The BMW Z8 was first launched in 1999 and continued until 2003, available as a 2 door coupe and 2 seat convertible. The Z8 was designed by Henrik Fisker and Scott Lempert and was a modification of the Z07 concept car from 1997. Only 5,703 cars were actually built as a limited edition.
The Z8 was also featured in the "The World Is Not Enough" in 1999, giving it iconic status as a James Bond car. Pierce Brosnan played 007 during a time when a number of BMW's were featured across this films franchise including the 5 series and 7 series.
The car itself cost $128,000, due in part to its aluminium chassis and body which made it light as well as strong. The 4.9 litre V8 gave 400 bhp and a 0-62 time of just 4.7 seconds. The stats for the Z8 are impressive and in a number of benchmark tests it was found to outperform the Ferrari 360 Modena which was impressive. The top speed of the car was limited to 155.4 mph, though once chipped it could reach 170 mph.
Additional technological advancements to the car included the use of neon's on the exterior of the car for headlights and tail lights. Neon's are believed to last for the life of the car and react quicker than standard bulbs.
The interior was also designed to be slick and provide a clear view for the driver. Certain functions were amalgamated such as the electric windows and mirrors in order to reduce the number of buttons on display. The interior also saw a clean sweeping dashboard with perfectly aligned instruments which ultimately added to the beauty of the car.
The exterior of the car showed beautiful curves with a menacing front grill. Even the hard top roof was designed to blend in with the rest of the car, as opposed to being a necessary evil.
In 2003 the 555 Alpina V8 Roadster's were introduced, taking the existing car and modifying it for petrol heads. Only eight of these cars made their way to the UK, with 450 heading for the US. Whilst the power was reduced to 375 bhp the torque was increased which improved overall handling and ultimately the top speed was increased to 161 mph.
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