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2019 BMW Z4 M40i Front.jpg
2019 BMW Z4 M40i
Production1989–1992, 1995–2016, 2018–present (Z4 only)
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style
LayoutRear-wheel drive

The BMW Z models are a line of roadsters manufactured by German automaker BMW. The Z stands for zukunft (German for future),[1] and has been produced in four different series with six generations consisting of roadster, coupé, sports car, and concept variants.

The introduction of the M Coupé and M Roadster in the Z3 line marked the first of the Z series to have a high-performance BMW M variant. The first generation Z4 also continued to offer M Coupé and M Roadster variants. The current Z4 (G29) uses BMW's (B58B30) inline-six, its platform is the basis for the current Toyota Supra.[2]

BMW Z1 (E30 based; 1989–1991)[edit]


The BMW Z1 is a two-seat roadster developed by BMW and was produced from March 1989 to June 1991. It was based on the E30 3 Series platform.[3] The Z1 featured unusual doors which, instead of opening outward or upward, dropped down into the door sills and had body panels which could easily be removed and replaced; the car could be driven with its body panels removed.[4] Only 8,000 examples of the Z1 were produced.[5]

BMW Z3 (E36/7/8; 1995–2002)[edit]

BMW Z3 Roadster
BMW Z3 Coupé

The Z3 was the first modern mass-market roadster produced by BMW.[6] It was introduced for the 1996 model year shortly after being featured in the James Bond movie GoldenEye. More than 15,000 were sold by the time the car was introduced.[7] The Z3 underwent a facelift in 1999 with the introduction of a coupé bodystyle and featured revised styling, before the end of its production run in 2002.[8] The coupé had controversial styling and was nicknamed as "clown shoe".[9] It was manufactured and assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[10]

BMW Z8 (E52; 2000–2003)[edit]


The Z8 was produced from 2000 to 2003 and was the production variant of the 1997 Z07 concept car, which was designed by Danish Henrik Fisker at BMW's DesignworksUSA.[11] The Z07 originally was designed as a styling exercise to celebrate the 507 roadster of the 1950s, but the overwhelming popularity of the concept spurred BMW's decision to produce a limited production model called the Z8. 5,703 cars were built, approximately half of which were exported to the United States.[12]

BMW Z4 (E85/E86; 2003–2008)[edit]

BMW Z4 Coupé
BMW Z4 Roadster

The first-generation BMW Z4 was known as the E85 in roadster form and E86 in coupé form.[13] It was designed by Danish BMW-designer Anders Warming.[14]

The Z4's design addressed many criticisms of the preceding Z3; it was larger and featured a significantly stiffer chassis.[15] The Z4 was initially only available as a roadster, but a coupé version was officially launched in 2006.[16] The last model rolled off the assembly line on 27 August 2008 at the Spartanburg plant.[17]

BMW Z4 (E89; 2009–2016)[edit]


The second-generation Z4 was announced on 13 December 2008[18] and debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit the following month.[19] It is the first Z Series model to use a retractable hardtop and meant that there were no longer separate roadster and coupé versions of the car.[20] The top is made of a two-piece lightweight aluminium shell and takes 20 seconds to operate.[21] Manufacturing was moved from Spartanburg, United States to Regensburg, Germany.[22]

BMW Z4 (G29; 2018–present)[edit]


The G29 Z4 is the third and current generation Z4 and was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on 23 August 2018.[23] It reuses the soft-top convertible roof found on the E85 Z4 instead of a retractable hardtop which now takes 10 seconds for operation. The G29 Z4 shares its platform with the J29 Toyota Supra and are manufactured in the same plant in Austria.[24]

Production and sales[edit]

The following are the production and sales figures for Z models, excluding the Z1:[25][26][27][28][29]

