The Mazda Miata could have been the glorious perfect car of the American scene - not until BMW launched its Z3. BMW Z3 provides all the fun covered by the Miata, yet it offers more substantial elements. After its introduction to the public, it started ramping its way into the sales charts, thereby taking more or less 50% of the roadster sales. Words such as bigger, more capable, and heavier would all be understatements for this kind of car. Being a real car, you don't get the insecure feeling of being too vulnerable on the road once you ride in it. Such appreciation from the consumers prompted BMW Z3 to indulge more into several innovations throughout the coming years of its operation.
BMW could not just let time pass by and have the Mazda Miata climb its way towards success without all the hassles. The much-hyped, flashy, and cool BMW Z3 came in 1996 to offer Miata a competitive march. BMW Z3 utilized as many bits and pieces as it could get out of the BMW 3 Series classic and sporty parts bin. And because most critics call Miata a very small car, BMW Z3 has been made almost half-size larger than it is with added weight and more confining accommodation.
A 1.9-liter engine delivering a 138-horsepower DOHC inline-four came with the first Z3 model. Undoubtedly, it was really a fast car! However, due to some terrible risks the vehicle was running for, BMW decided to close the said application and instead employed a new 2.8-liter engine pushing a 189-horsepower DOHC inline-six. A few years later, BMW Z3 was replaced with a 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower DOHC six for its basic engine.
Summertime is again at its peak and BMW Z3 could be used as a good ride especially during this season. Being a roadster itself, you can always ride the Z3 with the top down and feel the invigorating and refreshing air. Then you will suddenly realize the renewed feeling overwhelming you. BMW first unveiled itself in the 1996 James Bond movie known as "The Goldeneye" and since then several Bavarian Motor Works patrons flocked into dealer showrooms to procure their own Z3s.
The Z3 precisely follows the genius designing concept shared by every BMW series. When it comes to technology, the firm uses its latest breakthrough to further ensure the best they could offer. Following the principle of car designs, BMW Z3 is luxuriously filled with the amenities and comforts much to the delight of every driver and passenger. Truly, BMW has that special passion for mobility and style.
How to Keep your BMW Z3 Long Lasting
Fast. Sporty. Timeless. These three words describe your BMW Z3 perfectly, and these are the reasons why many collectors covet a Z3. It is easily understandable why you love your Z3, and you'd want to keep it in shape. Good thing that you do not have to go the extra mile to keep it performing and looking the way you want it to. Just follow the basic maintenance tips below.
- Keep your car's paint perfect.
The smallest chip or scratch on your BMW Z3's can become a huge problem if it goes unfixed for a long time. It needs to be touched up as soon as possible to keep the metal under it from corroding. Also, don't forget to thoroughly wash your car at least once a week using automotive grade cleaning products. Washing will prevent dirt buildup. Bug splatter and bird poop should be washed off quickly since they contain compounds that can damage the paint of your car. For added protection and luster, use wax and polish your car every couple of months. During cold months, you can wax more often.
- No engine problems, no worries.
Your BMW Z3's engine is built to last long. However, it will last longer if you take care of it properly. Engine maintenance starts with checking the engine oil. The engine oil lubricates the engine parts and also helps in keeping it cool. Make sure that it is at the right level. Too little oil can cause damage to your engine and too much oil can damage the parts near the engine. The oil filter should be changed regularly as well to ensure smooth operation. Make sure that the timing belt is not loose. It also needs to be replaced every 25,000 miles or if you notice that it already has cracks.
Your BMW Z3's cooling system helps in keeping the engine operating at the right temperature and prevents it from overheating. Cooling system maintenance starts off with checking the coolant. The coolant needs to be replaced regularly. Make sure that you replace it with half antifreeze and half distilled water. Use distilled water because regular tap water can contain mineral deposits that can cause damage to the metal parts of the cooling system. Also make sure that your radiator is leak free and that the radiator hoses are connected tightly and free from cracks. With the amount of heat the engine generates, it can cause the hoses to become brittle.
- Take a break, check your brakes.
Your BMW Z3's brake system is the number one component in keeping you safe while driving. This is why you should never pass up on checking the brakes. The brake components should be checked and replaced if they need to be replaced to avoid compromising your safety. Always check the thickness of your brake pads. If it's 1/8 inch thin, you need to replace them. Your driving habits are a big factor on the life span of your brakes. Avoid riding the brakes and braking hard suddenly after accelerating.
BMW Z3: The Roadster with the Golden Eye
As BMW's first mass-market roadster, the Z3 became known for its sleek style, impressive handling, and flawless power delivery. But aside from these features, this model was also known for being James Bond's companion in the intro of the 007 flick GoldenEye. Since the celebrity-like debut, car enthusiasts around the world clamored for the release of the Z3. Through the years, this model had various upgrades which made it more famous. Though it has already been discontinued, the Z3 remains to be one of the best vehicles in the automobile industry.
1992-1996: First model
When the first model of the BMW Z3 was first released, it was powered by a 1.9-L, M44B19, straight-four engine that could produce as much as 138 hp. Assembled and produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Z3 was designed under the E36 platform. Thus, it was equipped with the E30's rear semi-trailing arm suspension which was considered outdated by some experts and car owners. Unfortunately, despite its impressive exterior, the first model of the Z3 had an interior design that was not up to par with the other BMW models. Nonetheless, the patents for the design were filed in 1994 in the US and Germany.
1997: Second model
To answer the car enthusiasts' demands for a better engine, BMW equipped the Z3 with a six-cylinder engine that was somehow similar to the M52 straight-six. Unlike its predecessor, the upgraded engine could produce as much 189 horsepower. And much to the delight of Z3 fans during this time, the new engine made the vehicle perform smoother and better. Also, as an additional safety feature and to improve the roadster's handling, the traction control system (TCS) or anti-slip regulation feature was made standard.
1998-1999: Third model
In 1998, BMW released the M Roadster. Tagged as the performance version of the Z3 and Z4 line, this model was sold with a 3.2-L S50B32 internationally and a 3.2-L S52B32 engine in North America. Along with the introduction of the M Roadster, the Z3 boasted standard rollover bars and well-bolstered sport seats. The next year, the Z3's 1.9-L engine was replaced with a more powerful 2.5-L straight-six engine that could generate as much as 170 horsepower. The coupe line was also introduced. Called the Z3 Coupe, this line featured a chassis-stiffening rear hatch area and the biggest six-cylinder engine. Also, all Z3 models became equipped with side airbags.
2000-2002: Final model
For the 2000 model year, the BMW Z3 saw several exterior and interior revisions. The three-spoke steering wheel was introduced along with other interior features. For the roadster, a refreshed center console was installed, and the tail was redesigned. Engine-wise, all engines were upgraded. The new engine line was composed of the 3.2-L S54B32, 2.5-L M54B25, 2.2-L M54B22, and 3.0-L M54B30. Before it was discontinued, the Z3 was sold with a five-speed automatic transmission that can shift manually. The following year, this vehicle was equipped with a CD player. Unfortunately, the Z3 was eventually discontinued to give way to the Z4.