BMW Z8 Specs and Review

BMW developed the Z8 from 1993 to 1999 and codenamed it as the E52. Eventually, BMW manufactured the BMW Z8 as a roadster-limited edition from 2000 to 2003 due to favorable public response. 

BMW produced only 5,700 units from 2000 to 2003. So, car experts consider the Z8 a collector’s car. 

A reliable DOHC 32-valve V8 engine (4 cams) powers the BMW Z8. The engine’s power output is 400 PS at 6,600 rpm with 500 Nm of torque at 3,800 RPM. The Z8 is a collector’s car as it is a limited edition, impeccably designed, and is driver-friendly.

A central control console with technology updates can assist drivers in driving safely. The top speed of the BMW Z8 is 250 km/h (155.4 mph). 

Read on to learn more about the specifications and features of the BMW Z8, its pros and cons, and important maintenance tips.

About the BMW Z8

BMW Z8

BMW built the Z8 as a limited series due to a favorable public response during the 1997 and 1998 BMW showcases. Earlier, the company developed the Z8 from 1993 to 1999 under the codename ‘E52’. 

BMW then manufactured the Z8 as a roadster from 2000 to 2003. The BMW Z8 features a DOHC 32-valve V8 engine (4 cams) and a top speed of 250 km/h (155.4 mph).

Nowadays, the BMW Z8 is considered a car collector’s item due to its rarity and classic built. 

BMW Z8 Specifications and Features

1. Engine 

The BMW Z8 features a DOHC 32-valve V8 engine (4 cams). This model is known internally as the S62. The aluminum engine utilizes a 4,941 cc (4.9L; 301.5 cu in).

The power output is 400 PS (294 kW or 395 hp) at 6,600 RPM with 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque at 3,800 RPM. 

The V8 engine employs a unique g-sensitive engine-lubrication process that ensures correct oil circulation. The engine’s angle is 45 degrees to ascertain that sufficient oil flow occurs out of the heads. 

BMW claimed that the Z8’s acceleration time is 4.7 seconds to gain 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) speed.

2. Dimensions

The BMW Z8 has a length of 4,399 mm (173.2 in), a height of 1,318 mm (51.9 in), and a width of 1,829 mm (72 in). Its wheelbase measures 2,504 mm (98.6 in).

It weighs 1,590 kg (3,505.3 lb) unladen, while its gross weight is 1,900 kg (4,188.8 lb).

3. Exterior

The Z8’s exterior focuses on various themes, such as classic and unique. BMW patterned the front fenders and side vents to the 1956 to 1959 magic 507 roadsters. 

The frontal features present a different design for its large grille. The wheels’ wire-spoke design and proportion complement the car’s exterior design. A short rear end and a long hood complete the Z8’s iconic exterior. 

BMW used aluminum as the main material for almost all exterior and interior parts. All body panels used aluminum. Meanwhile, the company made the bumpers out of impact-resistant polyurethane material, and the door hinges from steel.

4. Interior

The BMW Z8’s simple but luxurious interior design could satisfy most drivers’ standards. The minimalistic design consists mainly of color-themed painted surfaces, leather, wood, and aluminum furnishings. 

The rear panels, sides, and hardtop are all dark-colored. At the same time, all the rest of the interior gets lighter shades of complementary colors. You may want to pick the color you prefer.

This simple but brilliant combination of accented colors lends a unique, comfortable, and trendy ambiance.

4. Tires

BMW manufactured the Z8 using the Run-Flat combination that offers self-supporting tires, a flat tire monitoring system, and a special ‘hump’ wheel design at the rims.

The BMW Z8 could maintain complete stability due to the tires’ reinforced sidewalls. The company used highly heat-resistant rubber materials as special inserts so that even defective tires could maintain their shape and function up to about 90 miles.

The front tires’ base model is 245/45R18 W-rated, while the rear tires’ base model is 275/40R18 W rated. BMW Z8’s wheel offsets for the front are 20 mm and 22 mm for the rear. 

