Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1989–1992 1996–present
Class Roadster, Coupé

The BMW Z Models traditionally are roadsters manufactured by the German automaker BMW beginning with the Z1. The Z range has been produced in four different series with five generations, including coupe variants, one super car, and one concept.

The 1989 Z1 was a limited production European run for BMW, whereas the 1996 Z3 was the first mass-produced roadster for BMW. The original Z in Z1 stood for Zukunft (German for future). The only current Z model is the second generation of the Z4 series.


Z vehicles can be largely differentiated by the underlying platform:

Series Model/Platform Class Production
Z1 E30 based Roadster 1989–1991
Z3 E36/7 & E36/8 Roadster & coupe (respectively) 1996–2002
Z4 E85 & E86 Roadster & coupe (respectively) 2002–2008
Z4 E89 Roadster (with retractable hardtop) 2009–present
Z8 E52 Supercar/roadster 2000–2003
Z9 Concept Concept coupe & convertible 1999–2000

E30 based Z1, 1989-1992

Main article: BMW Z1 BMW Z1

The BMW Z1 is a two-seat roadster developed by BMW and produced from March 1989 to June 1991.[1] The Z1 featured unusual doors which, instead of opening outward or upward, dropped down into the door sills. Only 8,000 examples of the Z1 were produced.

E36 based Z3, 1996-2002

Main article: BMW Z32001 BMW Z3

The Z3 was the first modern mass-market roadster produced by BMW. The Z3 was introduced as a 1996 model year vehicle, shortly after being featured in the James Bond movie, GoldenEye. The entire 1996 BMW Z3 roadster production run, more than 15,000 roadsters, was sold out by the time the car was introduced.[2] There were a few variants of the car before its production run ended in 2002, including a revised tail styling for 1999 and coupé version for 1999, and M versions for both. It was manufactured and assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

E85/E86 Z4, 2002-2008

Main article: BMW Z4 2003 BMW Z4 roadster

The first-generation BMW Z4 was known as the E85 in roadster form and E86 in coupé form. It was designed by Danish BMW-designer Anders Warming,.[3]

The Z4's design addresses many criticisms of the preceding Z3; the Z4 was larger, and had a significantly stiffer chassis. It was built in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Initially, the Z4 was available only as a roadster, but in 2006 a coupé version was officially launched. The last of the first-generation Z4 to be assembled in North America rolled off the assembly line on 27 August 2008.

E89 Z4, 2009-present

Main article: BMW Z4

The second-generation Z4 was announced on December 13, 2008,[4][5][6] and debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit the following month. Using a retractable hardtop, the new Z4 replaces the previous roadster and coupe versions for the 2009 model year. The top is made of a two-piece lightweight aluminum shell, and takes 20 seconds to fold up or down.[7] Manufacturing has been moved from the United States to Regensburg, Germany.

E52 Z8, 2000-2003

Main article: BMW Z8

The BMW Z8 was a car produced by German automaker BMW from 2000 to 2003. The Z8 was the production variant of the 1997 Z07 concept car, which was designed by Danish Henrik Fisker at BMW's DesignworksUSA in Southern California. The Z07 originally was designed as a styling exercise intended to evoke and celebrate the 1956-'59 BMW 507. 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, approximately half of which were exported to the United States.

Z9 concept

Main article: BMW Z9

The BMW Z9 (or Z9 Gran Turismo, Z9 GT) is a concept coupe introduced in 1999 by BMW at the Frankfurt Auto Show. During the 2000 Paris Auto Show a convertible variant of the Z9 was debuted. The Z9 featured a carbon fiber skin over an aluminum space frame.[8] Much of the styling found on the current E63 6 series is derived from the Z9. The vehicle also featured unique gull wing doors that also opened like a conventional hinged door. The Z9 did not make it into production, but many of its innovations did. The interior included an early concept of BMW's iDrive system, called the Intuitive Interaction Concept.[9] The Z9 featured the world's first V8 turbo diesel, later produced for the BMW 7 Series 740d model.

M variations

The Z3 was the first of the Z series to have a BMW M sibling with the introduction of the M Coupe and M Roadster vehicles. The first generation Z4 also continued the M tradition, with the second generation of the M Coupe and M Roadster vehicles. As of March 2009, there has been no official announcements in regards to a third generation for the M Roadster.


Production and sales

* Z8
** Z3&Z4
*** Z4


  1. Oswald, op. cit., p. 258. Production was to commence in June, 1988 but was delayed until March 1989.
  2. Meier, Jeff. " - Smiting swarms of untamed hippos since 1997".
  3. "Design to Reality: the Z4 Roadster". AutoFieldGuide.
  4. "U.S Press Information: 2009 Z4 Roadster" (PDF). BMW (2008-12-13). Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  5. "2009 BMW Z4 Review: The New Landshark has landed". (2008-12-14). Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  6. "2009 BMW Z4: Hairdressers Rejoice!". Jalopnik. Gawker Media (2008-12-14). Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  7. "New BMW Z4 to debut on Jan 11th". iCars Singapore.
  8. "BMW Press Release: Z9 Gran Turismo Concept Car". Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  9. "BMW Press Release: BMW Group at the 2001 North American International Auto Show". Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  10. "BMW Ends Best Year Ever By Shattering 100,000-Vehicle Luxury Automotive Sales Barrier in the U.S. - Free Online Library". Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12
  12. "BMW Delivers Strongest Sales Success Ever in 2000. - Free Online Library". (2001-01-03). Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  13. "BMW Group Ends Best Year Ever With Record Month; December Sales Up 43 Percent; Year-to-date Sales Up 20 Percent. - Free Online Library". (2003-01-03). Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  14. "BMW Group Shatters All Past Annual Sales Records in 2004". Retrieved on 2009-09-25.
  15. "BMW Group Sets All-Time Annual Sales Record, Highest Sales Month Ever in 2005". (2006-01-04). Retrieved on 2009-09-25.
  16. "BMW Group Reports 2006 - Strongest Year Ever". Retrieved on 2009-09-25.
  17. "BMW Group U.S. Reports December 2010 Sales - WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
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