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    There’s no denying this was a strange looking one, but powered by a big V8 and four-wheel drive it would have been a hoot to drive we reckon. BMW Concepts A look on the rather unusual #V8-powered Z18 from 2000. / #BMW-Z18-Concept / #1995-BMW-Z18-Concept / #BMW-Z18 / #BMW-Concept / #BMW / #V8 / #1995 / #BMW-V8 /

    No roof, four-wheel drive, a 4.4-litre V8 making 355hp and a manual gearbox? This had real potential to be a lot of fun!

    BMW CONCEPTS: The cars they could have made Z18

    When a manufacturer goes to the effort of creating a concept car it’s usually immediately displayed to the public at the nearest upcoming motor show. This is done to seem like the company is pushing ahead, showing off some outside, innovative thinking whilst offering a glimpse into future styling ideas. So on that basis the Z18 concept was a little odd as it made its debut to the public in 2000, some five years after it was built. Even then it only saw the light of day to mark an occasion; the 15th birthday of BMW Technik Gmbh which is the creative team behind most of the concept cars.

    Inspired by the company’s success of the Enduro motorcycles of the 1990s the idea was to create a car counterpart. It was designed as what is best described as a research project, centred around the concept of providing driving pleasure in an unusual way. Or as #BMW described it: “The yearning to explore off-road terrain and the pleasure of mobility under the open skies was combined for the first time on four wheels.”

    That essentially meant creating an #off-road , highly robust roadster that was constructed from a steel chassis and fitted with a plastic body. What you see is what you get; there was no roof although it did apparently have holes in the floor to let any water filter out! Its styling also seems to share a passing likeness to the BMW Z1, but then they were created at the same sort of time by the same design team. Being four-wheel drive it’s safe to assume the running gear was largely borrowed from the X5 that was in development and due to be released in 1999.

    But best of all was the engine, as BMW had selected to create quite a nippy number thanks to the use of a 4.4-lite V8 making 355hp and it was coupled to a manual gearbox! With no roof and not a whole lot of weight that would have made the Z18 good fun to drive, especially off road we reckon!

    It was a practical concept, too, as the inside was described by BMW as incorporating “…a variable interior concept and elevated seating to characterise the innovative driving experience…” The variable part is what made it interesting as it was suggested the cabin could offer two- and four-seater configurations as well as a pick-up style option if required.

    The project obviously never got off the ground and as mentioned, for some reason or another, BMW didn’t even attempt to display it, which seems a shame. You could argue the sports utility concept of the Z18 was turned down a few notches but embraced with the introduction of the X6 and the like, so perhaps the ill-fated 1995 concept did do some lasting good. However, even a lightweight roofless X6 is a long way off this…
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