Zukunft is the German word for ‘future’, which is where the Z designation came from. First used on the Z1, it was later used on the Z3, Z4 & Z8 cars.

The BMW Z1 was a two-seat roadster developed by BMW. It was produced from March 1989 to June 1991. All the BMW Z1 were left-hand drive, except the final one built.

The chassis was specially designed for the Z1 and features a number of innovative features.

The body was made of plastic and can be detached from the chassis. BMW when launching the car suggested you could purchase an extra set of body panels to change the colour of your car at any time if you wanted.

The rear axle (“Z Axle”) was specifically designed for the car, and was on of the first BMWs to feature a multi link setup. The Z Axle was used on many other BMWs throughout the 1990′s.

The BMW M20B25 engine was coupled with the Getrag 260/5 five speed manual gearbox (taken from the BMW E30 325). This is a 2.5 litre 12valve SOHC (single over head cam) straight six engine producing 170hp @ 5,800rpm & 222nm of torque.

Fitted as standard with 15″ alloy wheels on the front and rear with 205/55 tyres.

One of the more interesting features on the car are the doors which ‘disappear’ in to the door sills. The strength of the chassis and sill is such that the car can be driven with the doors down providing adequate crash protection.

BMW produced just 8,000, of which the majority (6,443) were sold within Germany.

Production RunBMW Z1 (March 1989 to June 1991)
DriveRear Wheel (RWD)
EngineM20B25 (2.5l, straight six, 12v, Single Over Head Cam)
Max Power @ rpm170 PS (125 kW;168 hp) @ 5,800 rpm
Max Torque @ rpm218 N·m (161 lb·ft) @ 4,300 rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity57L(15.1US gal; 12.5 imp gal)
Gearbox:5-speed manual
Front SuspensionMcPherson axle, coil springs, stabilisingbar
Rear SuspensionLower trailing arms with diagonal rods, upper wishbones, coil springs, stabilising bar
BrakesPower assisted disc brakes all round, with anti-lock brake system (ABS)
Body CompositionUnibody steel chassis with plastic body panels
Dry Weight1,290kgs (2,800lbs)
LoadedWeight1,460kgs (3,200lbs)
Wheelbase2,450mm (96 inches)
Length3,925mm (154.5 inches)
Height (roof down)1,248mm (49.1 inches)
Height (roof up)1,277mm (50.3 inches)
Top Speed220 kmh or 137mph
0-62mph9.0 sec