The BMW Z3 Roadster was first displayed globally in 1995. Asian Carmakers Corporation, the exclusive distributor of BMW in the Philippines brought in the convertible in 1996. A year later, the Z3 Coupé was unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show. It then made its way to Philippine shores in 1998 together with the M versions of the Z3.
The iconic convertible boasts of sleek and sexy lines that accentuate its slim body. Giving a bit of aggressiveness and masculinity to the vehicle are fender flares designed uniquely for the BMW Z3. A black removable hardtop roof comes as standard, which comes with three-layer insulation with headlining. The short rear to make it as light as possible for better acceleration. Meanwhile, the coupe comes in an unusual side profile making it look like a hatchback. It comes off much stiffer than its convertible counterpart because of the all-metal finish.
Both variants are furnished with chrome ring headlights and L-shaped taillights that add to the vehicles’ sophistication. It rides on 16-inch wheels as standard, while the M line gets 17-inch wheels.
Stepping inside the BMW Z3 provides a vintage feel. Its classic and timeless styling is fully-decked in premium materials following the rest of the German luxury automotive brand’s lineup. A plethora of leather wraps all seats, door trims, and the three-spoke steering wheel. Controls are easy to reach and placed logically especially on the redesigned center console with a clock in the middle, a nod to traditional BMW interior elements.
Technology & Safety Features
Since the last facelift was back in 1999, there aren’t many digital features on the BMW Z3. It is equipped with a basic entertainment system comprised of an AM/FM radio and speakers.
In terms of safety, the model comes with more advanced features such as Dynamic Stability Control integrated with Dynamic Brake Control and Automatic Differential Brake functions.
It also comes with a 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System and front impact airbags for each of the passengers to ensure road safety.
Platform & Chassis
The two-door convertible runs on independent MacPherson strut front suspension and independent multi-link suspension at the rear. Its coupe counterpart is furnished with independent McPherson strut front suspension and Z-link rear suspension. Stopping power comes from disc brakes on all four wheels.
Engine & Drivetrain
The BMW Z3 Convertible comes in two engine options- the M44B19 1.9-liter inline-four gasoline engine that produces 138 hp and 180 Nm of torque, and an M52B20T 2.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine which spews out 170 hp and 210 Nm of torque. For the coupe, the sole option is the M54B30 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine which provides a good 231 hp and 300 Nm of torque. Convertible variants are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission while the coupe is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Both send power to the front wheels.