Saturday, April 29, 2017

Guide to My 'James Bond BMW Z3 Atlanta Blue Roadster' As Seen in The Movie GoldenEye.

Guide to 'James Bond BMW Z3 Atlanta Blue Roadster' As Seen in The Movie GoldenEye. If you want to drive like 007, chances are you’ll have to spend big bucks. But for those of lacking the coin to put us in a Lotus or an Aston, there’s a surprisingly affordable alternative that’s nearly as stylish and timeless as James Bond himself. 

That would be the BMW Z3 that featured 20 years ago in the Pierce Brosnan debut GoldenEye. While the car was criminally underused in the movie, it does have the distinction of being one of only eight car models presented to 007 by Q in the film series. BMW's long-hood, short-deck roadster with a cloth top and the engine mounted in the front carried the torch for the traditional roadster set--and carried it well.
It was featured heavily in BMW’s marketing tie-ins at the time and can even be spotted on the film’s poster. The campaign was so effective that the first year of Z3 production was snapped up by pre-sales alone. This means that, unlike most Bond cars, it’s not hard to find a good one, or to keep it going as a daily driver without breaking the bank. I was lucky enough to purchase one over two years ago.

If you want to be accurate to the movie car (see it here), you’ll want a 1996-99 BMW Z3 in Atlanta Blue with tan interior and five-point grooved wheels, got it. The shape of the taillights and front air dam changed noticeably in 1999, this is my car above.

Mine is a 1999 with roll bars I valued the added safety more than being 100 percent movie-accurate. Also note that US models like ours have a slightly different bumper with added side markers compared to Euro-spec Z3‘s. The Z3 is one of the best-handling cars in the world, with precise controls that make the car a joy to operate. It has a nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution front-to-rear, owing to features like putting the heavy battery in the trunk, so the car loves to rotate around a turn.

Many Z3’s have wood accents that add a welcome bit of luxury inside, mine does, see photo above. The Z3 has the distinction of being one of the last BMWs produced without a plethora of in-car electronics and infotainment systems. And that has given it an added punch of reliability in that regard. With round gauges, straightforward climate control knobs and a non-adjustable steering column, the Z3's interior is old school in the most refreshing way possible.

DRIVETRAIN. Bond’s car (and mine) is powered by a 2.8 Liter Inline  6-cylinder which was optional starting in 1997, but the styling of the six-cylinder cars look a bit different from the movie car due to a larger front air dam and wider “hips”. 

Many people prefer the extra horsepower of the 6-cylinder (189 hp versus 138). In a car this small and low, you always feel like you’re going faster than you are, particularly with the top down. 
1999 BMW Z3 2.3 Roadster Atlanta Blue Metallic Exterior Color
Beige Interior 4 Speed Automatic Transmission 2.5 Liter DOHC 24-Valve Inline 6 Cylinder Engine.
In 1999, with an updated version of the M52 2.8-liter making 193 hp, BMW introduced a 170-hp, 2.5-liter six-cylinder variant, dubbed, inexplicably, the "2.3."

Nothing better than to take a drive to downtown Sarasota Bay with the top down, the BMW Z3 roadster was designed to make every single drive an indulgence. Its stunning look and elongated hood combine with breathtaking power to create an almost addictive open-top experience that’s sure to leave you with your odometer as your only alibi’.

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