive design. In this article, we will explore the BMW Z9 Concept in depth, from its introduction in 1999 to its distinctive features and revolutionary technology. Let’s discover together how this concept laid the foundation for the development of other BMW brand models.

Foto: © BMW AG

The BMW Z9 Concept: A Dream Come True

The BMW Z9 Concept, also known as the Z9 Gran Turismo or Z9 GT, is a four-seat coupé car that was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1999. Designed by Adrian van Hooydonk under the direction of Chris Bangle, the Z9 Concept was a bold, avant-garde statement of BMW’s vision for automotive design in the new millennium. Its carbon fibre body on an aluminium chassis set the stage for a lightweight and agile vehicle, without compromising safety or comfort.

A Revolutionary Interior

The interior design of the BMW Z9 Concept was a showcase of innovation and avant-garde. A large 8.8-inch screen in the centre of the dashboard displayed all the necessary information for the driver, with the exception of the speedometer and tachometer, which were conventional analogue instruments. This screen was located within the driver’s field of vision, allowing the driver to view it while concentrating on the road. The controls were operated by a large multi-function button located between the front seats.

The Concept of Intuitive Interaction

The Z9 Concept featured BMW’s revolutionary Intuitive Interaction Concept, which allowed the driver to easily activate functions while driving, without the need to constantly examine and manipulate conventional controls. This concept, called the Intuitive Interaction Concept, consisted of a combination of a rotary knob and push button for selecting functions. Confirmation of the selected mode was shown on the dashboard-mounted display. With this device, it was possible to control several hundred vehicle functions.

Foto: © BMW AG

Technological Innovations and Ergonomics

The BMW Z9 Concept pioneered the introduction of new technologies and redefined ergonomics in automotive design. One of the most prominent innovations of the Z9 Concept was the iDrive system, which revolutionised the way drivers interact with vehicle functions. Although iDrive was first implemented in series production in the BMW 7 Series (E65) in 2001, the Z9 Concept was one of the first prototypes to feature this technology.

The Impressive Exterior Design of the BMW Z9 Concept

The exterior design of the BMW Z9 Concept was truly impressive and striking. It featured BMW’s signature long bonnet and short rear decklid, creating a sporty and dynamic appearance. The ‘face’ of the Z9 incorporated iconic BMW design elements, such as the double round headlights framing the central kidney grille. It also featured large 20-inch wheels at the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear, hinting at its exceptional performance capability.

Seagull Wing Doors and Other Innovative Features

One of the most striking features of the BMW Z9 Concept were the gullwing doors, which gave it a futuristic and elegant appearance. However, unlike other cars with similar doors, the Z9 Concept was also equipped with conventional doors, which allowed for greater convenience and functionality. The gull-wing doors opened automatically at the touch of a button on the electronic key. Pressing the button on the remote control also opened and closed the doors.

In addition to the innovative doors, the Z9 Concept had other notable features. For example, the front and rear turn signals used neon light technology, while the rear lights incorporated light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These lighting advances contributed to greater visibility and a sleek, modern appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions about the BMW Z9 Concept

Did the BMW Z9 Concept go into series production?

No, the BMW Z9 Concept never went into series production. However, many of its innovations and features influenced the development of other BMW models.

Which technologies from the Z9 Concept were implemented in other BMW vehicles?

One of the outstanding technologies of the Z9 Concept that was implemented in other BMW vehicles was the iDrive system. This revolutionary control interface was first introduced in the BMW 7 Series (E65) in 2001 and was later extended to other BMW models.

Are there any cars similar to the Z9 Concept available today?

While the Z9 Concept did not go into series production, its influence on automotive design can be seen in some current BMW models, such as the 8 Series and 4 Series, which feature design elements inspired by the Z9 Concept.