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Here’s Why Gearheads Should Drive The BMW Z3

BMW dubbed it “the Sun Worshipper” and the most famous British superspy, James Bond drove one of these elegant automobiles in golden eye, on a trip to Cuba. Naturally, the car is the BMW Z3. An automobile as sophisticated, timeless, and classy as Bond himself. But the Bond series was hardly the only one promoting the Z3. In fact, this BMW was featured even in the ultimate cars’ saga 2 Fast 2 Furious and various other movies and TV series.

As one of the most representative BMW models, Z3 has come to define a gilded age of abundance, and a time in history when the German automaker was an undisputed leader in the luxury segment. Back in the 1990s, when the Z3 was released, the West was still living on a high from the 1990s boom, and there was this widely circulated idea of ​​mass prosperity. The West embraced consumerism and people demanded luxurious objects.

Naturally, BMW delivered and came up with one of its most refined two-door roadsters that defined the future values ​​and goals of the company. It’s worth noting that the letter “Z” stands for “Zukunft”, the German word for “future”. So, what makes the BMW Z3 the ultimate gearhead’s car?

Related: BMW Z3: Costs, Facts, And Figures

The BMW Z3 Was Tantalizing Designed By Joji Nagashima

Tokyo-born automobile designer Joji Nagashima, who designed the E39 5 Series, is the genius mind behind this sexy roadster. BMW fans have probably noticed the similarity between Z3’s headlight graphics and the ones of the E39. Other standout features included the long bonnet, low and rear seating position, and side air gills. The Z3 was based on the E36 3 Series platform, but it borrowed the rear axle from the E30. Also, worth noting, the Z3 came in two body styles: the 2-door roadster E36/7 and the E36/8 Coupe.


The Germans built the sexy Z3 at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. Selecting to manufacture this sleek BMW model in the United States was a smart move as it increased market share. In total, more than 297,000 units were manufactured in the American plant, making this BMW a huge market success. In 2002, after seven years at the top, BMW finally retired the Z3 and replaced it with the Z4.

Unique Models: The Limited Edition Z3 James Bond Edition And The V-12-Powered Z3 Prototype

There were two absolutely mind-blowing models that made this automobile even more impressive and why gearheads will love it more: the 1996 special release Z3 James Bond Edition roadster and the V-12-powered Z3 prototype. The James Bond limited edition was an ode to the collaboration with the famous spy saga, as the Z3 was featured in the movie “Golden Eye,” with Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench.


Originally, BMW planned to build only 20 units from this super special “spy” car, but due to crazy high demand, the German car manufacturer increased the production number up to 100. Even so, affluent customers couldn’t get enough of it. Meanwhile, the V-12-powered 5.4-liter Z3 prototype was the stuff legends are made off, but unfortunately, BMW killed the production, so the car was never available to buyers.

The BMW Z3 Has Different Engines Lineups For Every Budget And Preference

BMW knows that consumers love choices, so they came up with different engine lineups to meet their consumers’ needs. The Z3 was initially released with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder petrol unit that generated 115 hp and the 1.9 liter four-cylinder unit that generated roughly 143 hp. Two years later, BMW added the 2.8-liter I6 engine to the lineup that generated around 193 hp. Meanwhile, the powerful M Roadster model came with a 3.2-liter, 6-cylinder engine that generated an impressive 321 hp. In 1999, Z3 received a serious facelift and engines were also revamped.


Considering all the Z3 models that BMW built, probably the most impressive ones remain the 3.0-liter model with 231 hp and the M Roadster with the 6-cylinder capable of generating up to 325 hp. Naturally, this is if we ignore the limited edition models, which were far more impressive.

Related: The Z3 M Roadster Was BMW’s Final Analog Sports Car

The BMW Z3 Is A Fantastic Investment

Some sexy cars represent fading trends; thus, in a couple of years, owners discover that they have the worse resale value. For the most part, this is not the case with the BMW brand, although there are some exceptions like the 7 series and the BMW I3. As for the Z3, this vehicle is a brilliant investment.


For example, Kelley Blue Book highlights that the 2002 model had a staggering 4.8 consumer rating and 98 percent of consumers recommended the vehicle. Moreover, 84 percent of buyers were giving the Z3 excellent marks (five stars). This says a lot about the performance and reliability of the Z3.

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