BMW Features Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: BMW Z8 Roadster

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This month we’re going back 19 years to visit an old friend: The BMW Z8. We always figured there would be a 2nd generation of this sleek convertible, but only 2,543 examples were built for the US. Built between 2000 to ’03, it was an all-aluminum homage to the classic BMW 507 roadster. Chris Bangle was the head of design in the 90’s, and he is responsible for bringing BMW into the modern era. When the top brass began to consider a new flagship, Bangle asked Henrik Fisker to sculpt a modern 507.

The project began in 1993, and it was revolutionary from the beginning. A strong foundation was needed, so a space frame was entirely MIG welded. This stiff and light design was fitted with the same 4.9L V8 found in the E39 Series M5. It offered 395 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Placing the engine behind the front wheels made for perfect weight distribution, and it was backed by a six-speed manual transmission. Unlike most roadsters, the removable hardtop was not an afterthought. The Z8 looks just as good then as it does now, and some say it looks even better with the top on. Thanks to our friends at AutoTopNL we can experience one firsthand.

Interesting features include neon lights for the tail and turn signals, offering instant response and low current draw. Being refined and tested over several years, it was ready for launch in early 2000. The base price of $128,000 was quickly inflated by dealers who realized the potential to BMW aficionados. It is a timeless classic that was assembled by hand, and BMW built 50 years of extra parts to keep them on the road. You would have to spend $188,991 adjusted for inflation, and our dealers have proven that the Z8 held its value. If you want a collectible car at a great value, click the link below to find a Z8 near you.