- The spiritual successor to the legendary BMW 507
- Powered by BMW’s M-tuned 4.9-liter, double overhead cam, V-8 engine producing 395 horsepower
- Presented in Titan Silver Metallic with all black Nappa leather upholstery and complementary black cloth soft top, as well as color-matched factory hardtop
- Showing just under 8,200 miles at the time of cataloguing
- Rides on polished 20-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza performance tires
BMW shocked the world at the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show. Featuring a flawless design from Henrik Fisker, the all-new Z8 was a masterful blend of classic open-top motoring and modern-day high-tech engineering. While clearly paying homage to Count Albrecht von Goertz’s iconic BMW 507 design with its high fender vents, tapered front end, and banjo-type steering wheel, the Z8 had no problem standing on its own. The all-aluminum, monocoque spaceframe chassis was extrusion-pressed and held together by approximately 1000 rivets and 57 meters of fused MIG-welded seams. Its inconceivably light 506-pound frame was said to have been as rigid as that of BMW’s closed sedans.
Inside, the interior was streamlined to be as button-free as possible with several functions integrated into multifunction controls. A smooth, body color-matched aluminum dash holds a center-mounted instrument cluster canted slightly toward the driver. The movement of gauges to the middle of the dashboard was intended to offer the driver an unimpeded view down the hood to the road ahead. The cabin features supple black Nappa leather upholstery everywhere from the power-adjustable seats to the dashboard, center console, door panels, and optional drink holders. A six-disc CD changer and Anthracite headliner round out the many luxury amenities.
Like its spiritual predecessor, the Z8’s performance fully matched its striking styling. Headlining the car’s stat sheet is BMW’s brutish S62 4.9-liter all aluminum, double-overhead-cam V-8 engine producing 395 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. A unique semi-dry sump, g-sensitive engine-lubrication system is utilized to ensure correct oil circulation, and 45-degree cylinders assure sufficient oil flow out of the heads. Electronically actuated throttle bodies at each cylinder can be controlled by the driver with either “normal” or “sport” throttle response settings.
The engine was then placed behind the front wheels to create an almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution; the Z8 is technically a front-mid-engined car and handles as such. All this performance was commanded by the Z8’s electronic traction control and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Tire Pressure Control. The DSC system functions by sensing which individual brakes will control a sliding, potentially spinning car. The CBC system works in conjunction with both the DSC and ABS systems to sense the optimal pressure needed to regain control. These calculations happen in fractions of a second.
Motor Trend was able to achieve a 0-60 mph time in 4.2 seconds, even faster than the factory’s claimed time of 4.7 seconds and Road & Track found the BMW Z8 outperformed its contemporary Ferrari 360 Modena in the top categories of acceleration, handling, and braking.
This Z8 is presented in one of the quintessential German color combinations of Titan Silver Metallic over black Nappa leather with a complementary black cloth convertible soft top. Between the seats, one will find the removable windbreaker, necessary for when one is cruising open top and struck by the urge to wind up the nearly 400 horsepower, M-tuned V-8. Bringing all that power to pavement are polished 20-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza performance tires. At time of cataloguing, its odometer indicated just under 8,200 miles; it is said to have been always stored in a climate-controlled garage.
So much more than a tribute to a stunning vintage BMW design, the Z8 is now recognized as a modern classic in its own right. Accompanying this German legend are spare keys with leather pouch, the factory BMW car phone, ownership manuals, and the factory color-matched hard top.