Eager to demonstrate that it hasn't forgotten its "Ultimate Driving Machine" roots among all the front-drive city cars and crossover abominations, BMW is rumored to be working on a new supercar to cap its lineup. Said to be a pet project of chief executive Norbert Reithofer, the tentatively-dubbed Z Spyder Stradale could serve as a successor to the Z8 roadster while demonstrating the company's technologies in a new package.

Spyder Stradale was a name given to a special version of the '40s-era 328 MM (similar to the Buegelfalte model recently sold in Monaco), and follows the likes of the 5 Series Gran Turismo and the Gran Coupe in employing evocative Italian nomenclature to "sex up" the otherwise conventional alphanumeric nameplates typically used by the German automaker. The form, meanwhile, reportedly calls for a long hood, short rear deck and low-slung seating position – not unlike the production Z4, then. Carbon fiber construction would figure large in the vehicle's body panels, possibly including a two-piece retractable hard-top made of the lightweight woven material and active aerodynamics.

Power could come from a variety of sources – including a V8 or even rescuing the V10 engine from the outgoing M5 – coupled to such Efficent Dynamics features as start/stop engine management, regenerative braking and even a mild hybrid system incorporating an electric motor into a dual-clutch transmission with as many as nine gears.

Sources suggest a debut in concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show next year, with a possible market introduction by 2014. This all sounds mighty promising, but with the current economic climate, we can't help but wonder if the Spyder Stradale would be destined to serve strictly as a show car. Thanks for the tip, pshinmd!

[Source: E90Post.com]

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