Around and about, September 1987

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BMW Sportster gets go-ahead

Just 154 inches of resilient plastic over a steel monocoque clothe the BMW Z1 sportscar, which is to be made from June 1988 onward at the rate of six per day.

Neither UK availability nor price have been revealed, but it seems there will be little change from £20,000. Nor will there be any specific RHD model before 1989.

BMW’s 325i six, of 170 bhp, is mounted behind the front axle to drive the rear wheels. That rearward engine, and the 0.34Cd (closed) body which has a modest degree of ground-effect from an undertray, both assist a claimed 1G cornering capability.

Top speed is likely to be 135-140 mph, 0-62 mph will take around seven seconds for 2420 lbs of Z1. Not displayed until this month’s Frankfurt Show, the Z1 previewed as a BMW Technik GmbH design exercise in 1986. The mildly surprising decision of BMW’s board to make the swiftly-developed (3 years) soft-top may cause Porsche some further heartache with its four-cylinder range, which is also expected to feature a cabrio soon.

Close battle for Renault 5 Cup

The closely-contested Renault 5 Elf Turbo UK Cup reached its seventh round at Snetterton, where Grimshaw took the Philips Award for pole position but was out-accelerated off the line by the Graham Goode cars of Gibson and Martell. Grimshaw was eventually black-flagged for kerb-jumping and Williams, having worked his way into the lead, had the flywheel come adrift on the last lap.

So David Martell won, at 84.63 mph for the 15 laps, from McGovern, Gibson and Jones— only 2.79 seconds covering these four places at the finish.

Glynn came from seventeenth on the grid to fifth, setting a lap-record of 86.3 mph. Barrie Williams’ lead of 68 points was now only six ahead of Gibson’s tally.