If you would want to modify your Z8, you could refer to the list below to find suitable tires for your Z8:

Upgrade Sizes for the Front Tires:

  • 255/35/20 343 mm
  • 255/35/19 331 mm
  • 245/35/20 340 mm
  • 265/40/19
  • 245/40/19 339 mm
  • 255/40/18 331 mm

Upgrade Sizes for the Rear Tires:

  • 295/35/18 332 mm
  • 295/30/19 330 mm
  • 285/30/20 340 mm
  • 285/40/18 343 mm
  • 285/35/19 341 mm [1]

5. Drivetrain

The manual transmission of the BMW Z8 offers a Getrag type D 6-speed system with a reinforced clutch. The front engine’s layout is a rear-wheel drive.

The driver can choose between normal and quicker responses due to its M Dynamic Driving Control system. 

The High-Pressure Double VANOS system helps optimize the torque, emission control, and torque on all 4 camshafts.

The VANOS system uses oil pressure from a solenoid to control the intake and exhaust camshafts’ position.

6. Suspension

The aluminum front suspension features dual-pivot lower arms with low-friction ball joints, anti-roll bar, coil springs, and twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers. 

The sport rear suspension features a 4-link integral mechanism with low-friction ball joints, just like the front suspension. 

However, the area affected is the pivots of the upper lateral arms, while for the front suspension, the areas are at the pivot points. The rear also offers an anti-roll bar, coil springs, and twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers.

7. Lighting

The BMW Z8 lighting provides xenon low-beam headlights coupled with an impressive auto-leveling. The Z8 was the first vehicle ever to have neon brake lights and turn signals. 

The lights can illuminate ten times faster than other bulb types, providing more time for other drivers to respond. 

The quicker activation of the Z8’s lighting is one advantage of the car.

8. Brakes

The vacuum assist, 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes have a front diameter of 13.1 inches and a rear diameter of 12.9 inches.

9. Ignition

Z8 BMW

To start your Z8, you press the button to start your car. You can find the ignition switch installed above the starter button on the dashboard. Pressing the starter button would activate the ignition system to start your car. 

Also, BMW added a Codeway Driveway Protection to help prevent car theft.

10. Unique Features

The BMW Z8 offers a distinctive classic style that identifies it from other vehicles. Some of these unique features of the BMW Z8 are variable camshaft timing: 

  • Engine’s VANOS (Variable Camshaft Timing) system
  • Run Flat Combination tires
  • Dual front-impact Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) airbags
  • Unique central instrument cluster
  • Mixed design of frontal features
  • Multi-information radio unit with GPS navigation system
  • Starter button Ignition switch
  • Rollover protection for passenger and driver
  • Banjo-spoke steering wheel

You may refer to the BMW Z8’s features mentioned above to know more about these unique features.

11. Top Speed of BMW Z8

The BMW Z8’s top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.4 mph). However, the delimited top speed can reach as high as 290 km/h (180 mph).

Below is an excellent BMW Z8 review that shows why it is worth $200,000:

Below is another one of the best BMW Z8 reviews, describing the 2001 Z8 BMW roadster’s specs and features:

Pros and Cons of the BMW Z88

Pros

1. Powerful Engine

The BMW Z8’s V8 engine has a 4,941 cc (4.9L; 301.5 cu in) engine with 400 PS (294 kW or 395 hp). The Z8’s 6,600 rpm comes with 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque at 3,800 RPM. 

This engine type is powerful enough to let the Z8 dominate the automobile scene. 

2. Excellent Safety Measures

The BMW Z8 provides superb safety measures that would guarantee a safe, secure, and comfortable ride.

These safety measures include the following:

  • Durable and accident-free side-impact airbags
  • Two-stage reliable Smart Airbags
  • Dual-threshold deployment of Supplementary Restraint System (SRS)
  • Dual front-impact airbag with SRS
  • Roll-over protection for passenger and driver
  • Safety belts with force limiters and automatic tensions flexibility
  • Integrated deployment logic for post-impact safety measures for airbags and safety belts

3. Ensures Exclusivity

If you are a classic car collector, the exclusivity of the Z8 is a boon for you. BMW limited the Z8’s production, so you can be sure your model is rare. This exclusivity could appreciate the value of your car. 

BMW built only 1,500 Z8s a year, and they sold about 3,000 units. What is more interesting is that the company has promised to supply the parts for 50 more years.

4. Classy Styling with Driver-Friendly Technology Updates

The BMW Z8’s interior exudes class, elegance, and driver-friendly technology updates.

