Description: (2000 - 2003) The Z8 comes equipped with a 4.9 liter V8 with a monster 394 hp. Standard features include leather, ABS, 18 inch alloys, 6 speed manual transmission and vehicle navigation system.
BMW offers a special Alpina edition of the Z8 for 2003.
Strengths: Beautiful, retro-modern style, with superb detailing. Terrific powertrain, excellent handling. Fantastic craftsmanship, both perceived and real.
Weaknesses: As most folks seem to agree, the soft-top plastic window, the disappointing sound- and nav systems.
Summary: A true "gentleman's sports car". I never get tired of looking at that Henrik Fisker-designed, hand-crafted aluminum body. Or the interior, that is an ultra-clean, minimalist delight. It's elegant and understated, rather than brash and loud. The top-quality materials give it a coach-built character that feels wonderful (several reviewers have said that just sitting in the car with it not running makes you feel good, and it really does).
One can tell this car is going to age like an old Rolex watch...sure, there are better performers as technology marches relentlessly on, but this one is still just a joy to be around and to touch and to drive. Today, you can buy over 400 HP in a Mustang, but in 2000, that was a mighty big number. It's still plenty big for anything you're going to do with this car.
The car's performance is excellent in all respects...some reviewers seem to expect this thing to have handling limits like a Ferrari, but that isn't what it was about (realistically, the handling envelope on this car is wider than almost any owner is qualified for). This car is about a carefully crafted experience. Now that it's 10 years old, and rare (only about 2300 of them were brought to the US, of a total run of 5703), most people don't remember the car, or realize that this was BMW's flagship for 4 years. In a way, that's nice, because people see the car and react to it at a gut level, admiring its beauty, but not getting caught up in the fact that it cost 6 figures.
I just bought this car about 3 months ago. This particular Z8 spent most of it's life in a plastic bubble; it only has 3,300 miles on it from new, and all of the accessories are unopened and untouched (like a time machine). The upside is, it's literally like buying a brand new car that hasn't been made for years. The downside is that I feel like I'm destroying an artifact every time I drive it. Because it was planned at the beginning that this be a collectable car, and everyone pretty much reacted to it that way, there are many Z8s that have been preserved like this one. In fact, there are about 50 cars unaccounted for, which suggests that dealers bought them as investments and never registered them.
In any case, if you want one of these, you can find one in any condition you want, up to virtually new. Expect to pay from around $80K for a driver to about $140K for a super-low mileage mint vehicle (or one built with a funky custom paint job from the factory through the BMW Individual program). $100K-$110K will buy you an almost-new one like mine, and you have the choice of preserving it or enjoying it on the road or track.
Virtually all of the cars have been carefully maintained. Change out the run-flats if you want to (keep the originals, though, for future authenticity). Beyond that, there are some special lube requirements that you can learn about from the Drivers' Club, which is really excellent and supportive. Seriously, if you wish to buy one of these, study up on the web, then try to get somebody to let you drive one. You're going to have to pay for the car if you want one, but the good news is, it will hold its value well and the ownership experience is worth it.
Strengths: Overall quality of build fit and finish. Great attention to detail. Wide torque range and very drivable. Great braked and predictable handling. Toss it around like a toy.
Weaknesses: Very poor sound system – way too much bass. Probably much better with the top off. I don’t tolerate sun so I have never had the hardtop off of the car.
Summary: I live in the LA area and bought the car over the phone. Had it delivered at my front door with 11 miles on the odometer? I have driven it approx 6K miles and still love the car. I owned a 2002 996 TT and this is, in every way, a nicer car. Don’t get me started on the TT. By the way before the 996 I owned a 91 and then a 95 NSX. Both NSXs were great cars, though underpowered. The Z8 is fun to drive, hard to drive slowly, and very comfortable. I took advantage of the BMW offered driving experience, spending 2 days at their facility, beating one of their Z8s. The instruction was great and I was able to see what the car could really do when pushed. This is a great program that will make any driver a better and safer driver. Even in the posh LA area where TT Porsches and Ferraris are seen everywhere, the Z8 is rarely seen and always appreciated. If you get the chance to own one, even a used one, do so, you won’t be sorry.
