The BMW Z3 was designed by Joji Nagashima of the BMW Design Team. It was based around the well established E36 3-Series platform.

The BMW Z3 was announced in 1995, making its first public appearance in the James Bond film ‘Goldeneye.’ It was soon a real success,

Originally shipped with the 1.9l M44B19 4cyl engine producing 138hp, it was then joined by the more powerful 2.8 6cyl M52B28 developing 189hp. A succession of different engines sizes in both 4cyl and 6cyl were used through the production life of the car, in different countries.

From September 1998 the engine was revised to feature VANOS timing control of both camshafts (rather than just the inlet) and a revised inlet manifold, which could separate the front and rear three cylinder inlets during certain conditions.

In 1998 the M division of BMW produced the M Roadster variant. The North American version of the car used the 3.2l S52B32 engine, whilst the rest of the world received the more powerful 3.2 l S50B32 variant.

The M versions also included quad exhausts, larger staggered wheels (wider rears) more aggressive bumpers and different wing mirrors. A few interior upgrades were included such as heavily bolstered sport seats, additional gauges in the console (oil pressure, outside temperature and an analogue clock) & illuminated gear knob.

For the 2000 model year the Z3 was slightly restyled with modified rear wings, and the 1.9 litre model was replaced by a 150 bhp six-cylinder, 2 litre variant. During 2001 this was replaced by a 170 bhp 2.2 litre model, and the 2.8 litre engine replaced by the outstanding 231 bhp 3 litre unit.BMW Z3 M Coupe

Released in 1999 the Coupe version of the Z3 production ran through to the end at 2002. The coupes were only manufactured with the 6cylinder engine variants.

Production Run1997 to 2002
DriveRear Wheel (RWD)
Body Style2 door, 2 seater convertible
-2 door, 2 seater coupe
Engines1.8 L M43B18 4cyl
-1.9 L M44B19 4cyl
-2.0 L M52B20 T 6cyl
-2.2 L M54B22 6cyl
-2.8 L M52B28 6cyl
-2.8 L M52TUB28 6cyl
-3.2 L S52B32 6cyl (North America only)
-3.2 L S50B32 6cyl (International)
-2.5 L M52TUB25 6cyl (North America only)
-2.5 L M54B25 6cyl (North America only)
-3.0 L M54B30 6cyl
-3.2 L S54B32 6cyl
Gearbox5spd manual
-4spd auto
-5spd auto with steptronic
Wheelbase2,446mm (96.3 inches)
Length4,026mm (158.5 inches)
WidthPre-facelift 1,692mm (66.6 inches)
-Facelift 1,740mm (68.5 inches)
HeightPre-facelift 1,288mm (50.7 inches)
-M Roadster 1,293mm (50.9 inches)
-Coupe 1,306mm (51.4 inches)
Weight1,170–1,445 kg (2,590–3,186 lb)
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