Concept cars and mass production are on opposite ends of our industry. Usually the designer most willing to challenge the status quo is the one who knows full well that his creations will be used as references only. But in rare cases, the executives give the green light to revolutionary works of art. Such is the case with the BMW Z8.
In need of a new halo car for their brand, a team headed by Chris Bangle and Henrik Fisker built the stunning Z07 concept car for the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show. Inspired by the 507 roadster of the late 50’s, they unveiled a sleek two-seater for the 21st century. Pulling the 4.9L V8 and six-speed manual from the M5, it left the public demanding one for themselves.
The Z8 was launched in 1999 as an all-aluminum roadster with no provision for an automatic transmission. Starring in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan made use of a highly modified version to defeat an evil media magnate. Mostly hand built, these nimble roadsters had starting prices north of $130,000, which was a contributing factor to their limited production.
In 2003, production shifted from BMW to Alpina, and they altered the formula slightly. Installing their own 4.6L V8 and a Steptronic automatic, the Alpina V8 Roadster offered a higher top speed and smoother suspension tuning. Only 450 examples made it to the US, where collectors have hoarded them since 2007.
Naturally aspirated V8 roadsters are one of the most sensible ways to cure depression, so why not choose one that has more heritage and better engineering than anything you have driven before? If you have yet to experience the Z8 firsthand, check out these listings from our dealers and you will understand our devotion to this rare roadster.
2003 BMW Z8
2002 BMW Z8
At Isringhausen Imports