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BMW Classic in Munich – Click above for high-res image gallery

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From its headquarters in Maranello, Ferrari has traditionally operated two divisions: one that makes exquisite road cars, and another that competes in motorsports. More recently, however, a third division has emerged, with the responsibility of conducting the company's ever-increasing marketing enterprise. The Global Branding Division itself seems to be following two tracks: licensing products as exclusive as the road cars and targeted towards their owners, and marketing merchandise to the Scude

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Too many trips to SEMA have left us immune to the shiny detritus that populates the pages of some of our favorite mags, but when Henrik Fisker, the man who penned the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9, gets into the wheel business, we take notice.

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The legend we had always known was that BMW and Mercedes-Benz had a gentleman's agreement in place not to go after the Porsche 911. For whatever reasons, building a proper two-seat sports car was out of the question, though both build heavier and more accomodating grand touring machines that manage to skirt around the 911's segment.

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Automotive News is reporting that BMW will be unveiling a concept version of the successor to its Z8 sports car at the Shanghai motor show next month.The new Z9 (Z10 seems to fit current naming practices better, but we'll stick with Z9 here because it's what Auto News is reporting) will likely one-up its predecessor with a folding hardtop and possibly a coupe version, as well. The Z9 is likely to get a version of the 500-hp, 5.0-liter V10 from the M5/M6.

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UDPATE: Like you, we're having a hard time wading through the conjecture on what this car is exactly. We mistakenly told you below that the Z9 would be a CL-Class fighter, which is wrong – it will be an SL-fighter (damned Mercedes nomenclature!). However, the test mule still doesn't look large enough to compete with the SL-Class (maybe the SLK, which is why we still think it's a Z4).

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The skies over Germany were full of trial balloons this week, as BMW chairman Helmut Panke has been teasing the German press with possible new products. In an interview with auto motor und sport (rough English translation here), Panke alludes to several possible new BMW models:

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