Today we review the history of one of the roadster’s most spectacular ever built by BMW, the BMW Z8. One of the projects more risky, which has submerged BMW with the intention of producing something very different, as much as to put on the market a sporty dial design, retro and approach very sporty. The best of BMW at the turn of the century was the BMW Z8, tuned by BMW Motorsport and able to serve as a weapon of James Bond. This is the history, anecdotes and misadventures of the BMW Z8, the classic more current.
Inspired by the BMW 507
The first vestige of what we know as the BMW Z8 found in Tokyo motor show 1997 with a prototype ground breaking would be as one of the best exercises of the era of the designer Chris Bangle as head of this department in BMW. We talked about the BMW Z07, a concept that sought to bring the present of that moment, the spirit of the BMW 507 original. Their success was resounding, something that was looking for a BMW, causing then in Munich they sit down to talk about the possibility of launching to the market a sporty that had nothing to do with the range of models of BMW in those moments.
Designed by the visionary Henrik Fisker
Although by that time Chris Bangle was chief of design of BMW, the real architect of the BMW Z07 and the BMW Z8 is inspired in the concept it was Henrik Fisker when I worked at BMW Designworks in California, designer who later became the first plane to car as the protagonist of the history of the manufacturer Fisker. The interior of the BMW Z8 was in charge of a second designer, Scotty Lemper, although a large part of their commanders, and equipment of the cabin were recycled from other BMW models. One of its most characteristic features is its steering wheel aluminum clear classical inspiration.
A modern classic very sought after that was hand-built
The BMW Z8 was designed as a classic, and BMW was launched with that intent. BMW sought to innovate in both their chassis to develop a cell three-dimensional aluminum to reinforce the platform of the BMW E39 M5 from the premises. Even so, he sought a format that would allow it to offer its clients a uniqueness never before seen on the manufacturer. The launch of the BMW Z8 was made in the year 2000 as a limited edition and with a team of manufacturing specific to the dessert to become the BMW Z8 in a sporty hand-made. In 2003 ceased production with 5.703 units assembled, half of which went to the U.S. and 3.182 of the BMW Z8 manufactured were painted in metallic grey colour.
As reported by BMW at the time, the BMW Z8 was built with the guarantee of having factory support and spare parts for a period of 50 years. BMW wanted to produce a classic and got it. Now ask around the 200,000 euros for a BMW Z8 in good condition.
Neon Lights: an invention without a future in the car
The BMW Z8 was not the first automobile in installing Neon lights, years before it would be the Lincoln Mark VIII, however it has been one of the most recognized of its design. The Neon lights were a revolution, allowing you to make those flashing side and rear minimum and elongated that were impossible to imagine making use of bulbs. BMW defended the use of the Neon because of their speed of activation and its possibilities in both the design, however this idea would prove with the passage of time that was an expensive resource to implement, with minimal support from the industry and with not a few problems of reliability because of the depletion of the gas.
V8 Engine By BMW Motorsport
If something got to do BMW with the Z8 was the manufacture a roadster almost without rivals, and part of the blame was his worked (cycle – tuned by BMW Motorsport and with an atmospheric V8 cheering the whole. The BMW Z8 was a roadster of just over 1,600 kilograms, however, enjoyed an impressive engine 4.9-liter V8 of 400 HP and 500 Nm connected to the rear-wheel drive through a manual change of six relations. BMW Motorsport made the Z8 was really fast, as to make the 0-100 Km/h just needed the 4.7-second and I could fly to heaven open up the 250 Km/h self-limiting. Luck BMW handed over all the units with their respective hardtop, not to avoid the rains that already had a fabric top, but in order not to go crazy when the wind will beat at over 200 Km/h.
there Was a BMW Z8, signed by Alpine
Given the great work of BMW in the development of the Z8, never thought of that Alpine will work on the roadster of BMW, but in 2002 an agreement was made between BMW and Alpina for Alpina by the end of the manufacture of the remaining units of the Z8, and with your particular set-up. We speak of a total of 555 units made under the seal of the Alpine.
Against all odds the BMW Z8 tuned by Alpina it was not a car as sporty as the Z8 original, something quite strange, but real. Alpina reinvented the BMW Z8 to bring it back to a more relaxed approach with a propeller 4.6 V8 of 375 HP and a automatic Steptronic five relationships and behavior more comfortable. Once more, the great majority of the Alpina Z8 went to the U.S., even to be sold in the official dealer of BMW. Despite its minor nature, the limited production of the Alpina Z8 has managed to increase more than the BMW Z8 original.
The BMW Z8 was the car of James Bond
The BMW Z8 has been and will be one of the cars best known and most admired of the history of BMW. Its classic design and sporty turned on a claim of vital significance, especially when BMW and Universal Studios sealed an agreement to convert to the BMW Z8 in the car of James Bond with Pierce Brosnan as a protagonist. The particular film was “The world is not enough”, and even for the less lovers of the stories of the secret agent 007, see act to the BMW Z8 is well worth the time.
A reliability question
With the production of the BMW Z8 to the already finished, there were several users of the model who reported bugs and various issues related to the powertrain, the chassis and the famous Neon lights of which we have already spoken. In the case of the propellant 4.9 V8 400 HP, all points to an engine that needs more affection than other motors to avoid the greater evil. This propellant was characterized by a high consumption of fuel and oil, and special attention to their proper maintenance, especially in the practice of sport driving, something that not all owners of the Z8 ended up understand.
A possible deformation of the chassis it was another matter that splashed the BMW Z8. It turns out that some owners of the BMW Z8 reported how the aluminium frame of the BMW Z8 finished by deform with the passage of time, an aspect that was raised by a certain amount of controversy with a group of owners of Munich claiming a solution. The deformation of the chassis was focused specifically on the turrets of the shock absorbers, but this matter is grayed with the passage of time and never made any communication about the solution to this problem or the veracity of the allegations of the owners.