M Roadster Returns for 2006

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 7, 2005…The BMW M Roadster returns to the stable of BMW M products for the 2006 model year. This time it is based on the enhanced and widely acclaimed BMW Z4 Roadster. The Z4 Roadster receives a number of enhancements for the 2006 model year, not the least of which are the latest Valvetronic inline six cylinder engines.

The new BMW M Roadster

The car that so many enthusiasts have been asking for, the 2006 BMW M Roadster, will make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2006, alongside the 2006 Z4 Roadster.

At the heart of the new M Roadster is BMW M’s award winning, 3.2-liter in-line six cylinder engine. In 2005, this engine was voted “Engine of the Year” by an international jury a record fifth consecutive time. With its high-speed concept, this engine works through a six-speed manual transmission to provide exhilarating performance in all speed ranges. As in the BMW M3, this 3,246 cc engine features dual overhead cams, double-VANOS variable valve timing, and six individual throttle plates. This normally aspirated engine generates more than 100 hp per liter. On the road, this means 0 – 60 in less than five seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.

The M Roadster features the speed-sensitive variable M differential lock, already well-proven and admired in the M3. It provides outstanding stability and traction, particularly when accelerating out of bends. The M differential lock enables the enthusiast to fully experience the benefits of rear wheel drive. Under challenging conditions such as a different frictional coefficient on each side of the car, often the case in wet or slippery weather, the system contributes to a remarkable level of traction and stability.

New generation of six-cylinder engines for the Z4 Roadster

More power isn’t limited to the M Roadster. The 2006 Z4 Roadsters will feature two different 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engines. These new-generation powerplants, with the BMW engine designation N52, both feature BMW’s latest aluminum and magnesium construction and include double-VANOS variable valve timing and Valvetronic for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Six speeds in all models

Both 2006 Z4 Roadster models will come standard with six-speed manual transmissions. The available six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission for both models offer SMG-style shift paddles behind the steering wheel to allow the driving enthusiast to be fully engaged while retaining the attributes of an automatic transmission.

Chassis and suspension designed for outstanding ride, handling and safety

The BMW Z4 Roadster was designed from the outset for maximum chassis stiffness. At 14,500 Nm/degree of static torsional stiffness, this is the stiffest bodyshell in the segment.

In addition to thrilling agility, it also means that the BMW Z4 Roadster provides class-leading occupant protection. It achieved excellent results in the demanding EuroNCAP crash test – four out of five stars, a remarkable accomplishment for an open two-seater. In the 2004 EuroNCAP crash test, the Z4 Roadster scored 15.64 points for head-on collisions and 16 points for side-on collisions both out of a possible 16, the best results ever measured on the dummies in a roadster. These results earned the Z4 Roadster the EuroNCAP “Best-in-Class” Award. With the best test results in its segment, the Z4 Roadster offers better passenger protection than many fixed-roof cars.

New Dynamic Stability Control sets the standard for active safety

For 2006, the Z4 Roadster and M Roadster benefit from the latest developments in DSC to provide the utmost in active safety. Emergency braking capability is maximized by features such as Brake Drying, which works to keep the brakes dry in wet conditions, and Brake Standby which immediately positions the brake pads nearer the discs whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal quickly in anticipation of an immediate move for the brakes. Emergency braking is enhanced further by automatic Brake Fade Compensation, which helps to maximize brake pressure and stopping ability whenever the brakes get hot.

Smooth starts and stops are facilitated by the Start-Off Assistant, which holds the brakes briefly on a hill after the brake pedal is released in order to prevent the car from rolling back, and Soft Stop, which allows for smooth stops every time.
The DSC system in the M Roadster is designed to take full advantage of the capabilities of the M differential lock.

Steering to match the performance

The Z4 Roadster was the first to use BMW’s electromechanical Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. For the 2006 Z4 Roadster, Servotronic vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering will be standard along with EPS.
The M Roadster uses a hydraulic power assist system tailored to its higher performance capability.

High-performance Compound Braking System for the M Roadster

To maximize its braking capabilities, the new M Roadster uses BMW M’s floating compound high performance braking system originally conceived for the M3 CSL and included in the M3 Competition Package. With weight-saving aluminum hubs and steel cross-drilled discs, this system minimizes the risk of warping under hard use.

