Harking back to good old fashioned science, TC Kline Racing put this BMW Z4 M Coupe on a strict high fibre diet to achieve kick-ass performance and even sharper looks.
No need to mess with the engine mapping, the transmission has also been left well alone; in fact the majority of the results were achieved by stripping the Bimma of any excess steel and replacing it with carbon fibre. Sounds easy? Ha, if only! The truth of the matter is that most of us would be a disaster trying to take things apart and remembering where they went again, let alone working to design plans in order to customise the body shape.
Thankfully TC Kline Racing (well known for their Z4 Roadster’s podium finishes in the Grand-Am Cup circuit) has just turned its hand to improving road cars. Chief wig, Kline used his industry know-how to seek out a raved-about coachbuilder to help him with this project. He found one in nearby Ohio and handed over his top secret drawings and of course his beautifully carbon-copied Roadster, fresh from the factory. The plans for this Roadster then kicked off a bigger wave of custom Z4’s and the M-Coupe pictured here was next to get the treatment.
An entire body of carbon fibre was created (save the bonnet and boot-lid) in reference to the panels designed by Kline. The shell was laid over the steel frame by Kline himself who had patiently whiled away hours of sunshine in his Californian work-house. The doors also kept a thin layer of steel underneath as although on the race track it’s perfectly legal to have 100% carbon fibre doors, road safety margins are obviously a lot stricter. Never the less the weight saving is still significant with the Roadster now down to 1216kg (a reduction of 269kg) and the Coupe 1243kg which means its shed an impressive 252kg. So effective was the surgery that both cars even got to keep luxuries like the stereo and air-con.
Again in accordance with the paper blueprint, the Bimma takes up an inch more road space at each corner and even when sidled up to a Ferrari F430, it manages to save face with its 265/30/18’s up front and 295/25/18’s at the rear – which are wider than the Italian Super car’s. Aside from looking meaner, the Z4 also has more traction which is pretty handy when the power to weight ratio has been upped somewhat!
Kline’s showroom crowd-pleasers are also enhanced with deep front chin spoilers and side vents behind the front wheel arches which accentuate the original factory slashes. You may have also spotted the rear wings which are a bit more low key than the originals. The interior upgrades are again very subtle with only the Recaro seats hinting at any performance advantages.
So then, aside from the carbon fibre shell, what other secrets has Kline got up his sleeve? Well there’s the aluminium flywheel which as well as being lighter is also more durable. The Z4 pair also don thin wall stainless steel exhaust systems that are hand fabricated by Kline. These power inducing objects are also lighter and boost bhp by 12 bringing the total figure to 342.
We of course expected the very best suspension tuning as well since TC Kline works very closely with Koni, a company which create components in accordance with Kline’s individual specifications. Both cars exhibit double adjustable coilovers with VVS springs. Kline is also very proud of his unique camber plates supplied by Koni; these have three degrees of adjustment to sharpen the turn-in and steering feel. The Coupe then gets racy Monoball bushings whereas the Roadster lends itself better to rubber variations.
Despite both cars having the obligatory M3 competition package wheels and brakes, Kline decided he could still raise the game further with Performance Friction examples complete with forged Monobloc callipers – this means four pistons at the front and two at the rear. They’re lighter than the originals by 19.5kg and the sport carbon-metallic pads can squeeze out any unwanted power with unrelenting force. The wider wheels have also been carefully chosen so as not to let the side down in terms of weight. They cost 8.4kg each at the front and 8.8kg at the rear.
The eccentric Orange Coupe is the more fearsome of the two but also suffers with its ride quality on pitted tarmac due to its harsh Monoball bushings. Both models however are noticeable more responsive and produce a rasp exhaust sound. To any other admiring on-looker the carbon body looks very well bonded but Kline being a bit of a perfectionist says it’s still a work in progress. Aside from this minor quibble, the dropped jaws and the wide-eyes of enthusiasts tend to spell out a big approval.
The price is another bonus; you can bag yourself a fully kitted out TC Kline Racing Coupe for $98,500 or the Roadster for $95,800. This means that for UK buyers, you only pay about £10,000 over the list price of a new one. The Coupe incurs slightly more cost due to the complexities of its roof section but its still pretty reasonable considering the amount you can spend customising a car these days. It’s also got to set you thinking ‘do I need a big turbo or will I be able to reach the same power to weight ratio by getting a carbon fibre body?’ It’s a valid consideration and Z4’s like these stand to be a great inspiration!
BMW Z4 M Coupe
BMW standard Z4 M, Capacity: 3246
Power: 342bhp@7900rpm, Torque: 262lb/ft@4900rpm
CHASSIS SUSPENSION :
Front: TC Kline/Koni adjustable coilover with 60mm springs, Monoball bushes, Rear: Multi-link trailing arm, adjustable dampers, springs, Monoball bushes, BRAKES Front: Performance Friction 4-piston calipers, 345mm discs, carbon metallic pads, Rear: Performance Friction 2-piston calipers, 321mm discs, carbon metallic p
Aller, encore une petite dizaine de photos
Et la dernière pour la fin
Photo : Max Earey
Sources & Articles : www.modifiedcars.com