Originally designed as a styling example that was intended to be reminiscent of the 1956-59 BMW 507, a car that was made popular by singer Elvis Presley in the late 1950s, the BMW Z07 Concept caused quite a sparkling sensation at the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show. The Z07 Concept was so incredibly popular that BMW decided to produce a limited production model called the Z8. A total of 5,703 BMW Z8's were produced, about half of them were exported to the U.S. A revived version of the former 507 automobile, the design of Z07 resembles the former concept car although Z07 is a larger version.
Designed to celebrate the famous' BMW 507's 50th birthday, the Z07 was a limited-production vehicle as the prototypical expression of the excitement for driving which is the company's backbone. The Z8 roadster was the latest vehicle following in this tradition. The 1997 BMW Z07 designed by Henrik Fisker at BWM's DesignworksUSA in Southern California represents the evolution of the 507 that was powered at that time by the V8 engine. Chris Bangle is responsible for the revised concept car, and has an estimated price tag of $110,000, higher even than BMW's roadster, the Z3.
Since the Z07 had been designed with production clearly in mind, the concept was practical and regulatory considerations that necessitated very minor changes for the production model. Due to the incredibly success of the concept-car it produced the decision to build a vehicle in limited series, dubbed the Z8. Already today a collector's car, the Z8 was produced in less than 5,700 units between 2000 and 2003. Production of the new super sports car was officially announced at the Detroit Show on January 4th, 1999. Designed specifically with connoisseurs in mind, the BMW Z8 was very exclusive as well as being a force to be reckoned with technologically.
Some of the changes from concept to production included the windshield of the Z8 being extended upward along with a larger front air-dam being fitted. Both of these updates were implemented to provide aerodynamic stability inside a reasonable halcyon cockpit environment The Z07 featured a four-spoke steering wheel which was replaced by a three spoke design. The concepts hardtop was updated from a double-bubble form with a tapering faring to a single dome with a truncated convex backside. To provide easy operation of the power soft top the Z07's exotic driver's side helmet fairing was eliminated. Other than these minor changes, the BMW Z8 remained quite faithful to the original concept vehicle.
Transforming them invisible until activated, the side-mounted turn indicators were integrated into the side vents. The interior was quite ‘Vintage' and was simplistic in its way of hiding the modern equipment under retracting panels. Through the use of a pricy MIG-welded aluminum space frame the complex compound curves were preserved. The exotic Z8 styling was very closely echoed by the Z07 concept vehicle.
The BWM Z07 could achieve 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds and had a top speed of 155 mph. It had an overall length of 173.2 inches, a width of 72 inches, a height of 51. inches and a wheelbase of 98.6 inches.By Jessica Donaldson