The lines are perfect, the quality of the fit equally so but mainly it is the overall look. The steering wheel is a work of retro art, the instrument cluster in the centre of the dashboard is perfectly aligned towards the driver and there are only the essential buttons to allow you to focus on the drive ahead. It is definitely one of the best interiors I have ever experienced.
Power comes from a 5.0lV8 producing 294kW and 500Nm, the same engine that was in the M5 of the time and which could rocket the Z8 to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds an on to a limited top end of 250km/h. Extensive use of aluminium helped to achieve these figures, including the bodywork and an aluminium space frame — all of which kept the weight down to 1,585kg. The fabric roof also contributed, although every Z8 was supplied with a removable hard top too.
Climbing in I felt like Ferris Bueller getting into the Ferrari 250 GT California in the movie about his day off. I exhaled as I settled into the seat, as though I was in a very special place. Push the start button and that V8 comes to life with a gentle burble.
Originally priced at $128,000, Z8s now fetch at least double that and this one belonged to BMW Classic, so our short drive was a combination of sporty and respectful.
The steering was a highlight, displaying a level of accuracy and feedback that is far less common these days. The engine delivered its power to the rear wheels through a fantastic six-speed manual gearbox, with the stick placed at the perfect location in the centre tunnel.
I felt comfortable with the Z8 almost immediately, such was the attention to detail — not just in the design but also in the engineering. It is a timeless classic for sure.