The BMW Z1 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1987 and was designed by BMW as Image and technology support.
For the planning and execution of the project, which was established in 1985 BMW subsidiary BMW Technik GmbH was responsible. In particular, here are Ulrich Bez and to name as a designer Harm Lagaay. Were between early 1989 and mid-1991 in a limited series exactly 8000 Z1 built.
The vehicle has properties that are otherwise hard to find in mass-produced products:
- The doors did not contribute to the stability of the body and were lowered into the side sills, so that could be driven with the doors open.
- The engine was, as is customary, built up in the thirties into the passenger car behind the front axle, so the weight distribution between front and rear axle was brought to the ideal ratio. (Today this is called front mid-engine. )
- The completely welded, otherwise finished chassis from steel plate was galvanized at a time. The extended lifetime and increased the torsional rigidity compared to a chassis made from pre-galvanized sheet ungalvanized or by 25%. The technology was new and known only from the Renault Espace.
- Non-structural body parts such as side panels, doors, rocker panels, fenders and bumpers are made of thermoplastic material and screwed to the chassis. This is to reduce the effort for repair.
- Flaps (front, hood and trunk lid ) made of fiberglass.
- The floor is completely smooth fiber-reinforced sandwich material and from below. It is pasted to the frame and additionally screwed. The silencer has the shape of an airfoil.
- The rear axle has been redesigned and then transferred to the subsequent large-scale production of the E36 series.
To keep costs down, for example, was resorted to large-scale parts in the drive technology. With 125 kW ( 170 hp ) was the Z1 a good engine, the low weight and the sophisticated suspension, enabled high cornering speeds.
From Z1 there was only one model execution, the vehicles differ only in color of a body (initially " toprot ", " fungelb ", " primary green ", " beautiful black " - later " Pure Blue " and "magic purple " ) and the interior (dark gray, light gray, yellow, red).
66 vehicles have been converted and sold as Alpina Alpina RLE ( Roadster Limited Edition). Differences to the production version of the Z1 were a 0.2 liter larger displacement, 30 hp more, modified suspension and exhaust system and reserved with 4x100er bolt circle only these cars 17 " Alpina rims. Further eight Z1 were on customer Alpina on the status of the RLE rebuilt. these vehicles then had to be approved for road traffic over a single acceptance by TÜV Buchloe.