BMW Z1 Celebrates 25th Anniversary


The first of BMW’s Z sports cars turns 25 this year.

Outside the BMW Museum a special gathering will be held today in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Z1. Born as a concept in order to explore the potential of new materials, the ZL1 was developed by BMW Technik. Initially there were no plans for a production model, but as "it was just too good," the car got the green light just a year after it was unveiled. The production models was a very stylish roadster that was designed to "satisfy the desire for freedom on four wheels, driving pleasure and performance."

It featured numerous groundbreaking innovations for the time, such as a monocoque chassis, electronically-retracting vertical sliding doors, and a plastic body that could be completely changed in an hou rwith just a screwdriver for assistance. According to BMW, the words the best describe the car are "young, dynamic and brash." Under the hood, a 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine produced 168hp and was mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Top speed was rated as 140mph and the car could sprint from 0-62mph in less than eight seconds.

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Priced from 83,000DM, 8,000 Z1 models were produced from 1989 until June 1991 when BMW finally decided to phase it out. Today the cars maintain a futuristic look and some models remain in active service.