The BMW Z8 - or BMW E52 - is BMW ‘s tribute to their BMW 507 they made in the fifties. The Z8 was built to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary 507, and although that 507 nearly spelled trouble for the Bavarian ‘car magicians’, it still is a car that holds a prominent place in the BMW history books as 'iconic.' That same thing is exactly what the Z8 also claims on its list of accomplishments. The 'Z' stands for 'Zukunft', which means 'future' in German, its sleek design proves that it is a very correct name.
After revealing flashy prototypes at international auto shows and making some refinements to the design of those revealed prototypes, it was time to unleash the Z8 onto the market. In 1999, the Z8 officially goes into production, the following year it was available for sale, marking the beginning of the new millennium in an extravagant manner. Equipped with the most powerful BMW engine of that time - a naturally aspirated V8 engine from the E39 M5 operated by a manual gearbox - the Z8 has a maximum power output of 400 horsepower and a maximum torque of 500 Nm. With these specifications, it is able to reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour – 62 miles per hour - from a standstill in less than five seconds. Its top speed it electronically limited at 250 kilometres per hour.
In addition to its powerful engine, the Z8 offers plenty of luxurious features. There is no option list as the Z8 is a complete package on its own that comes with all the options. Therefore, the interior is fully made in leather, even the roll bar has the leather finish, there is an aluminium-finished steering wheel, the rear window of the hardtop is heated and matches the interior colours, and there even is a button to start and stop the engine.
It goes without saying, after seeing this car, that the automotive artistry of the Z8 offers architectural beauty in every way. The Z8 is entirely made of aluminium and completely crafted by hand using a new body construction technique called the ‘spaceframe’. Besides that, new-designed neon lights were also used for the Z8’s lighting.
Its appearance in the 1999 James Bond film 'The World is Not Enough' gave it a boost in popularity and cemented its iconic status even before the Z8 hit the market. During its production period from 2000 to 2003, a total of only 5,703 units were built, each one meticulously handmade. The Z8 embodies a holy trinity of rarity, German natural power, and (near-)perfect design, which is why it has captured the hearts of many.