The Top 20 BMW Cars of All Time
Following the discontinuation of the 507, BMW went a whopping 30 years without a production two-seat roadster in its portfolio. And while the car that broke that drought – the Z1 – wasn’t quite as ambitious as the 507, the design and engineering team behind it still aimed high. The rakish plastic body housed such groundbreaking features as HID headlights and oddball doors that disappeared, windows and all, into the freakishly tall rocker panels at the touch of a button. Underneath, the Z1 utilized a multilink rear suspension design dubbed “Z Axle” (one of the first production Bimmers to do so), while the E30 325i’s 2.5L six and 5-speed manual transmission provided locomotion.
Only 8,000 Z1s were built over a roughly two year run, and none of them were sent to North America, due in no small part to the fact the car was designed to be driven with the weirdo doors in either the up or down positions. Still, a few have been brought over as private imports and, more importantly, the Z1 inspired the company to undergo a roadster revival of sorts as the ‘90s progressed.