BMW Celebrating the Return of a Classic: BMW Z4 Roadster
This autumn signifies the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the Z1. The Z1 was revolutionary for its time as BMW reintroduced a two-seater sports car to the BMW range, which had not been seen since the BMW 507 of the 1950s. The current version, the Z-4 roadster, is truly a classy and sleek sports car. Lets take a look at how this vehicle has evolved over the years.
In the 1950s, the BMW 507 exuded the utmost in modernity and style. Even by today’s standard, with the BMW grille on the side and crossed lines on the bonnet, this vehicle exudes class. It was manufactured between 1956-1959, but due to manufacturing costs and an expensive price tag, only 252 cars were ever produced. This beauty was priced at $10,500 at its most expensive (approximately $82,000 in today’s money). The BMW 507 almost took BMW to the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1950s.
Elvis Presley owned a 1959 507 from his days in the service in Germany. He gifted the car to actress Ursula Andess, who in 1997, sold the car on auction for $350,000. A fairly rewarded return on investment.
The BMW Z1 was reintroduced in 1998. By 1991, it had resurrected the entire BMW line. The design was unique and if you took a sharp turn at high speeds, there was a very good chance that you may fly out the side with the low cut doors. All in all, a great vehicle but only a limited amount were manufactured.
The BMW Z3 was the first BMW roadster which was mass produced (it was also the first BMW model assembled in the USA). It gained attention in pop culture after appearing in the James Bond movie, Golden Eye. A number 1 billing for the film helped BMW increase their sales, all before the BMW Z3 was actually released in 1996.
Production of the popular Z3 ceased in 2002 with BMW also developing a coupé version of the Z3, otherwise known as the widely popular (and extremely cool) BMW M Coupe.
The BMW Z4, which made it official debut in the 2009 model year, was a second generation BMW E85 roadster and E86 coupe, which inherited the BMW Z roadster lineage between 2002 and 2008.
The Z4 is one of the most stylish and classy cars on the road today. With a low ride and sleek modern features, this car sets the standard for automotive modern luxury today. Among many of its accolades, in 2009 it won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, an internal product design prize which recognizes design excellence over a number of fields including furniture, home appliances, machines, cars and tools.