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News of  August 22, 2000


BMW Z3 Series: New Engines, A New Transmission And Upgrated Standard Equipment Add Excitement To Classic Sports Cars

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey - One might say that BMW's taut little roadster, the Z3, launched a whole movement and initiated a welcome revival of the traditional sports car when it was introduced in 1996. 


Photo: BMW

Until that time, small sports cars were simply being neglected by most carmakers, and very particularly by carmakers known for elevated quality standards. The Z3 definitively changed that state of affairs.  

Since the Z3's debut, direct competitors of BMW have joined the segment of high-quality, yet not prohibitively priced, sports cars. BMW itself has steadily evolved the Z3 from the Z3 into a Series, moving from the initial 4-cylinder roadster to a line of 6-cylinder roadsters and a unique coupe. Along the way, Z3 design and technology have been updated and product content expanded. 

For 2001, this successful line of sports cars takes another significant evolutionary step with the introduction of new engines, a new and sportier automatic transmission, and further equipment upgrades. Each of the three Z3 models for 2001 also has a new name: 

  • Z3 roadster 2.5i - replacing the 2000 roadster 2.3, this most affordable Z3 model has 14 more horsepower (184 hp) under its long hood and newly standard foglights and cruise control; it offers a new Sport Package as well, combining special wheels and sport seats at value pricing. At $31,870 including destination charge, the 2.5i base prices exactly like its 2000 counterpart. (When adjusted for added equipment, all 2001 prices are actually down - not even considering the engineering improvements.) 

  • Z3 roadster 3.0i - superseding the 2000 roadster 2.8, this more powerful roadster is even stronger for '01. Its engine is enlarged from 2.8 to 3.0 liters, and develops fully 32 hp more than before (now 225 hp). Its standard wheels and tires are upgraded from 16-in. to 17-in., the front brakes are larger, and exterior styling is freshened. At $38,470, this top roadster model is up just 3.6% over its predecessor.  

  • Z3 coupe 3.0i - BMW's interpretation of the classic Gran Turismo sports coupe has the same new 3.0-liter engine as the roadster 3.0i, as well as the new 17-in. wheels/tires and larger front brakes. Interior design upgrades introduced in the roadsters for '00 now appear in the coupe as well, and it has its own distinctive new front-end look. At $38,270, the coupe 3.0i is up only 3.1% from the '00 coupe 2.8. 

All three new models share certain significant enhancements: 

  • New-generation inline 6-cylinder engines, in two sizes, with significant engineering
  • refinements.
  • New automatic transmission - a 5-speed STEPTRONIC unit replaces the former
  • 4-speed automatic.
  • Wheel selections - new choices for every model.
  • Chrome interior trim - formerly optional on all models; now standard on 3.0i roadster
  • and coupe.
  • Standard cupholders - these were a BMW Center-installed accessory last year.

(August 18, 2000)


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