BMW has introduced the Z1 back in 1988 in the Italian town of Punta Ala. The predecessor of Z1 is the 507 model from the late 1950s, which was the last time the BMW model range had included a two-seater sports car.

The "new" Z1 was simply sensational with its avant-garde solutions. Some of them were so bold, that even nowadays look a little strange.

The BMW Board of Management came up with the notion of setting up a kind of think tank in a cutting-edge company branch that would be completely isolated from all other development departments. The idea was to give highly skilled BMW engineers, technicians and designers free rein to work on turning their best creative concepts into reality themselves.

The Z1 came out with only one engine – a 2.5 litre straight six with codename M20B25 producing 170HP (125 kW) at 5800RPM and 218 Nm (161 lb-ft) at 4300 RPM. The compression ratio of the engine is 8.8:1 and it is fed by electronic fuel injection. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox sending all power to the rear wheels.

0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The kerb weight is 1290 kg (2800 lbs) thanks to the floor, which is made from reinforced plastic meaning lower gravity center and better handling.

The Z1 wasn't of the most successful BMW models and after a run of 8000 units, the car came out of production.

The small number that were made, the unique overall design concept and, not least, the tremendous driving pleasure it generated have today earned the Z1 a place amongst the modern classics of BMW automotive history.

New Z1 vehicles were priced between 83 000 and 89 000 DM (around €42 000 and €45 500).

1988 BMW Z1

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