BMW Z3

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BMW Z3 (E36/7/8)
BMW Z3 M Roadster (7146242079).jpg
BMW Z3M roadster
Overview
ManufacturerBMW
ProductionSeptember 1995 – June 2002
AssemblyUnited States: South Carolina
DesignerJoji Nagashima
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style
LayoutLongitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive
RelatedBMW 3 Series (E36)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,446 mm (96 in)
Length4,025 mm (158.5 in)
Width1,692 mm (66.6 in)
Height
  • 1,293 mm (50.9 in) (E36/7)
  • 1,306 mm (51.4 in) (E36/8)
Curb weight1,160–1,400 kg (2,560–3,090 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorBMW Z1
SuccessorBMW Z4 (E85)
2001 Z3 3.0i interior (facelift)

The E36/7/8 BMW Z3 is the second generation of the BMW Z range of two-seater sports cars, produced from 1995 to 2002. The body styles of the range are:

The E36/7 was based on the E36 3 Series platform,[1] while using the rear semi-trailing arm suspension design of the older E30 3 Series. It is the first mass-produced BMW Z Series car.

Z3M models were introduced in 1998 in roadster and coupé body styles and were powered by the S50, S52, or S54 straight-six engine depending on country and model year. The M models came with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Production ended on June 28, 2002,[2] with the Z3 line replaced by the Z4.

Development and launch[edit]

Development on the roadster began in 1991 and was led by Burkhard Göschel.[1][3] The exterior was designed by Joji Nagashima, being completed in mid-1992 at 39 months before production[4][5] and the design was frozen in 1993.[6] Design patents were filed on April 2, 1994 in Germany and on September 27, 1994 in the US.[7] The Z3 was introduced via video press release by BMW North America on June 12, 1995. Production began on September 20, 1995.[8]

Development on the coupé model was run by a group of BMW engineers outside of work in their own time.[9] The Z3 Coupé shares the same platform and parts with the roadster, but features a chassis-stiffening hatch area and is 2.7 times stiffer in comparison.[10][9] The Z3 Coupé was unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Z3 was the first BMW model to be solely manufactured outside of Germany. It was manufactured in Greer, South Carolina.[4]

Body styles[edit]

Roadster (E36/7)[edit]

Roadster models entered production in September 1995, powered by 4-cylinder engines on launch. 6-cylinder engines were later introduced in 1996.[11] A removable hardtop roof was available as an optional accessory.

Coupé (E36/8)[edit]

Coupé models entered production in September 1998 with its controversial shooting brake design, which has been nicknamed "clown shoe"[12][13] and "bread van"[14][15] by critics. In Germany, it has been nicknamed the "turnschuh" (sports shoe).[16][17]

Coupé models were only produced as 2.8, 3.0i, and M Coupé models.

Transmissions[edit]

The available transmissions are:[18]

Models[edit]

The 4-cylinder models feature a single tailpipe, while 6-cylinder models have dual tailpipes, wheelarch flares (for pre-facelift models), and a revised front bumper. The 2.3 and 2.5 models were sold exclusively in the United States, while the 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2i models were not available.

4-cylinder engines[edit]

Model Years Engine Power Torque 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)
1.8 1995–1998 M43B18
1.8 L I4
85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS)
@ 5,500 rpm
168 N⋅m (124 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.5 s
1999–2000 M43B19
1.9 L I4
87 kW (117 hp; 118 PS)
@ 5,500 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.4 s
1.9i 1995–1999 M44B19
1.9 L I4
103 kW (138 hp; 140 PS)
@ 6,000 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,300 rpm
9.5 s
2000–2002 M43B19
1.9L I4
87 kW (117 hp; 118 PS)
@ 5,500 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.4 s

6-cylinder engines[edit]