Design enhancements to match the performance

Both the updated Z4 Roadster and the new M Roadster continue the characteristic design language of BMW Roadsters. The modified front section incorporates new foglights and reflectors. The newly standard xenon headlights feature the four lighted rings that have quickly become a BMW design hallmark. The restyled rear taillights include BMW’s two-stage Adaptive Brake Lights.

The M Roadster distinguishes itself from the standard Z4 starting with its front air dam consisting of an X-shaped combination of lines and openings, plus the large air intake scoops. The M Roadster uses exclusive double-spoke design 18-inch alloy wheels. And last, but certainly not least, the rear of the M Roadster incorporates a horizontal diffuser and the four round tailpipes which have become a hallmark of BMW M design.

The distinctive M touches continue in the interior. As on other BMW M products, the white-on-black instruments include red indicator needles accentuated by white illumination. Also included is the engine speed band in the tachometer. As in other BMW M cars, the yellow pre-warning field and red warning field show the safe operating range of engine speed as a function of oil temperature. As the temperature of the engine oil increases, the suggested speed range increases, making it easier for the driver to know when the engine operating temperature allows full throttle usage.

Other interior elements are also upgraded for the M Roadster, including the steering wheel, gearshift knob and door sills.
New exterior colors, including three that are exclusive to BMW M, allow the new Z4 or M Roadster to be tailored to individual tastes.

Just as it is with the Z4 Roadster, all BMW M Roadsters will be built exclusively at BMW’s U.S. manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC. Full U.S. product information for both the 2006 Z4 Roadster and M Roadster will be available before their world debuts in January.

Courtesy of BMW NA

John Works Cooper GP Kit

A great sequel to the Cooper S, or perhaps a better car altogether? Take a look at what UK based “John Cooper Works” has been doing to the Cooper S recently. It is a nice addition to the line, even though it’s existence will be limited!

It may sound like a mouthful when reading on your screen, but the title is true, and has just as much mind blowing features to go with it. Those interested in the European sport compact market should familiarize themselves with the company “John Cooper Works”, founded by life long Mini tuner John Michael Cooper. Early in 2005 John’s company produced a performance package, called the “John Works Cooper Performance Kit” which pushed the known limits of what Mini would allow as a fully warranted Mini Cooper.

The John Works Cooper Performance Kit, consisted of suspension, interior, and engine parts to enhance a factory mini making it both look, and perform better then a stock cooper S. Most of the parts required dealer instillation to maintain the factory warranty, and as a whole amounted to a mini that produced 210hp as opposed to 160 on the stock S model.

John Cooper Works GP Kit

Newly introduced during a Mini United meeting in Misano Italy, is a totally new kit from John Cooper Works called the John Cooper Works GP Kit (or GP Kit for short). The kit consists of similar parts that are found in the Works Cooper, but with a few added changes to give it more spice.

New Performance Features Include

– Power is up to 218hp (8 more then the John Cooper Works Kit)
– Torque is up to 180 ft/lbs (Power and torque increases are stated to be mostly due to intercooler modifications)
– High performance brake upgrade with red calipers
– Special edition ultra-lite 18″ alloy wheels
– Control arms are now aluminum as opposed to steel (reduces weight)
– Minor bodywork and trim modifications to reduce weight
– Removal of portions of sound insulation material
– AC is removed (is also a no charge option if desired)
– Rear seats are optional
– New aerodynamics package to reduce drag coefficient
– Standard Recaro sport seats

With the enhancements to the body, interior and other components, the Works GP Kit is actually a limited edition car, more then a “kit”. The car is said to be 88 Lbs lighter then a standard Mini Cooper S production model, which itself is no heavyweight! The car is also unmistakable coming with new ground effects, front spoiler, and lastly a new rear wing. The aerodynamic package is both for looks, and to reduce drag.

The appearance is much more aggressive then the standard S, however the rear wing is something that may not go over well with some people. One last thing that sets the Works GP apart from other Coopers, is the signature color chosen for all copies of this car. All Works GP cars will come in an exclusive grey-blue metallic, with pure silver roof paint treatments. Since this is a limited edition car, there will only be a quantity of 2,000 total units, all priced around 30,000 Euros.

Story by: Matt Wellumson
Photography provided by: BMW Media Relations