The BMW Z8 was unveiled by BMW in the summer of 2000 for the 2001 model year, and as such, nothing has changed with the launch of the 2002 BMW Z8. With an introduction in a James Bond movie, this high-end roadster from BMW was destined to be an instant classic. The only BMW to come with a six-figure price tag, and with only one model available, the 2002 BMW Z8 is not a sports car for everyone. With its limited production run, BMW has ensured that ownership of the 2002 BMW Z8 is an exclusive club. Mostly hand-built in Germany, the 2002 BMW Z8 is aimed at those owners who have a passion for driving.
Body Styles: two-door two-seat convertible roadster
Engines: 4.9L V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: BMW Z8
BMW decided to produce the BMW Z8 due to the positive response it received to the initial concept car. The concept car had been designed so that it could become a production car, so very little was changed to enable the manufacturing and selling of the BMW Z8 for the summer of 2000. With its limited run of vehicles, and basically ultimate design, there were no changes and nothing new for the launch of the 2002 BMW Z8.
The style of the 2002 BMW Z8 is inspired by the BMW 507 roadster that was produced in the mid to late 1950s. The design team had to develop a sports car that was based on the original 507 roadster, and had evolved over the years and never ceased production. The result gives the 2002 BMW Z8 a long hood and short deck profile with classic sports car lines, but is also contemporary and modern looking.
From the front, the wider signature BMW twin kidney shaped grilles give the 2002 BMW Z8 a powerful and aggressive look. The hand-built car is made almost completely from aluminum that makes the chassis very stiff and extremely light. 18-inch run flat wheels and a power fabric soft top with a plastic rear window are installed as standard, while a removable hardtop is also included.
The classic 1950s roadster feel continues into the interior of the 2002 BMW Z8. Leather upholstery is enhanced by the brushed aluminum trim in a cockpit designed for just two. The starter button is found on the dashboard beside a steering wheel with thin spokes. That is where the old school ways end, as the interior of the 2002 BMW Z8 is fully equipped with modern technology, including power heated bucket seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, an upgraded six-CD changer audio system by Harman/Kardon, a hands-free cell phone link, a navigation system, and power windows, locks, and mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 BMW Z8 is equipped with a 4.9L V-8 engine that provides 394 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. The sole transmission choice is a six-speed manual transmission, with no automatic transmission available. The throttle system is a drive by wire system that allows drivers to choose between normal and sport settings.
The powerful engine found within the 2002 BMW Z8 gets the roadster to speed quickly. From a stop, and while maneuvering at speed, the engine is fast, which is augmented by the crisp, clean shifting action of the six-speed manual transmission. By locating the engine just behind the front axle, the balance of the 2002 BMW Z8 is more centralized making handling that much better. Steering is precise and communicative, and very little body lean is experienced when cornering at speed. Ride quality is firm so some bumpiness can be expected, but smooth overall.
The standard safety equipment fitted in the 2002 BMW Z8 includes four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, side airbags, run-flat tires and a tire pressure monitoring system, roll bars, stability control, traction control, dynamic skid control, and electronic brakeforce distribution. Airbags inflate at one of two settings based on the severity of the impact, as well as the position of the passenger.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW Z8: 12/19 mpg city/highway
- Acceleration from powerful engine
- Precise steering and handling
- High quality build materials inside and out
- Unique design and exclusive ownership
You Won't Like
- Price tag
- Very little cargo room
- Plastic rear window with soft top
- Noisy with top up
A modern and up-to-date sports car with a classic design.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Mercedes-Benz SLK
- Porsche 911
- Audi TT
- Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
- Maserati Spyder
- Ferrari 360 Modena