5 years before the 6 Series launched this concept car appeared on the show stands.

The BMW Z9 gran turismo concept car features the long hood and short rear deck that have become hallmarks of BMW sport coupe design.

The Z9 concept later became the production 6 series

Beneath the sculpted carbon fibre body panels of the Z9 Gran Turismo lies an aluminum spaceframe chassis offering both extraordinary rigidity and light weight. Large wheels, 20-inch front and 21 inch rear, provide a hint of the performance capability of the Z9's 3.9-liter V8 turbodiesel engine which delivers 413 lb-ft of torque.

The full-length gull-wing doors of the Z9 Gran Turismo concept, which have conventional front-opening doors built in, open to reveal an interior which incorporates a masterfully simple, uncluttered driving environment. Instead of the usual array of buttons, switches and levers, the dashboard houses only the starter button and light switches. Inside the Z9 a unique control knob (with corresponding TV monitor) resides in place of the conventional shift lever operating a number of functions for both the driver and passenger.

The BMW Z9 Gran Turismo concept eventually became the BMW M6 in production form.

Will be featured in the May edition of BMW Car Magazine.