Tony O'Kane | Sep 10, 2009

DESPITE A LACK of official confirmation from BMW, fresh reports suggest the German automaker is still considering wheeling out a mid-engined performance flagship sometime next decade.

Rumours of the so-called Z10 mid-engined supercar first surfaced at the start of this year, with many outlets speculating BMW would fit the low-slung coupe with a variant of the brand's 3.0 litre twin-turbo petrol six - instead of a high-revving V10 or twin-turbo V8.

Present reports say the Z10's powerplant will likely be an inline-six with twin sequential turbochargers, however BMW is apparently toying with the idea of an all-new twin-turbo V6 as well.

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Given the smaller size and better packaging of a V6, such a powerplant would make more sense for a mid-engined performance application.

However, ditching the company's trademark inline-six in favour of a V6 may upset BMW purists, particularly those keen to see a true successor to the classic M1 of the late 1970s resurface.

Power is expected to hover around the 335kW mark, and a peak torque output of 475Nm is anticipated.

A mild hybrid system with regenerative braking and an electric assistance motor is also rumoured.

Lightweight construction methods and featherweight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium are supposedly on the cards for the Z10, and active underbody aerodynamics will reduce drag.

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Styling is still a complete mystery, but Automobile magazine says the Z10 will be built in both coupe and roadster bodystyles. The interior of both models will feature a 2+2 seating layout, and there will reportedly be more interior room than a Porsche 911.

Kerb weight is expected to be around 1500kg.

A timeline for the introduction of the Z10 still doesn't exist, and a motorshow-ready concept isn't likely to surface anytime soon.

The recently-revealed BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept (pictured) gives some clues about potential styling features, but don't expect to see anything solid on the Z10 until late 2014 at the earliest.

[Automobile]

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