Rekindling BMWs past history of building roadsters in the 1930s through to the 1950s, the Z3 debuted in 1996 and was immediately noted for its appearance in the James Bond movie GoldenEye.
Proving to be a success at introduction, the BMW Z3 became a performance icon for the German automaker through the late 1990s. By 1999, the BMW Z3 sports car line-up was offered with a choice of the open-top roadster or a coupe body style. The 1999 Z3 also offered three powerplants with one attached to a BMW M division model.
The smallest 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine generated 170 horsepower and was only available on the BMW Z3 roadster. Offered both on the roadster and coupe model a 2.8-liter powerplant provided a more robust 193 horsepower. When powered by a 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter inline-six engine, the BMW Z3 models were classified as the M Roadster and M Coupe. In 2000, the rear end as well as the interior of the sports car was mildly redesigned.
The M Roadster and M Coupe modified with more provocative fenders and bold interior details such as sport seats. A five-speed manual transmission was standard on the BMW Z3 along with traction control for the rear-wheel drive vehicle.