The central instrument-cluster features:

  • A GPS navigation system 
  • Climate controls 
  • AM/FM/CD audio system
  • Ambient temperature display

Additionally, you can listen continuously to your favorite soundtrack via a 6-disc CD changer. The 12-speakers will ensure that you enjoy your music as you drive. 

5. Quicker Activation of Neon Lights

The BMW Z8’s headlight and taillights respond quickly, ensuring that you and other drivers are pre-warned when you want to stop or turn a corner.

6. The BMW Z8’s Value and Price Appreciates with Time

If you are an owner of this classic car, you have struck the jackpot. You have a prized possession in your hands. This ownership is advantageous for you as the Z8’s value and price continue to appreciate through the years. 

You can easily sell to car collectors your well-maintained BMW Z8 for more than $600,000.

You can gain a huge profit from your Z8 if you play it right.

7. Outstanding Design

The exquisite design of the BMW Z8 is incomparable. Genuine leather, quality aluminum, and a breath of wood play complementary roles to offer a comfy, safe, and classy design.

Cons

1. Plastic Rear Window

Some drivers do not appreciate the Z8’s plastic rear window. The reason may be due to the concept that plastic materials tend to get damaged easily. Yet, this preference varies from one person to another. Some drivers prefer plastic material. Hence, it is up to you to decide. 

2. Hard to Navigate on Narrow Roads

Many drivers reported difficulty in maneuvering through narrow roads. This occurrence happens when you are not used to driving the BMW Z8. Perhaps, more practice driving could help in resolving this issue.

3. More Expensive

If you are a buyer, this aspect is a disadvantage for you. It’s no surprise that the Z8 is more expensive than some cars as BMW only produced limited models of the Z8. When a car is rare, the price could go up, especially if there are many buyers.

How Much Is the Cost of BMW Z8? 

Prices for the BMW Z8 vary, but one thing is certain, the price will appreciate throughout the years. 

The average price of the BMW Z8 is US$128,000. However, at a certain auction recently, a seller offered the lowest price at $159,500, while some sellers sold their used BMW Z8 at a hefty price of $206,000. 

How Many BMW Z8s Were Built?

BMW built 5,703 Z8 models with 2,543 for the North American market and 3,160 for the international market. [2]

The Dingolfing plant built the spaceframe, and the Munich manufacturer hand-finished the Z8. These plants are both located in Germany.

Tips for Maintaining Your BMW Z8

1. Keep Up with the BMW Z8’s Recommended Maintenance Schedule

BMW provides a recommended maintenance schedule for your Z8. You have to comply with this maintenance schedule to detect any issues early. Detecting problems early on will prevent major repairs that could cost you hundreds of dollars.

2. Replace Spark Plugs Every 30,000 Miles

Your BMW Z8’s spark plugs are crucial for starting your car efficiently. Without the spark plugs, your car’s ignition combustion will not start. Thus, it is crucial to replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles (48,280.32 km). 

3. Avoid Hard Stops and Starts

Hard stops and starts can increase the risk of your engine’s premature wear. Learn how to stop and start your car smoothly to prevent this problem. 

You may want to brake-in your car by driving in a friendly neighborhood first. Get the hang of the engine. This activity will help you drive efficiently once you are on the road. 

4. Tune-Up the Car’s Engine Regularly

If you notice something wrong with the engine, you have to tune it up even if it is not within the maintenance schedule. Engine tune-ups will boost your Z8’s performance. 

Conclusion – BMW Z8

The BMW Z8’s powerful engine is a V8 engine (4 cams), DOHC 32-valve engine. Its power output is 400 PS (294 kW or 395 hp) at 6,600 RPM. It comes with 500 Nm of torque at 3,800 rpm and a top speed of 250 km/h or 155.4 mph. 

The rarity of Z8 makes it a car collector’s item. The Z8 boasts of a central control console that is driver-friendly. The car’s luxurious design gives credit to its credibility as a classic car.

If you own one of these limited series of BMW Z8, you can be a proud owner.

Here is a summary of the tips to help you maintain your BMW Z8 in tiptop shape: 

  1. Keep Up with the BMW Z8’s Recommended Maintenance Schedule
  2. Replace Spark Plugs Every 30,000 Miles
  3. Avoid Hard Stops and Starts
  4. Tune-Up the Car’s Engine Regularly