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The Z8 was the production variant of the 1997 Z07 concept car, which was designed by Henrik Fisker 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 just 5,703 examples built between 2000 & 2003, approximately half of which were exported to the U.S. The original Z07 had been designed with production in mind and thus the Z8 remained extremely faithful to the concept car. The side-mounted turn indicators were integrated into the side vents in a fashion that rendered them invisible until activated. The vintage simplicity of the interior was preserved by hiding the modern equipment under retracting panels. Complex compound curves were preserved through the use of an expensive MIG-welded aluminum space frame. The Z8 even retained the concept's five-spoke wheel design, albeit without the race-style center lug nut.
The Z8 has an all aluminum chassis and body and uses a 4.9 L V8 developing 400 hp and 370 ft·lb of torque. This engine, known internally as the S62, was shared with the E39 M5 and built by BMW motorsport. The engine is located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0–62 mph time of 4.7 seconds (Motor Trend magazine achieved 0–60 mph in 4.2 seconds!). Car and Driver magazine also tested the car and found that it outperformed the contemporary benchmark Ferrari 360 Modena in three important performance categories: acceleration, handling, and braking. As with most BMW products, its top speed is electronically limited to 155.4.
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. Due to the limited volume of Z8 production, all elements of the car were constructed or finished by hand.
This example offered for sale has covered just under 15,000 miles from new and is presented in Topas Blue with champagne cream leather. The car was manufactured in August 2002 and first registered by its delivering dealer, William Jacks of Wimbledon, in February 2003. The car is equipped with a six speed manual gearbox and is presented in stunning condition accompanied by all its books and a thorough main dealer service history.