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Body style: Convertible (spider/spyder, cabrio/cabriolet, drop/open/soft top)
Segment: Roadster & Convertible

The Z3 was the first vehicle built by BMW exclusively outside Germany and it was the first mass-produced Z-series model.

It was the first vehicle built by the German car-maker to be featured in a James Bond movie franchise.

The predecessor of the BMW Z3 was the Z1. There was not any Z2 on the market. The Z3 was based on a mixed platform based on the E36 3-Series model, but with the rear axle taken from the E30 due to its compactness.

Z3 was a typical roadster with a long hood, short cabin, and even shorter rear deck. Its rounded form and wide headlights covered by a clear-lens cover attracted a lot of customers. It was produced until 2003. On the front fenders, there was an exhaust vent with four slats, that resembled the BMW 507 roadster.

Inside, there was a two-seat layout with a big center console between the occupants. The central stack was slightly tilted toward the driver. With the dials and gauges carried-over from the E36 model, the Z3 was fit for sporty driving.

Inside, it offered sport-bucket seats for both occupants. On the center stack, BMW installed a stereo and the controls for the air-conditioning unit. The bucket-seats featured high bolstering to support the occupants while fast cornering.

Even if it featured a mixed platform/drivetrain, the Z3 was a fast and nimble car. It was offered with a choice of engines ranged between 1.8-liter and 2.8-liter before the facelift. In 1999 the car went through a mid-life cycle refresh and received some updated engines. The 2.0-liter inline-six was replaced by a 2.2-liter, and the 2.3-liter was upgraded to a 2.5-liter, while the 2.8-liter was increased to 3.0-liter. The M versions were a different chapter.

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1996 - 2003 32 Photos
BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) (1996 - 2003)
press release
BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1996 - 2003
  10 gasoline engines
  • 1.8i 5MT (115 HP)
  • 1.9i 4AT (140 HP)
  • 1.9i 5MT (140 HP)
  • 1.9L 5MT (118 HP)
  • 2.0L 5MT (150 HP)
  • 2.2i 5AT (170 HP)
  • 2.2i 5MT (170 HP)
  • 2.8i 5MT (192 HP)
  • 2.8L 4AT (192 HP)
  • 3.0i 5MT (231 HP)

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1.8i 5MT (115 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.8i 5MT (115 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1796 cm3
Power
85 KW @ 5500 RPM
116 HP @ 5500 RPM
114 BHP @ 5500 RPM
Torque
124 lb-ft @ 3900 RPM
168 Nm @ 3900 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
120.5 mph (194 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.5 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
205/60 R15
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2557.4 lbs (1160 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3108.5 lbs (1410 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
21.6 mpg US (10.9 L/100Km)
Highway
39.9 mpg US (5.9 L/100Km)
Combined
30.2 mpg US (7.8 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
187 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1.9i 4AT (140 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.9i 4AT (140 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1895 cm3
Power
103 KW @ 6000 RPM
140 HP @ 6000 RPM
138 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
133 lb-ft @ 4300 RPM
180 Nm @ 4300 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
122 mph (196 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.6 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
205/60 R15
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2612.5 lbs (1185 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3163.6 lbs (1435 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
18.5 mpg US (12.7 L/100Km)
Highway
36.2 mpg US (6.5 L/100Km)
Combined
29.4 mpg US (8 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
189 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1.9i 5MT (140 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.9i 5MT (140 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1895 cm3
Power
103 KW @ 6000 RPM
140 HP @ 6000 RPM
138 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
133 lb-ft @ 4300 RPM
180 Nm @ 4300 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
127.4 mph (205 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
9.5 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
205/60 R15
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2612.5 lbs (1185 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3163.6 lbs (1435 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
20.6 mpg US (11.4 L/100Km)
Highway
39.2 mpg US (6 L/100Km)
Combined
29.4 mpg US (8 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
189 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 1.9L 5MT (118 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.9L 5MT (118 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
1895 cm3
Power
86.8 KW @ 5500 RPM
118 HP @ 5500 RPM
116 BHP @ 5500 RPM
Torque
140 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
190 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
122 mph (196 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
10.4 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/55 R16 95 W
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2690 lbs (1220 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3285 lbs (1490 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
21.4 mpg US (11 L/100Km)
Highway
39.2 mpg US (6 L/100Km)

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 2.0L 5MT (150 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.0L 5MT (150 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
1991 cm3
Power
110.3 KW @ 5900 RPM
150 HP @ 5900 RPM
148 BHP @ 5900 RPM
Torque
207 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
280 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
130 mph (209 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
89 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
205/60 R15
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2800 lbs (1270 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3395 lbs (1540 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
18.1 mpg US (13 L/100Km)
Highway
30.9 mpg US (7.6 L/100Km)

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 2.2i 5AT (170 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2i 5AT (170 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
1991 cm3
Power
110.3 KW @ 5900 RPM
150 HP @ 5900 RPM
148 BHP @ 5900 RPM
Torque
207 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
280 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
137 mph (220 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
8.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
205/60 R15
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2965 lbs (1345 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3395 lbs (1540 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
18 mpg US (13.1 L/100Km)
Highway
30.9 mpg US (7.6 L/100Km)
Combined
24.5 mpg US (9.6 L/100Km)

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 2.2i 5MT (170 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2i 5MT (170 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2171 cm3
Power
125 KW @ 6100 RPM
170 HP @ 6100 RPM
168 BHP @ 6100 RPM
Torque
155 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
210 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
139.2 mph (224 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
7.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/50 R16 92 V
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2744.8 lbs (1245 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3395.1 lbs (1540 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
18.7 mpg US (12.6 L/100Km)
Highway
32.2 mpg US (7.3 L/100Km)
Combined
25.6 mpg US (9.2 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
224 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 2.8i 5MT (192 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.8i 5MT (192 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2793 cm3
Power
141 KW @ 5300 RPM
192 HP @ 5300 RPM
189 BHP @ 5300 RPM
Torque
203 lb-ft @ 3950 RPM
275 Nm @ 3950 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
135.5 mph (218 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
7.1 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/55 R16 95 W
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2777.8 lbs (1260 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3329 lbs (1510 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
16.9 mpg US (13.9 L/100Km)
Highway
32.2 mpg US (7.3 L/100Km)
Combined
24.2 mpg US (9.7 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
225 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 2.8L 4AT (192 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.8L 4AT (192 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2793 cm3
Power
141 KW @ 5300 RPM
192 HP @ 5300 RPM
189 BHP @ 5300 RPM
Torque
203 lb-ft @ 3950 RPM
275 Nm @ 3950 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
134 mph (216 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
7.2 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/55 R16 95 W
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2833 lbs (1285 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3417 lbs (1550 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
16.9 mpg US (13.9 L/100Km)
Highway
32.2 mpg US (7.3 L/100Km)
Combined
24.2 mpg US (9.7 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
225 g/km

BMW Z3 Roadster (E36) 3.0i 5MT (231 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  3.0i 5MT (231 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
2979 cm3
Power
170 KW @ 5900 RPM
231 HP @ 5900 RPM
228 BHP @ 5900 RPM
Torque
221 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
300 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
13.5 gallons (51.1 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
149.1 mph (240 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
6 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
225/50 ZR16
DIMENSIONS
Length
159.4 in (4049 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.9 in (1293 mm)
Front/rear Track
55.6/58.8 in (1,412/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
96.3 in (2446 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2832.9 lbs (1285 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3428.2 lbs (1555 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
17.7 mpg US (13.3 L/100Km)
Highway
32.2 mpg US (7.3 L/100Km)
Combined
24.8 mpg US (9.5 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
228 g/km
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