Cars BMW BMW Z1

BMW Z1

1989 - 1991 BMW Z1

1989 - 1991 BMW Z1 Exterior
- image 397485
  • BMW Z1
  • Year:
    1989- 1991
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    M20B25
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    170hp at 5,800rpm
  • Torque @ RPM:
    164 lb-ft of torque at 4,300rpm
  • Displacement:
    2500 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec.
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Building a roadster can give car manufacturers some unique opportunities. These types of vehicles typically have a devoted following and create their own rules outside of the constraints of many mainstream companies’ core product lines. They are able to test new technology and bend the rules of design in order to make a roadster look and feel like it belongs with everything else.

Roadsters are also a very specific formula of two-doors, lightweight components, and the thrill of open air driving. In a way, the first cars ever built were roadsters and the trend has continued throughout time with legendary models from Ford, Chrysler, and BMW. German brands were the last to catch on to the glory days of the roadster from the 1950s and BMW began producing its first back in 1989 with the Z1.

Many BMW fans may look at this moniker and thing, “does he mean M1?” No, we don’t mean the fantastic supercar that BMW built around the same time and has yet to be resurrected. The Z1 was the first in a line of two-seat roadsters that BMW produced and it proved a worthy test-bed for some BMW technology still used today.

Hit the jump for more details on the BMW Z1.

19 photos

Latest BMW Z1 news and reviews:

BMW Z1 Barn Find... Sort Of

BMW Z1 Barn Find... Sort Of

If you’re a fan of BMW, you surely know about the M1 that was built in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Finding a rare M1 would be rather exciting, but what about a 1989 - 1991 BMW Z1 roadster? Some of you might be thinking: “what is a Z1 roadster?” Well, don’t feel bad if this little piece of BMW history has slipped your memory, because only 8,000 of them were built. So, that means you’ll probably never see one unless you’re one of those lucky people that find one tucked away in a barn right? Wrong. There is a 1990 BMW Z1 listed on Ebay right now, and its starting bid is only $9,000.

According to the listing, the car drives well. The engine runs good, and the manual transmission shifts smoothly. There is a need for a little body work, though, but that is to be expected for a Z1 that hasn’t been a garage queen. The rare sliding door system does need to overhauled as well. In the end, this is a good find for the BMW enthusiast that would like an easy restoration project. Even if it isn’t something you’re interested in, the Ebay listing is at least worth a look – it’s not very often you see a Z1, let alone one that is for sale. The car is listed as having only two owners, wasn’t available in the U.S. and was sold for $65,000 when new.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW Z1, Z3 and Z5 in the Works

BMW Z1, Z3 and Z5 in the Works

BMW appears to be in the process of turning the spotlight to its Z Series after a report by Motor.es suggests that the German company wants to reignite the lineup to create three new models wearing the "Z" badge. According to the Motor.es report, BMW is considering fielding an entire lineup of Z models, covering three separate units that will be differentiated from one another in some form or capacity.

The smallest of these new models is the Z1, which we haven’t seen since 1991. The new Z1, which will be built in both coupe and roadster versions, is expected to use BMW’s UKL1 platform, the same platform used by the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the new Mini Cooper. This makes sense because it’s going to help Bimmer cut production costs knowing that it has a modular architecture that is versatile enough to tweak depending on the model using it. The new Z1 is also reportedly getting three- and four-cylinder engines to go with a front-wheel-drive system.

Moving to the Z3, it appears that BMW is juggling with the idea of developing the sports car to be a direct competitor to the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. Like the Z1, the Z3 will also be offered as a coupe and a roadster and will be characterized by a lightweight design to take advantage of the bevy of powertrain options the company plans to give it, including three-, four-, and six-cylinder engines.

The other big news surrounding the new Z3 is that it will reportedly be built in collaboration with Toyota’s own development of the second-generation GT 86. We haven’t heard this news before so it definitely has us intrigued about the possibilities of the new GT 86 getting some form of input from BMW.

Last but not least is the oft-rumored BMW Z5. It’s no secret that BMW wants a sports roadster to compete against the likes of the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-AMG GT. The Z5 could become that car. Motor.es touched on some rumors we discussed back in July 2014, including the joint development of the sports roadster by BMW and Toyota and the German’s plan to introduce the Z5 as a replacement model to the Z4.

Turns out, the Z5 will reportedly carry the same classic proportions attributed to the Z Series, including the long hood and the large headlamps that will be attached to the front kidney grille. The Z5 will also be offered as a coupe and roadster and will reportedly feature four- and six-cylinder engines with power numbers ranging from 270 horsepower to 400 horsepower. A top-of-the-line, 500-horsepower hybrid model is also part of BMW’s plans for the Z5.

Most importantly, the BMW Z5 is the first car of the BMW-Toyota partnership that will hit the market, possibly around 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about the future BMW Z models.

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Video: History of BMW Roadsters

Video: History of BMW Roadsters

BMW’s illustrious history began during World War I when the now-successful luxury car-builder developed fighter aircraft-engine. At the end of the WWI it switched to developing motorcycles, then in 1929, BMW bought its way into the car industry when it purchased the Dixi Car factory and started developing automobiles — some of its best were elegant roadsters.

The first roadster to roll out of Bimmer’s factory was the 315/1, which was based on the 315 saloon. From here, things evolved to the 328, which was one of the most successful roadster ever developed by BM and won the Mille Miglia in many times and the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After the WWII, BMW was in great trouble and it needed a car to rescue it, and BMW thought that car was the 507. It was indeed a great car, with one of the most gorgeous design languages in the era and a powerful engine under the hood. However, because of its high price — $10,500 — the 507 was almost responsible for putting the BMW into bankruptcy. Only 252 units were ever developed, despite BMW’s 5,000-units-per-year projection.

Next BMW started to develop the Z series, with the Z1 being the first model. What is very cool about the Z1 is that the doors drop down into the door sills so you can drive it with no doors. Next we had the Z3, Z8 and the current Z4. The black sheep of the family was the Z3, which never really looked or felt like a BMW.

Check out the video (above) to get a closer look at Bimmer’s history of roadsters.

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1989 - 1991 BMW Z1

1989 - 1991 BMW Z1

Building a roadster can give car manufacturers some unique opportunities. These types of vehicles typically have a devoted following and create their own rules outside of the constraints of many mainstream companies’ core product lines. They are able to test new technology and bend the rules of design in order to make a roadster look and feel like it belongs with everything else.

Roadsters are also a very specific formula of two-doors, lightweight components, and the thrill of open air driving. In a way, the first cars ever built were roadsters and the trend has continued throughout time with legendary models from Ford, Chrysler, and BMW. German brands were the last to catch on to the glory days of the roadster from the 1950s and BMW began producing its first back in 1989 with the Z1.

Many BMW fans may look at this moniker and thing, “does he mean M1?” No, we don’t mean the fantastic supercar that BMW built around the same time and has yet to be resurrected. The Z1 was the first in a line of two-seat roadsters that BMW produced and it proved a worthy test-bed for some BMW technology still used today.

Hit the jump for more details on the BMW Z1.

Read more