- You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. Walt Disney
Own BMW Z8 (1999-2003)
The BMW Z8 is a roadster produced by German automaker BMW from 1999 to 2003. It was given the E52 BMW model code.
The Z8 was the production variant of the 1997 Z07 concept car. The car design was the effort of a design team led by Chris Bangle. The exterior was designed by Henrik Fisker and the interior by Scott Lempert. The Z07 originally was designed as a styling exercise intended to evoke and celebrate the 1956-'59 BMW 507 and to celebrate the millennium change. The Z07 caused a sensation at the '97 Tokyo Auto Show. The overwhelming popularity of the concept spurred BMW's decision to produce a limited production model called the Z8. 5,703 Z8s were built, 3,160 in ECE and 2,543 in US outfit.
The original Z07 had been designed with production in mind. As a result, practical and regulatory considerations necessitated very few changes for the production model. Nevertheless, the windshield of the Z8 was extended upward, and a larger front airdam was fitted. Both changes were implemented to provide aerodynamic stability and a reasonably placid cockpit environment. The four-spoke steering wheel of the concept car was replaced by a three spoke design. The hardtop was changed from a double-bubble form with a tapering faring to a single dome with a truncated convex backside. The concept's exotic driver's side helmet fairing was eliminated to allow easy operation of the power soft top.
Despite these changes, the Z8 remained extremely faithful to the concept car. The side-mounted turn indicators were integrated into the side vents in a fashion that rendered them invisible until activated. The vintage simplicity of the interior was preserved by hiding the modern equipment under retracting panels. Complex compound curves were preserved through the use of an expensive MIG-welded aluminum space frame. The Z8 even retained the concept's five-spoke wheel design, albeit without the race-style center lug nut.
The Z8's spaceframe was produced in the Dingolfing Plant and the car hand-finished in Munich.