Updated on October 1, 2022
BMW never produced a Z8 coupe, but if it had, it would have resembled the Oletha from a startup called Smit Vehicle Engineering.
The Oletha is not based on BMW’s brief production of the Z8 convertible in the early 2000s. Rather than that, it has much more humble origins.
According to the interior shots and the shape of the rear windshield, the donor vehicle is the coupe variant of the first-generation BMW Z4.
Smit Vehicle Engineering has omitted the donor’s flame surfacing in favor of a smooth, almost voluptuous body entirely constructed of carbon-fiber composites.
This helps maintain a healthy weight, as the curb weight is only 3,090 pounds.
That figure is even more impressive when you consider the Oletha is powered by a V-8 engine, just like the Z8 it attempts to emulate.
A 4.4-liter V-8 powers the Oletha. It’s the same engine that powered the E92 M3 GTS, and it produces 450 horsepower and a redline of 8,500 rpm.
This configuration is coupled to a six-speed manual transmission and drives the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.
The chassis is equipped with KW’s two-way adjustable suspension, AP Racing brakes, forged monoblock wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
Additionally, buyers can specify a carbon barrel wheel to reduce weight further.
Smit Vehicle Engineering describes this specification as a “basic framework” upon which the buyer can build their custom Porsche 911s, much like Singer Vehicle Engineering and Gunther Werks do with theirs.
Additionally, the Oletha is priced similarly to some of those custom 911s. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the starting price is $450,000.
That’s a lot of money, but you’re getting a rare car built almost entirely by hand for that price.
Smit Vehicle Engineering is not the only company that uses the Z4 to build customized sports cars.
Additionally, Boldmen unveiled the CR4 sports car based on the latest Z4 convertible this week.
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