In Reply to: DOT and EPA....more posted by FredR on February 11, 2000 at 10:51:32:
Bottom line - BMW chose not to. In fact, they never intended to build any at all.
Re the doors, the sills are so high & the entire structure so strong that, it met ALL of the then current safety regs (R&T 12/87). If the doors were an issue, it would be because the amount of cabin turbulence, while doors *retracted* & top down, was reported to be deafening. Probably, outwhelming the novelty, i.e., practicality. Rule out DOT.
Re emissions regs, the drivetrain is basic 3-series, which BMW has sold hundreds of thousands of in the US. IOW, a nonissue. I concur with FredR on the recent possibility of legally registering one here...So, long as it's EPA compilant.
Which brings us to (surprise!) economics. It had a list price of ~$46,000, then based upon the prevailing USD/DM FX rate, at that time. Makes sense that BMW didn't want devote any of the 3-series production line to a niche product. I personally wished they had, but the realities are pretty clear. You know, if/when production of the 2.8 & ///M coupe ceases, one possible reason might be to make (manufacturing) room for the X5.
Fortunately for us, we have an Z1 owner among us - Giampiero of MG Racing.