Specification image modification exterior interior price review 2014 BMW Z8
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Press down firmly on the throttle, and the Z8 lunges ahead in any of its six forward gears. Switch off the traction control, and you can fry the tread off the 275/40WR-18 run-flat tires for as long as you wish. In fact, launching the Z8 to get the best performance numbers demands a delicate touch. But when we got it right, the Z8 hustled to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and got through the quarter-mile in 13.0 seconds at 111 mph.
Despite the powerful thrust of this sleek sports car's engine, there's nothing remotely uncivilized about the power delivery. You can tool around town in as gentle a mode as a limo-driving-school graduate if you wish.
The chassis, however, never disguises its high-performance orientation. Although we wouldn't characterize the ride as harsh, even on the smooth roads around Los Angeles the suspension made few bumps disappear the way they do in BMW's 5- and 7-series sedans from which the Z8's suspension is derived.

The 5-series contributes the strut suspension used in the nose of the Z8, although overall travel is down about 15 percent. The spring and damping calibrations are also stiffer, and few of the individual pieces are identical. The Z8 is also the first application of a rack-and-pinion steering mechanism in a V-8-powered BMW car. The Z8 carries its engine farther back in the chassis than in the 5- and 7-series, which left room up front for the rack-and-pinion steering.
The rear suspension is more closely related to that of the 7-series, borrowing the lower suspension arms from that model as well the steel subframe for its wide track. The upper suspension pieces are unique to the Z8, as are the springs, the shocks, and the anti-roll bars. Moreover, hard rod ends replace many of the rubber bushings used in the sedans' suspension pivots. The 7-series also contributes the brake booster and the front calipers and rotors, but the rear stoppers are unique to the Z8. The M5 brakes were deemed unnecessary for the lighter, and more lightly loaded, Z8.
These various bits are mounted to a frame made from fairly large-section extruded aluminum tubes. These are MIG-welded by hand in careful order so that the entire assembly does not require heat treating when it is finished. Four major tubes in the central tunnel create a strong backbone. Aluminum sheets welded and crimped to the tubes in several areas provide additional stiffening. Naturally, the bodywork is also formed from aluminum.

According to BMW engineers, this construction reduces tooling costs, which is important since only 1500 cars will be produced each year. They also claim that it yields the stiffest convertible on the market. We can't unequivocally confirm that, but the Z8 does feel very rigid and free of quivers with the power-operated top up or down. We didn't sample the removable hardtop that comes with this sports car.
The rigid chassis definitely lends precision to the way the Z8 carves up winding roads. The steering response is accurate and linear, and road feel is excellent. At moderate speeds, understeer dominates the Z8's behavior. But if you turn off the traction control, you find that there is more than enough power to balance the chassis and kick out the tail, even at rather fast speeds. Better to leave the stability control on unless your right foot and your seat-of-the-pants oversteer sensor are well calibrated.
Although the sticker price of the Z8 will be $135,304, including gas-guzzler and luxury tariffs, the 400 Z8s allocated for the U.S. this year are already spoken for. In fact, BMW expects the Z8 to become a classic and is guaranteeing that it will supply parts for at least 50 years.source:caranddriver.com

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