BMW sports cars, great roadsters with great aerodynamics
BMW sports cars are German marques. BMW is known for its performance and luxury vehicles, and is a global leader in premium car sales. When looking at BMW sports cars will be looking at the M models and the Z models.
BMW z series
The BMW Z Series traditionally is a roadster manufactured by the German automaker BMW beginning with the Z1. Successor to the BMW 507 after nearly 30 years, it has been produced in four different generations, coupe variants, one super car, and one concept. The Z1 was a limited production European run for BMW, whereas its successor the Z3 was the first mass produced roadster for BMW. The original Z in Z1 stood for Zukunft (German for future).
E30 based Z1, 1989-1992
The BMW Z1 is a two-seat roadster developed by BMW and produced from March 1989 to June 1991. The Z1 featured unusual doors which, instead of opening outward or upward, dropped down into the door sills. Only 8,000 examples of the Z1 were produced.
E36 based Z3, 1996-2002
The Z3 was the first modern mass-market roadster produced by BMW. The Z3 was introduced as a 1996 model year vehicle, shortly after being featured in the James Bond movie, GoldenEye. There were a few variants of the car before its production run ended in 2002, including a coupé version for 1999, and M versions for both. It was manufactured and assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The Z4 is one of the more intriguing BMW sports cars available. It's a successor to the original Z3 and is the company's only two-seat sports car. It features traditional characteristics such as a front-engine/rear-drive layout, a hunkered-down stance, a long hood and rearward positioning of driver and passenger.
While the first Z4 featured a traditional soft top, the current Z4 model has a sleek retractable hardtop that makes this fun-loving roadster a more viable all-year car choice. The first-generation BMW Z4 was designated the E85 in roadster form and E86 in coupé form. From 2003 the Z4 Roadster is available as a 3.0i (3.0 L I6 with 231 hp), a 3.0si available with the new generation 3.0 L I6 with 265 hp (198 kW) , a 2.5si with a 2.5 I6 with 218 bhp (163 kW; 221 PS), a 2.2i with a straight-6 170 bhp (127 kW; 172 PS) engine, or a 2.0i with a 150 bhp (112 kW; 152 PS) 2.0 L I4. The Z4 coupé is available only in the high-performance 3.0si trim powered by the 3.0 L 225 hp (168 kW) I6.
Z4 M Roadster
The Z4 M is powered by a 3.2-litre straight-six engine (S54B32). Performance figures are: 3,246 cc displacement, 333 brake horsepower (248 kW) at 7,900 rpm, 269 lb·ft (365 N·m) of torque at 4,900 rpm, 8,000 rpm redline. Output per litre is 107 bhp (80 kW; 108 PS) , and power-to-weight ratio is 9.9 lb/bhp. Acceleration to 60 mph (96km/h) comes in 4.8 seconds. (0-62mph / 100km/h is 5.0) and top speed is limited electronically to 156 mph (251 km/h).
BMW Z4 (E89)
BMW E89 is the chassis code of the second generation of BMW sports cars Z4. It now has a retractable hardtop like the Mercedes SLK replacing the previous roadster and coupé versions for the 2009 model year. There are exclusively six-cylinder engines on this generation. However, there is speculation that turbocharged four-cylinder motors may replace the non-turbo six-cylinder powerplants. Since the new Z4 now has a retractable hardtop, it no longer comes in separate roadster and coupé versions. The two-piece, electro-hydraulic retractable hardtop in lightweight aluminium shell can be folded up or down in 20 seconds automatically. In the open state, the boot capacity is 180 liters (if closed: 310 l).
In the Z4 sDrive35i, the new 7-speed double-clutch gearbox is used. In the 23i and 30i a six-speed sports automatic transmission with Steptronic is offered. Fitted as standard is a 6-speed manual transmission.
Efficient Dynamics regenerative braking is standard in most BMW sports cars. The Drive Dynamic Control is standard, which include NORMAL, SPORT, SPORT+ modes. Optional Adaptive M Sport Suspension adds electronic damping control.
The hand brake is electro-mechanically operated. Compared to the previous generation Z4, the new vehicle has grown 148 mm (5.8 in) longer, 9 mm (0.35 in) wider, 2.5 mm (0.098 in) in wheelbase, and is significantly heavier, adding between 150 kg (330 lb) and 235 kg (520 lb) in unladen weight, when compared to the previous model.
The Z8 was a roadster car produced by BMW sports cars from 1999-2006. It was given the E52 BMW model code.
The Z8 was the production variant of the 1997 Z07 concept car, which was designed by Henrik Fisker at BMW's DesignworksUSA in Southern California. The Z07 originally was designed as a styling exercise intended to evoke and celebrate the 1956-'59 BMW 507. The Z07 caused a sensation at the '97 Tokyo Auto Show. The overwhelming popularity of the concept spurred BMW's decision to produce a limited production model called the Z8. There were 5,703 Z8s built, approximately half of which were exported to the U.S. The $128,000 car had an all aluminum chassis and body and used a 4.9 L (4941 cc) 32-valve V8, that developed 400 hp (300 kW) and 500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) torque. The engine was located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 4.7 seconds. The Z8 included an innovative use of neon exterior lighting. The tail lights and turn indicators are powered by neon tubes that offer quicker activation than standard lightbulbs and are expected to last for the life of the vehicle.
Every Z8 was shipped with a color-matching metal hardtop with rear defroster. Unlike many accessory hardtops, which are provided for practical rather than stylistic considerations, the Z8 hardtop was designed from the outset to complement the lines of the roadster.
BMW M models
BMW M, also known as M-Technik or just "M" (for Motorsport) was initially created to facilitate BMW’s racing program, which was very successful in the 1960s and 1970s. As time passed, BMW M began to supplement BMW's vehicles portfolio with specially modified higher trim models, for which they are now most known for to the general public. These M-badged cars traditionally include modified engines, transmissions, suspensions, interior trims, aerodynamics, and exterior modifications to set them apart from their counterparts. Established in May 1972 with just eight employees, it grew to 400 employees by 1988, and is currently an integral part of BMW's market presence. The first racing project was BMW’s 3.0 CSL.
After the success of BMW sports cars like BMW 3.0 CSL in racing venues and the growing market for high performance sports cars, M introduced cars for sale to the public. The first official M-badged car for sale to the public was the M1, revealed at the Paris Motor Show in 1978. The M1, however, was more of a racecar in domestic trim than an everyday driver. The direction of the M cars changed with the 1979 release of the M535i, which was a high performance version of BMW’s popular 5 Series mid-size sedan.
BMW Motorsport GmbH supplied the 6.1 litre V12 DOHC 48 valve engine that powers the McLaren F1, which, like its engine supplier and manufacturer, has enjoyed plenty of racing success, famously winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, the first year of competition for the GTR racing variant.
At present, BMW M has offered modified versions of nearly every BMW nameplate, except for the 7 Series flagship luxury sedan and the X3 compact crossover SUV. There is no BMW M version of the 7 Series, as BMW did not want its flagship saloon to be powered by a high-revving engine, and as the recent top-performing versions (usually the BMW 760Li) have V12 engines which while powerful are considered too heavy for a sporty offshoot.
BMW sports cars engines were traditionally low displacement naturally aspirated high revving engines, particularly the S85 V10 in the E60 M5 and E63 M6 and the related S65 V8 in the E90 M3. These are the most powerful engines BMW has ever built without supercharging or turbocharging, with an output of 100 hp per liter of displacement, and each has won numerous International Engine of the Year Awards.
BMW sports cars are high performance vehicles which can be compared to Mercedes sports cars.
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