Reports are surfacing from Munich where Susanne Klatten, the richest woman in Germany and heiress to the Quandt family fortune, is alleging she has been blackmailed. The Quandt family, which owns controlling interest in BMW, was outed in a recent documentary outlining the family's wartime activities that included close ties with Adolf Hitler and the use of slave labor during the Holocaust to make batteries and munitions for the Nazis.
According to the reports, Klatten, now married with three children, met a man in a bar with whom she entered into an affair. With the aid of an accomplice, the man secretly filmed their encounters and tried to extort some $51 million from Klatten to keep the matter quiet. The accused blackmailer, Helg Sgarbi, has reportedly done the same with other wealthy German women, but in this instance has claimed motives stemming from his Jewish grandfather's subjugation in the Quandt's factories during the Holocaust. Klatten approached state prosecutors when the ransom demands grew, and Sgarbi is now being held in police custody.
[Source: Inside Line]
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Germans love power and speed. While most of us would have been more than content with a stock BMW Z4 M, the owner of this Z4 that's for sale on a German online vehicle marketplace found that an inline-six with 343 HP couldn't satisfy his lust for speed. So what more reasonable than to throw in a BMW M5 / M6 sourced 5.0-liter V10 engine. But even the M5 V10's 507 HP weren't enough for our German protagonist who decided to replace the Z4's inline-six with an even more powerful, Hartge-prepped version of the V10 delivering a hefty 551 HP. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The last application of the venerable S54B22 in a BMW car was the BMW Z4 M, which featured the motor in a slightly detuned form as compared to the one that made its debut in the E46 BMW M3. The M3's S54B32 made 343hp at a screeching 7,900rpm and 365Nm of torque at 4,900rpm while in the Z4 M, this was reduced to 315hp at 7,900rpm and 340Nm at 4,900rpm.