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The BMW E36/7 is the second generation of the BMW Z range of two-seater sports cars, produced from 1995 to 2002. The body styles of the range are:

BMW Z3 (E36/7/8)
1996-1998 BMW Z3 Roadster.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer BMW
Production September 1995 – June 2002
Assembly South Carolina, United States
Designer Joji Nagashima
Body and chassis
Class Roadster / sports car (S)
Body style 2-door roadster / coupé
Layout FR layout
Related BMW 3 Series (E36)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission 5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,446 mm (96 in)
Length 4,025 mm (158.5 in)
Width 1,692 mm (66.6 in)
Height E36/7: 1,293 mm (50.9 in)
E36/8: 1,306 mm (51.4 in)
Curb weight 1,160–1,400 kg (2,560–3,090 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor BMW Z1
Successor BMW Z4 (E85)
2001 Z3 3.0i interior (facelift)

The E36/7 was based on the E36 3 Series platform,[1] while using the rear semi-trailing arm design of the older E30 3 Series. It is the first BMW Z Series car to be mass-produced.

Z3M models were released in 1998 in roadster and coupé body styles. It is powered by the S50, S52, or S54 straight-six engine depending on country and model year, and comes with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Production ended on June 28, 2002,[2] with the Z3 line replaced by the Z4.

Contents

Development and launchEdit

Development on the roadster began in 1991 and was led by Burkhard Göschel.[1][3] The exterior was designed by Joji Nagashima in 1992[4][5] and the design was frozen in 1993.[6] Design patents were filed on April 2, 1994 in Germany and on September 27, 1994 in the US.[7] The Z3 was introduced via video press release by BMW North America on June 12, 1995. Production began on September 20, 1995.[8]

Development on the coupé model was run by a group of BMW engineers outside of work in their own time.[9] The Z3 Coupé shares the same platform and parts with the roadster, but features a chassis-stiffening hatch area and is 2.7 times stiffer in comparison.[10][9] The Z3 Coupé was unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Z3 was the first BMW model to be solely manufactured outside of Germany. It was manufactured in Greer, South Carolina.[4]

Body stylesEdit

Roadster (E36/7)Edit

Roadster models entered production in October 1995, powered by 4-cylinder engines on launch. 6-cylinder engines were later introduced in 1996.[11] A removable hardtop roof was available as an optional accessory.

Coupé (E36/8)Edit

Coupé models entered production in September 1998 with its controversial shooting brake design, which has been nicknamed "clown shoe"[12][13] and "bread van"[14][15] by critics. In Germany, it has been nicknamed the "turnschuh" (sports shoe).[16][17]

Coupé models were only produced as 2.8, 3.0i, and M Coupé models.

TransmissionsEdit

The available transmissions are:[18]

ModelsEdit

The 4-cylinder models feature a single tailpipe, while 6-cylinder models have dual tailpipes, wheelarch flares (for pre-facelift models), and a revised front bumper. The 2.3 and 2.5 models were sold exclusively in the United States, while the 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2i models were not available.

4-cylinder enginesEdit

Model Years Engine Power Torque 0-60
1.8 1995–1998 M43B18
1.8 L I4
85 kW (114 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
168 N⋅m (124 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.1 s
1999–2000 M43B19

1.9 L I4

87 kW (117 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.0 s
1.9i 1995–1999 M44B19
1.9 L I4
103 kW (138 hp)
@ 6,000 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,300 rpm
9.1 s
2000–2002 M43B19
1.9L I4
87 kW (117 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,900 rpm
10.0 s

6-cylinder enginesEdit

Model Years Engine Power Torque 0-60
2.0 1999–2000 M52TUB20
2.0 L I6
110 kW (148 hp)
@ 5,900 rpm
190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
8.5 s
2.2i 2000–2002 M54B22
2.2 L I6
125 kW (168 hp)
@ 6,100 rpm
210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
7.6 s
2.3 1998–1999 M52TUB25

2.5 L I6

127 kW (170 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
245 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
1999–2000 125 kW (168 hp)
@ 5,500 rpm
2.5 2000–2002 137 kW (184 hp)
@ 6,000 rpm
237 N⋅m (175 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
2.8 1997–1998 M52B28
2.8 L I6
141 kW (189 hp)
@ 5,300 rpm
275 N⋅m (203 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,950 rpm
6.8 s
1999–2000 M52TUB28
2.8 L I6
142 kW (190 hp)
@ 5,300 rpm
280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
6.6 s
3.0i 2000–2002 M54B30
3.0 L I6
170 kW (228 hp)
@ 5,900 rpm
300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,500 rpm
5.8 s
Z3M (EU) 1997–2000 S50B32
3.2 L I6
236 kW (316 hp)
@ 7,400 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
@ 3,250 rpm
5.2 s
2001–2002 S54B32
3.2 L I6
239 kW (321 hp)
@ 7,400 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,900 rpm
5.1 s
Z3M (US) 1997–1999 S52B32
3.2 L I6
179 kW (240 hp)
@ 6,000 rpm
305 N⋅m (225 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,250 rpm
2000–2002 S54B32
3.2 L I6
235 kW (315 hp)
@ 7,400 rpm
340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft)
@ 4,900 rpm

Z3M versionsEdit

The Z3M versions were introduced in 1997 in the roadster (M Roadster) and coupé (M Coupé) body styles. European models were initially powered by the S50 engine, while North American models were powered by the S52 engine. In 2000, all Z3 models switched to the S54 engine. Models were only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Compared to the standard Z3, M models featured a limited slip differential, a wider rear track,[14] and larger brakes (that are shared with the E36 M3). Z3M models have more aerodynamic wing-mirrors, redesigned front and rear bumpers, revised side gill, 17-inch wheels, quad exhausts, and engine and oil temperature gauges in the center console.

