The BMW Z3 is a convertible roadster that was introduced to the US car-buying public for the 1996 model year. Upon its debut, the BMW Z3 was outfitted with a 1.9L inline four-cylinder engine, which made 138 horsepower directed through a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. Additional options such as leather seating and traction control were also available. In 1997, the 2.8 trim was released. Brandishing a 2.8L inline six-cylinder engine, the vehicle was capable of around 190 horsepower. With the 2.8, drivers could also opt for a CD changer and heated seats.
As for the model’s dimensions, the BMW Z3 measured 96.3 inches in the wheelbase, 66.6 inches in width (68.5 inches- 1999-2002), 50.7 inches in height (Roadster- 50.9 inches, Coupe- 51.4 inches), and its overall length was 158.5 inches. In 1998, BMW gave the Z3 another round of updates, this time arming the vehicle with the power-enhancing parts and a capability to handle inclement weather, thanks to the inclusion of an optional power-convertible top. A year later, the coupe variant premiered. Designed with a hatchback body style, the Z3 Coupe slotted right into the lineup and drew praise from critics but not as much enthusiasm from car buyers.
Also in 1999, the original 1.9L four-cylinder was dropped and subsequently replaced by a new inline six-cylinder configuration which threw out 170 horsepower. The Z3 was referred to as the Z3 2.3, despite housing a 2.5L engine. This only lasted for one more model year. 2000 saw a minor revision to the exterior accessories and underhood parts of the BMW Z3 while stability control was made standard for the first time. In 2001, the 2.8 trim morphed into the 3.0i, which meant a new 3.0L six-cylinder (225 horsepower and 214 pounds-per-foot of torque). As expected, the name was also changed to a more appropriate moniker, the 2.5i.
One of the more illustrious faces in the BMW brand is the widely-recognized Z3. One of the first BMW models to cross over into the mainstream and take command of popular culture, this aero-charged wunderkind has enjoyed a recent revival. Seductive, dominant, and luxurious, it also holds the power to deliver a knockout, adding another element that many drivers just can't live without. A premier model still at the forefront, the Z3 commands attention and invites a whole new level of class where ever it goes.
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