BMW is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Z1 by holding a special gathering in front the BMW Museum on June 8th.
Originally conceived as a concept that explored new types of materials, the Z1 was developed by BMW Technik GmbH. While the company didn't have plans for a production version, "it was just too good" and was green-lighted a year after it was introduced.
Designed to "satisfy the desire for freedom on four wheels," the production model was a stylish roadster that featured a number of groundbreaking innovations including a monocoque chassis (which was hot-dip galvanized and zinc-coated to prevent corrosion and increase torsional rigidity), electronically-retracting doors and a plastic body that could be changed in an hour with nothing more than a screwdriver.
Priced from 83,000 DM, the roadster was powered by a 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine that produced 170 PS (125 kW / 168 hp). It was connected to a five-speed manual transmission which enabled the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than eight seconds and hit a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).
The first model rolled off the assembly line in 1989 and 8,000 Z1s were built before it was phased out in June 1991.