Year Production EU sales US sales
1996 - 15,040
1997 57,100[30] 30,954 19,760
1998 53,000[30] 27,776 20,613
1999 51,000[30] 24,268 20,062
2000 42,800[30] 18,681 16,699
2001 39,579[30] 17,358 15,884
2002 26,428[30] 10,749 10,490
2003 52,016[30] 24,224 20,324
2004 38,483[30] 18,593 13,654
2005 28,808[30] 14,137 10,045
2006 30,981[30] 15,844 12,284
2007 28,383[30] 15,281 10,097
2008 18,006[30] 6,116 5,879
2009 22,761[30] 13,497 3,523
2010 24,575 13,153 3,804
2011 18,809 9,417 3,479
2012 15,249 7,508 2,751
2013 12,866[31] 5,970 2,480
2014 10,802 5,373 2,151
2015 7,950 4,093 1,829
2016 5,432 3,006 1,187
2017 - 244 502
2018 - 125 4
2019 - 9,681[32] 2,941[33]
Total: 585,028 271,086 211,354

Z9 Concept (1999)[edit]

1999 BMW Z9 Concept

The BMW Z9 (or Z9 Gran Turismo) is a concept coupé introduced at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show,[34] with a convertible variant later unveiled at the 2000 Paris Auto Show.[35] The vehicle features unique gull-wing doors that also opened like a conventional hinged door and innovations such as an early concept of BMW's iDrive system, called the Intuitive Interaction Concept, were incorporated into other production vehicles.[36] Much of the styling found on the E63 6 Series is also derived from the Z9.[37]


  1. ^ Toma, Sebastian (2017-05-15). "BMW Z4 Replacement Will Not Be Called Z5, Company Official Says". autoevolution. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  2. ^ "What's the best BMW Z car?". BMW BLOG. 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  3. ^ Oswald, op. cit., p. 258. Production was to commence in June, 1988 but was delayed until March 1989.
  4. ^ "Retro review: the oddly doored BMW Z1". Top Gear. 2017-09-24. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  5. ^ "1989 - 1991 BMW Z1 Review @ Top Speed". Top Speed. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  6. ^ "1996-2002 BMW Z3". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  7. ^ Meier, Jeff. " - Smiting swarms of untamed hippos since 1997".
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  11. ^ "Henrik Fisker's 'Timeless' Automotive Designs". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  12. ^ "Here's Why the BMW Z8 Is Worth $200,000". Doug DeMuro. 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2018-06-05.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "AustralianCar.Reviews: #1 for Reviews and Used Car Valuations". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  14. ^ "Design to Reality: the Z4 Roadster". AutoFieldGuide. Archived from the original on 2009-01-12.
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  17. ^ "The last BMW Z4 built at Spartanburg Plant". BMW BLOG. 2008-08-31. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  18. ^ "2009 BMW Z4 Review: The New Landshark has landed". 2008-12-14. Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  19. ^ "Detroit Auto Show Preview: 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster". Road & Track. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  20. ^ "2009 BMW Z4 Convertible - Prices & Reviews". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  21. ^ "New BMW Z4 to debut on Jan 11th". iCars Singapore. Archived from the original on 2009-03-01.
  22. ^ "BMW Z4 finds home in Regensburg". Automotive News. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2018-06-05.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Constantine, Chris. "BMW Teases New Model Ahead of Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance". The Drive. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  24. ^ "2019 BMW Z4 Production Starts In Austria". Autoblog. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  25. ^ "BMW Z3 US car sales figures". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  26. ^ "BMW Z4 US car sales figures". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  27. ^ "BMW Z8 US car sales figures". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  28. ^ "BMW Z4 European sales figures". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  29. ^ "BMW Z8 European sales figures". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m[bare URL spreadsheet file]
  31. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2014-03-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "BMW Z4 European sales figures". Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  33. ^ "BMW Z4 US sales figures". Retrieved 2020-03-15.
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  35. ^ "BMW Z9 Convertible Concept". Archived from the original on 2018-09-17. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  36. ^ "BMW Press Release: BMW Group at the 2001 North American International Auto Show". Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  37. ^ "10 things you did not know about the BMW 6 Series". MOTOR SHOW BLOG. 2015-01-11. Retrieved 2018-06-05.