Model Years Engine Power Torque 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)
2.0 1999–2000 M52TUB20
2.0 L I6
110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS)
@ 5,900 rpm
190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
8.9 s
2.2i 2000–2002 M54B22
2.2 L I6
125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS)
@ 6,100 rpm
210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
7.9 s
2.3 1998–1999 M52TUB25
2.5 L I6
127 kW (170 hp; 173 PS)
@ 5,500 rpm
245 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
1999–2000 125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS)
@ 5,500 rpm
2.5 2000–2002 137 kW (184 hp; 186 PS)
@ 6,000 rpm
237 N⋅m (175 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
2.8 1997–1998 M52B28
2.8 L I6
141 kW (189 hp; 192 PS)
@ 5,300 rpm
275 N⋅m (203 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,950 rpm
7.1 s
1999–2000 M52TUB28
2.8 L I6
142 kW (190 hp; 193 PS)
@ 5,300 rpm
280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
6.9 s
3.0i 2000–2002 M54B30
3.0 L I6
170 kW (228 hp; 231 PS)
@ 5,900 rpm
300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
6.0 s
Z3M (EU) 1997–2000 S50B32
3.2 L I6
236 kW (316 hp; 321 PS)
@ 7,400 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,250 rpm
5.4 s
2001–2002 S54B32
3.2 L I6
239 kW (321 hp; 325 PS)
@ 7,400 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,900 rpm
5.3 s
Z3M (US) 1997–1999 S52B32
3.2 L I6
179 kW (240 hp; 243 PS)
@ 6,000 rpm
305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,250 rpm
2000–2002 S54B32
3.2 L I6
235 kW (315 hp; 320 PS)
@ 7,400 rpm
340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,900 rpm

Z3M versions[edit]

The Z3M versions were introduced in 1997 in the roadster (M Roadster) and coupé (M Coupé) body styles. European models were initially powered by the S50 engine, while North American models were powered by the S52 engine. In 2000, all Z3 models switched to the S54 engine. Models were only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Compared to the standard Z3, M models featured a limited slip differential, a wider rear track,[14] and larger brakes (that are shared with the E36 M3). Z3M models have more aerodynamic wing-mirrors, redesigned front and rear bumpers, revised side gill, 17-inch wheels, quad exhausts, and engine and oil temperature gauges in the center console.

Unlike the rest of the Z3 range, the Z3M did not receive cosmetic changes during the facelift in 2000.

Special Models[edit]

James Bond Edition[edit]

007 Bond Edition

To tie in with the appearance in the GoldenEye film, BMW released a "James Bond Edition" Z3 for sale through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue. The James Bond Edition sold in 1996 for US$35,000. BMW and Neiman Marcus had originally set a 20-unit sales goal, but was later increased to 100 units after receiving a high level of interest orders.

The James Bond Edition was based on the Z3 1.9 and included a 007 dash plaque, 007 Bond floor mats, unique wheels, and chrome exterior trim. The colour scheme was an "Atlantic blue" exterior with beige leather interior, as per the Z3 which appeared in GoldenEye.[19]

V12 prototype[edit]

In 1999, the BMW M division produced a single prototype Z3 powered by the 5.4 L M73 V12 engine,[20][21] in order to test the space efficiency of the engine bay.[22] It is based on a convertible Z3, wears 17 inch wheels with 225/45 tires up front and 245/40 at the back, and is painted in a shade of orange. The V12 produces 322 hp (240 kW; 326 PS) at 5,000 rpm and 490 N⋅m (361 lb⋅ft) of torque at 3,900 rpm, and power is sent through a 6-speed manual transmission. The concept is much heavier than the standard Z3 at 1,400 kg (3,086 lb), giving it 70/30 weight distribution. The concept was only shown once, which was in 1999 to the motoring magazine Autozeitung. Their tests revealed a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 5.5 seconds, 0 to 1,000m (0.62 miles) in 24.4 seconds, and a top speed of 263 km/h (163 mph).[23]

Z3M Coupé Safety Car[edit]

A safety car variant of the Z3M Coupé was produced by the BMW M division for MotoGP[24] and used in the 2000 season.

