The Z1 has been a car which was set to revolutionize and refresh the image of BMW back in the 1980ies. Following the decision to build a new two-seater sportscar, in 1985 the board of directors of BMW Technik Gmbh decided to start the development of a whole new project.
After one year of work, the first prototype was readied and began testing with the final version later being shown to the public at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1987 with production starting in 1988 (only 58 cars produced) and with deliveries beginning in March 1989. Featuring many components from the 3-series, such as the 2.5 liter straight six engine, front suspension and interior details, the Z1 was a truly new sportscar from BMW. With a 51/49 weight distribution and a new multi-link rear suspension geometry, it was a car which would appealed collectors and passionate drivers alike. Its design featured a small degree of ground-effect and also the headlamps were carrying technology later seen on the 7 series. BMW also planned to produce this new car on a new line in Munich, exclusively dedicated to the build of this car.
Perhaps the most famous feature of the Z1 are the unique electromechanical doors, which instead of being hinged conventionally, could slide down into the sills, allowing an easy entry. What's stunning about the Z1, is that the injection-moulded thermolastic body panels were recyclable and easily interchangeable: it was then possible for customers to easily change the colour of their cars by simply replacing with new ones, without the need for a respray!
8000 Z1s were produced until 1991 and many have given their owners the joy of driving and keeping a true milestone of automotive history.