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BMW Z8 2000 Titansilber Metallic

The Z8 was developed under the codename ‘E52' between 1993 and 1999, through the efforts of a design team led by Chris Bangle from 1993 to 1995. The exterior was designed by Henrik Fisker and the interior by Scott Lempert up until 1995, when the latter left BMW and styling was approved. The Z8 originally was designed as a styling exercise intended to evoke and celebrate the 1956 BMW 507. Prototypes were spotted in testing between 1996 and 1999. A concept was later developed to preview the Z8, called the Z07 and was first showcased in October 1997 at the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show.

The Z07 Concept had been based on the concurrently running E52 development programme. As a result, practical and regulatory considerations necessitated very few changes for the production model. Comparatively, the windshield of the series production Z8 was more upward, and had a larger front airdam. The Z8 hardtop differed from the Z07 in being a double-bubble form with a tapering faring versus a single dome with a truncated convex backside. The Z07's exotic driver's side helmet fairing was never intended for production, in order to allow easy operation of the power soft top.

The side-mounted turn indicators were integrated into the side vents in a fashion that rendered them invisible until activated. The Z8 used innovative neon exterior lighting, the tail lights and turn indicators are powered by neon tubes that offer quicker activation than standard lightbulbs. The vintage simplicity of the interior was preserved by hiding the modern equipment under retracting panels. Complex compound curves were made through the use of an expensive MIG-welded aluminum space frame.

The car was made up of an all-aluminum chassis and body and used a 4.9 L DOHC 32 valve V8 engine developing 395 hp @ 6600 rpm and 500 Nm @ 3800 rpm of torque. This engine, known internally as the S62, was built by BMW Motorsport and was shared with the E39 M5 sports saloon. The engine was located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with an optimal 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0–100 km/h acceleration time of 4,7 seconds. Car and Driver magazine tested the car and found that it outperformed the contemporary benchmark Ferrari 360 Modena in three important performance categories: acceleration, handling, and braking. As with most BMW cars, its top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h with the delimited top speed amounting to an estimated 290 km/h.

Every Z8 was shipped with a colour-matching metal hardtop with rear defroster. Unlike many contemporary hardtops, which are provided for practical rather than stylistic considerations, the Z8 hardtop was designed from the outset to complement the lines of the roadster.

In order to keep the interior uncluttered, a number of functions were integrated into multifunction controls. For example, the power windows and mirrors were controlled by a single instrument. Also, the centre-mounted instrument cluster was canted slightly toward the driver. The displacement of these gauges to the middle of the dash board was intended to offer an unimpeded view of the hood and the road ahead.

In order to promote the Z8 to collectors and reinforce media speculation about the Z8's 'instant classic' potential, BMW promised that a 50-year stockpile of spare parts would be maintained in order to support the Z8 fleet. Due to the limited volume of Z8 production, all elements of the car were constructed or finished by hand, thereby compounding the importance of ongoing manufacturer support for the type. The price point and production process allowed BMW to offer custom options to interested buyers.

The car shown here was delivered new in January 2000 by BMW München. Since then the car was always properly maintained by BMW dealers. The car comes with full service history showing this. In 2001 the car was imported to The Netherlands, the current Dutch owner has had the car since 2003.

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