Model year changes (non-US)[edit]

1997[edit]

  • M Roadster and M Coupé models introduced to the public.
  • BMW Individual introduced to Z3 models.[25]

1998[edit]

1999 facelift[edit]

Production for facelift models began in April 1999.[31] Z3M models did not receive the exterior styling changes. Major changes include:

  • Exterior design changes including: redesigned chrome ring headlights[32] and L-shaped taillights,[33] wider rear track by 2.5 in (64mm) (now the same across 4 and 6-cylinder models), model designation badges,[34] finger indent for trunk release button,[34] integrated third brake light (with silver lights on 2.8 and 3.0i models),[32] chrome exhaust tips,[34] and new wheel designs.[35]
  • Interior design changes including: redesigned centre console buttons with a clock in the middle and a new three-spoke steering wheel design.[36]
  • Engine changes including: 2.0 replaced by 2.2i, 2.3 replaced by 2.5 (US only), 2.8 replaced by 3.0i. All Z3M models changed to S54 engine.
  • Electronic stability control upgraded from ASC to new DSC system.[37]
  • New three-layer insulation convertible roof with headlining.[36]
  • Dual-stage side airbags introduced.[38]

2000[edit]

  • DSC now integrated with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Automatic Differential Brake (ADB) functions.[39]

Model Year Changes (US)[edit]

1996[edit]

  • Narrow-body Z3 Roadster released with 1.9L M44 I4 engine

1997[edit]

  • Wide-body Z3 Roadster released with 2.8L aluminum-block I6 M52B28 engine

1998[edit]

  • M Roadster released with 3.2L I6 S52B32 from E36 M3

1999[edit]

  • 4-cylinder narrow-body Z3 Roadster dropped
  • M52 engine replaced with the E46's dual-vanos M52TUB28 ("Z3 2.8") and M52TUB25 ("Z3 2.3")
  • Z3 2.8 Coupe released with I6 M52TUB28 engine
  • M Coupe released with I6 S52B32 engine

2000[edit]

  • New rear end styling on Z3 (non-M) Roadsters
  • New center console on Z3 (non-M) Roadsters

2001[edit]

  • M52TU replaced with I6 M54B30 ("Z3 3.0i") and M54B25 ("Z3 2.5i")
  • S52B32 replaced with I6 S54B32 from E46 M3
  • New center console on Z3 (non-M) Coupes

2002[edit]

  • No significant changes

Production volumes[edit]

One source provides the data below for production figures.[40] However, there are other sources which provide conflicting information,[40] so actual figures are not certain.

Model Total Roadster Coupé
Z3 1.8 56,091 56,091 -
Z3 1.9i 77,965 77,965
Z3 2.0 14,616 14,616
Z3 2.2i 21,052 21,052
Z3 2.3 22,282 22,282
Z3 2.5 6,813 6,813
Z3 2.8 58,278 50,607 7,671
Z3 3.0i 18,378 14,525 3,853
Z3M 21,613 15,322 6,291
Total: 297,088 279,273 17,815

Marketing[edit]

The Z3 appeared briefly in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, in a scene where Bond is driving in Cuba.[41] The Z3 is one of few non-British production cars to be driven by James Bond in a movie, and the first of three James Bond films featuring a BMW car.[42] The Z3 in GoldenEye features stinger missiles hidden behind the headlights, an emergency parachute braking system and a radar scanner in the form of a LCD screen in the dashboard.[43] It is also noted during the briefing scene, that the car contains a passenger ejector seat and a self-destruct system.[44]

Two blue prototypes were provided in January 1995 for filming at the Leavesden Aerodrome.[45][46] The agreement between BMW and Eon Productions was for cross-promotion of the car and the film, and there was no financial component.[47]

Sales of the Z3 spiked as the film sat at number one at the Box Office. In the 1996 production run, more than 15,000 roadsters were sold out by the time the car was introduced.[41]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hyundai Genesis Coupe Follows BMW Z3's Precedence". www.torquenews.com. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Timeline: BMW in Spartanburg". GoUpstate.com.
  3. ^ "Catching Up With: Burkhard Goeschel". www.automobilemag.com. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
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  6. ^ Bangle, Chris (January 2001). "The ultimate creativity machine. How BMW turns art into profit". Harvard Business Review. 79: 47–55. PMID 11189462. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  7. ^ "DPMAregister - Designs - Registerauskunft zum Design". dpma.de.
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