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2000 Model Year Z3 Line Up (archive)

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Posted by Fred Meloan on September 25, 1998 at 15:00:22:

Mattís post got me thinking about this subject again. Now that the 99 Model Year line up is in place what is more fun than to prognosticate about next yearís models.

Based on several conversations I have had with people who know more than I do I am willing to go out on a limb and suggest that the 2.8 model Z3 will be dropped starting with the 2000 model year and we will be left with a basic 2.5 roadster and coupe and an M roadster and coupe. Several beliefs lead me to this conclusion.

First, I am almost certain that the 2.8 engine will be upgraded to a 3.0 liter version (having somewhere from 220-225 horsepower) starting with the 2000 model year. This engine will be used in the E39 and E46 models. This would make these two models then much more competitive with cars such as the MB E320 and the new Acura TL which already have horsepower ratings in that range. Unfortunately, I also believe that the new 3.4 liter M3 engine will not yet be available in the United States for MY 2000 and therefore BMW will not use the new M engine in the M roadster until the new M3 has been on the market in the US for at least one model year. As a result of this situation, the existing 3.2 liter M engine and the new 3.0 liter engine would simply be too close to each other in displacement for BMW to allow them both in the Z3 line up because of the belief that a 3.0 liter Z3 would steal sales from the M roadster. In view of the fact that manufacturing capacity at Spartanburg is limited I think BMW would rather sell M roadsters than 3.0 liter Z3ís given the greater profit per unit. Thus a 2000 MY line up of what would be called the "new" 2.5 Z3 roadster and coupe and the 3.2 M roadster and coupe make sense to me. The "new" 2.5 Z3 engine would be the existing M52TU re-tuned to add 10-15 horsepower.

Now that I have stated my case, I hope the rest of you will take this opportunity to jump in with your $0.02.

Fred Meloan



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