Unlike the rest of the Z3 range, the Z3M did not receive cosmetic changes during the facelift in 2000.

Special ModelsEdit

James Bond EditionEdit

 
007 Bond Edition

To tie in with the appearance in the GoldenEye film, BMW released a "James Bond Edition" Z3 for sale through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue. The James Bond Edition sold in 1996 for USD$35,000. BMW and Neiman Marcus had originally set a 20 unit sales goal, but was later increased to 100 units after receiving a high level of interest orders.

The James Bond Edition was based on the Z3 1.9 and included a 007 dash plaque, 007 Bond floor mats, unique wheels, and chrome exterior trim. The colour scheme was an "Atlantic blue" exterior with beige leather interior, as per the Z3 which appeared in GoldenEye.[19]

V12 prototypeEdit

In 1999, the BMW M division produced a single prototype Z3 powered by the M73 V12 engine,[20][21] in order to test the space efficiency of the engine bay.[22] The car has a 6-speed manual transmission with a 70/30 weight distribution.

Z3M Coupé Safety CarEdit

A safety car variant of the Z3M Coupé was produced by the BMW M division for MotoGP[23] and used in the 2000 season.

Model year changesEdit

1997Edit

  • Coupé models introduced.[24]
  • M Roadster and M Coupé models introduced to the public.
  • BMW Individual introduced to Z3 models.[25]

1998Edit

1999 faceliftEdit

Production for facelift models began in April 1999.[30] Z3M models did not receive the exterior styling changes. Major changes include:

  • Exterior design changes including: redesigned chrome ring headlights[31] and L-shaped taillights,[32] wider rear track by 2.5 in (64mm) (now the same across 4 and 6-cylinder models), model designation badges,[33] finger indent for trunk release button,[33] integrated third brake light (with silver lights on 2.8 and 3.0i models),[31] chrome exhaust tips,[33] and new wheel designs.[34]
  • Interior design changes including: redesigned centre console buttons with a clock in the middle and a new three-spoke steering wheel design.[35]
  • Engine changes including: 2.0 replaced by 2.2i, 2.3 replaced by 2.5 (US only), 2.8 replaced by 3.0i. All Z3M models changed to S54 engine.
  • Electronic stability control upgraded from ASC to new DSC system.[36]
  • New three-layer insulation convertible roof with headlining.[35]
  • Dual-stage side airbags introduced.[37]

2000Edit

  • DSC now integrated with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Automatic Differential Brake (ADB) functions.[38]

Production volumesEdit

One source provides the data below for production figures.[39] However, there are other sources which provide conflicting information,[39] so actual figures are not certain.

Model Total Roadster Coupé
Z3 1.8 56,091 56,091 -
Z3 1.9i 77,965 77,965
Z3 2.0 14,616 14,616
Z3 2.2i 21,052 21,052
Z3 2.3 22,282 22,282
Z3 2.5 6,813 6,813
Z3 2.8 58,278 50,607 7,671
Z3 3.0i 18,378 14,525 3,853
Z3M 21,613 15,322 6,291
Total: 297,088 279,273 17,815

MarketingEdit

The Z3 appeared briefly in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, in a scene where Bond is driving in Cuba.[40] The Z3 is one of few non-British production cars to be driven by James Bond in a movie, and the first of three James Bond films featuring a BMW car.[41] The Z3 in GoldenEye features stinger missiles hidden behind the headlights, an emergency parachute braking system and a radar scanner in the form of a LCD screen in the dashboard.[42] It is also noted during the briefing scene, that the car contains a passenger ejector seat and a self-destruct system.[43]

Two blue prototypes were provided in January 1995 for filming at the Leavesden Aerodrome.[44][45] The agreement between BMW and Eon Productions was for cross-promotion of the car and the film, and there was no financial component.[46]

Sales of the Z3 spiked as the film sat at number one at the Box Office. In the 1996 production run, more than 15,000 roadsters were sold out by the time the car was introduced.[40]

AwardsEdit

  • 1995 "Super Reggie" Best-of-show award for the GoldenEye marketing campaign[47]
  • 1999 Edmunds' Most Wanted Convertible $25,001-$40,000 for the Z3 2.8[48]
  • 1999 Car and Driver "Ten Best" for M Coupé / M Roadster[49]
  • 1999 Automobile Magazine "Design of the Year" award for the M Coupé[50]
  • 1999 Automobile Magazine "Best Sports Car" award for the M Coupé[50]
  • 2000 Intellichoice "Best Overall Value of the Year" - "Base Sport" for the Z3 Roadster 2.3[51]
  • 2000 Top Gear (TV show) "Driver's Car of the Year" for the M Coupé[52]
  • 2009 Jalopnik "Best 10 Cars of the Decade" feature for the M Coupé[53]
  • 2011 Top Gear "Hammond's Icons" for the M Coupé[54]

ReferencesEdit

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  5. ^ "BMW Z3 (E36) Roadster & Coupe 1997 to 2002". www.zroadster.org. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Bangle, Chris (January 2001). "The ultimate creativity machine. How BMW turns art into profit". Harvard Business Review. 79: 47–55. PMID 11189462. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "DPMAregister - Designs - Registerauskunft zum Design". dpma.de. 
  8. ^ http://www.autonews.com/article/19950814/ANA/508140731/bmw-sets-z3-job-1-for-september
  9. ^ a b Lieberman, Jonny. "The Jalopnik Fantasy Garage: First-Generation BMW M Coupe". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
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  14. ^ a b "Why The BMW Z3 M Is A Proper 90s Hero Car". www.carthrottle.com. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
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