Report: BMW to unveil Z9 concept this month

BMW will use the Shanghai auto show later this month to unveil a cocnept version of its forthcoming Z9 sports car, according to trade publication Automotive News.

Set to be unveiled April 22nd, the concept will preview what is sure to be BMW's most expensive model -- a rival to the Mercedes SL-Class and Audi R8, and a sucessor to the Z8 sports car.

A source to the publication said BMW aims to sell 15,000 units anually. BMW sold just 5,700 Z8s between 2000 and 2003.

A BMW insider told Auto News the Z9 will have a folding hardtop roof and a front-engine configuration. The source said BMW might also offer a fixed-roof coupe version.