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When the BMW Z3 made its debut, a 4-cylinder version was presented featuring a powerful 1.9-liter four-valve power unit, which was derived from the BMW 318is. It had peak performance of 138 horsepower, and torque of 133 lb-ft, and last but not least a very sexy sound. This speedy sports car immediately won the hearts of fresh air aficionados!
The BMW Z3 was the right type of car launched at the right time: from the start the distinctive BMW Z3 has been in pole position ahead of other roadsters. In 1996 more than 46,000 of the uncompromising two-seaters were sold worldwide, and in September '99 the 200,000th BMW Z3 came off the production line. Until then nobody had deemed this feasible in a market segment that had to that point been regarded as a tiny niche.
In no way does this mean that the BMW Z3's design was undisputed in the course of its rapid rise. Whereas some people found the long hood, the slim waistline and the voluptuous curves at the wheel arches attractive, there were others who didn't like the combination of modern and nostalgic features. However, the difference of opinion vanishes as soon as the BMW Z3 is in motion and the driver and the passenger feel the wind blowing in their faces. The cockpit's passengers experience pure driving pleasure when the roadster quickly takes tight bends in a predator-like manner, and virtually devours straight stretches already looking forward to the next bend.
Source: BMW Press Release