Immaculate 9000-Mile 2001 BMW Z8 is Today’s BaT Auction Highlight

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  • This V-8-powered roadster combines a BMW M5 powertrain with a retro design inspired by the BMW 507.
  • Its silver paint and black interior make it a double for James Bond’s car in The World Is Not Enough.
  • With only 9000 miles covered in 22 years, it’s looking like a good prospect, and the online auction ends on Tuesday, November 28.

Remember James Bond’s BMW period? That’s likely to be the first association for many people spying this gleaming silver Z8—one that looks pretty much identical to the one that the Pierce Brosnan’s take on the world’s most famous non–secret agent drove in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. Spoiler alert: It didn’t end well for the car.

Our Bring a Trailer pick of the day is a very low-mileage example of the muscular BMW roadster. Even without the kudos of being a Bond car, there is a huge amount to like about the Z8, one of those cars for which critical appreciation has grown strongly over the years. When it was first shown at the 1997 Tokyo auto show as the Z07 concept, taking obvious inspiration from the 1956 BMW 507, many wondered why BMW was taking such a retro styling direction for a range flagship built around a high-tech aluminum space-frame structure.

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But while the Z8 looked like it had traveled from the past, it brought performance from the future. The production car shared its powertrain with the E39-generation BMW M5, another of the era’s portfolio highlights, using the same S62 4.9-liter naturally aspirated V-8. This made peaks of 394 horsepower and 369 pound-feet and sent drive to the rear axle through a standard six-speed manual gearbox. The only automatic Z8 would be the later Alpina version.

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Being 500 pounds lighter than the M5 made the Z8 seriously quick. We ran it through the zero-to-60-mph benchmark in just 4.5-seconds, making it one of the fastest cars we had tested at that point. It proved its superiority against even the most exotic competition by outperforming a Ferrari 360 spider on acceleration in a three-way comparison in 2001. (The Aston Martin DB7 Volante was very much there to make up the numbers.)

Despite costing more than twice as much as the M5, with a $135,300 base price in 2000, the Z8 had no difficulty finding an enthusiastic audience in the United States. More than 2500 were sold here, close to half of the total production of 5700 cars. Its status as a bona fide modern classic would have been secured even without starring in one of the less well-known Bond films.

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Our pick has covered just 9000 miles from new and is being sold complete with the optional hard top. It still features the original audio system, with a six-CD multi-changer, plus a similar vintage BMW-branded flip phone that mounts in the center console. Minor issues noted by the seller include some small scuffs on the underside of the front bumper and sagging hardtop headlining.

With seven days to run, the bidding is already past $100,000. Given the low mileage and apparent condition of this one we can expect it to run considerably higher.

Senior European Correspondent

Our man on the other side of the pond, Mike Duff lives in Britain but reports from across Europe, sometimes beyond. He has previously held staff roles on U.K. titles including CAR, Autocar, and evo, but his own automotive tastes tend toward the Germanic: he owns both a troublesome 987-generation Porsche Cayman S and a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.

Source: Motor -


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