BMW Z4 with M3 E92 engine looks like the Z8 coupe that never was
No Z8s were harmed during the filming of this film. Now that that’s settled, what exactly is this retro coupe? It started out as a BMW Z4 before engineering brothers Willem and Kaess Smit decided to create a hybrid. No, not the hybrid you’re probably thinking of right now. The design is inspired by the modern equivalent of the 507, but each body panel is custom made from carbon fibre.
It’s called the Smit Oletha and has been coming together for the past two years after borrowing from the Bavarian coin bin. The Californian duo made the BMW Z4 E86 three times stiffer than the Z8 and used the 4.0-liter unit from the E92 M3. It was more than just an engine transplant as it was heavily modified to mirror the larger 4.4-litre V8 from the M3 GTS.
Top of the line released a new video featuring the achingly beautiful coupe, and boy, does it sound absolutely glorious. The engine develops 450 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque sent to the rear axle. A six-speed ZF manual gearbox from the E92 M3 channels the power and works with a mechanical limited-slip differential. The custom engine breathes through a pair of 3D printed exhaust tips. 0 to 60 mph takes about four seconds in a car that weighs 1,401 kilograms (3,088 pounds).
The BMW Z4 has a long list of mods
As for the wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, they are milled from a single piece of aluminum. They have an old-school design to echo the classic construction theme while using modern technology. Behind them are AP Racing brakes to deal with the extra punch coming from the V8. For packaging reasons, the BMW Z4 inherits the steering pump from an E60 M5.
We could go on and on mentioning the deployable rear spoiler specially designed for this unique build. The BMW Z4 restomod also features adjustable suspension and over 100 3D printed components. As you probably already figured out, it’s quite expensive – $450,000. While the car Top of the line driven had a left-hand drive layout, the Smit Oletha was also designed with an RHD setup. Only 100 conversions are expected.
[Source: Top Gear / YouTube]