Weaknesses: Could use tilt steering....but again..pretty trivial in the grand scheme.
Summary: You have got to be kidding me! This is one awesome sports car. Power is incredible....I'm still getting used to 400 ponies. It is as if the car does not want to drive slowly. I thought I might have buyers' remorse after initial purchase as I bought the car w/out ever driving it....and only seeing one on the road 2 years ago. But WOW.....I love this car. The styling is very unique and the car is truly a work of art. I've driven this car only 200 miles so far and I've had numerous comments from complete strangers, including one woman who stopped me in traffic and flirted gratuitously. Not to mention all the snapping of necks as I pass other drivers. Also, nearly caused an accident as a driver next to me was watching me instead of the car in front of him when the car in front of him stopped at a yellow light. Scared the crap out of me. The car is an attention getter.....so the bashfull need not apply. I've read plenty about this car both good things and bad. I've read comment from mullets out there who have barely seen this car, let alone driven one....yet they offer their opinions as if they were experts. (I guess they figure if they're driving a Vette, or a Mustang or Evo they are qualified to comment on BMW's exotic). And that's fine, this is America...freedom of speech, etc. But I'm much more interested in opinions from those who own and drive, not those you yearn to do so. Or are jealous of those who do. Assinine comments I've read include: "The car needs a glass rear window". Earth to bozos, this car comes equiped w/ soft top (plastic window) AND hard top (glass window). Best of both worlds. And "BWM doesn't have a racing heritage....must go back to grandpa's day". Hey race fans (F1, not neck car), ever heard of Juan Pablo Montoya or Ralf Schumacher, both of team Williams-BMW? And this doozy, "The styling of the Z8 is umremarkable and forgetable...an odd choice". These are the same squirrels who'll be getting whiplash as I pass them trying to get a glimpse of the unremarkable styling. This just in, the fact that you are commenting about the styling makes it remarkable. I'm frankly sick and tired of folks commenting on the car's price. Hey econ majors, the price is what the the market will bare. The market perceives this car as sticker plus 20k, 50k or even 100k is some cases. This is economic reality...get used to it. Other equally inane comments include: "The shifter is too flexible...navigation needs bigger screen...limited trunk space...etc." These complaints are trivial and don't detract from this cars overall appeal. This is a sports car...not meant to be practical. You want practicality stick with your minivans. No car is perfect...perfection is beyond all carmakers reach...but the Z8 comes closer than any other automobile out there to reaching this lofty goal. Believe it.
Strengths: Power,handling,looks and uniqueness. Hand made all aluminium body and frame make for an incredible ride on both track and street.
Weaknesses: Pushes a little turning in at high speeds, but most modern cars do. BMW service almost always leaves something to be desired.
Summary: Bought the car in the hay day and paid arguably more than any sane person should. Still I love the car. Have about 9000 miles on it and several days at varoius race tracks under extreme conditions. Wouldn't spend that much today, but that isn't because of the car. I do think it is worth the sticker price. By far, the most awesome car I have ever owned. For the sticker price, there isn't anything else that compares in performance AND style.
Similar Products Used: 2000 M5, M Roadster,Porsche 911.
Rating Reviewed by: Mike Ingold(Unregistered User)
Review Date September 4, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for 3 Months to 1 year
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Review 5 of 19
, from Canton,Ohio,U.S.A.
from Canton BMW Dealer
Year / Model Reviewed: 2002 /Z8
Strengths: Speed, handling, conforts, headlights and tail lights. Basically the whole nine yards.
Summary: This car is the standard for excellence. The classic style mixed with the exceptional power, handling, performance, and prestige of the most expensive cars and future greats. This is the 507 of it's time. Better than a Ferrari, Bently, or Aston Martin. The confort of the Z8 is extrodinary heated seats, steering wheel, and much more perks. Overall the Z8 is a very great car at a exceptionaly great price.
Similar Products Used: Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish, Bently, and Ferrari Spyder