The BMW Z1 was source of great admiration when it was premiered at the International Frankfurt Motor Show in 1987. Even though it was the first BMW roadster of modern era, it still succeeded in perpetuating the brand’s great roadster tradition. Nowadays the BMW Z1 changes hands at top prices as a future classic, but it was also the first vehicle to be produced by BMW Technik GmbH and deserves recognitions as a platform for pioneering technological developments.
The BMW Technik GmbH, established in 1985, showcased a modern prototype of a classic roadster proportions to the specialised press just one year later. It was this model that was brought to serial-production maturity as the BMW Z1 in 1988.
The two-seater had an integral frame made from corrosion-free sheet steel and a body comprising thermoplastic parts; it also demonstrated an excellent crash response as well as an impressive drag coefficient. The side doors dropped into the side sills – a particular eye-catcher. A 6-cylinder power unit with a 170 hp output was installed as a mid-engine. As a result the BMW Z1 reached a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph). A total of 8,000 Z1 roadtsers were built up until the end of production in 1991.