2001 Z3: BMW of North America
E36/7 (2001-2002) #LJ56305
2,979cc M54 inline six-cylinder
Oxford Green II metallic
BMW of North America
Woodcliff Lake, NJ (since 2000)
For the 2001 model year, BMW introduced its most powerful series-production Z3 yet: the Z3 3.0i. Under its hood was the new M54 six-cylinder engine, with Double VANOS variable valve timing and drive-by-wire throttle operation. With 225 horsepower, the 3.0-liter M54 was highly responsive, and its lightweight internals allowed it to rev freely to redline.
Alongside the Z3 3.0i, BMW offered the more affordable Z3 2.5i, with a still-zippy 184 horsepower from a 2.5-liter M54 engine. Both M54-powered Z3s were offered with a five-speed manual or automatic transmission, and both benefitted from the 2.6-inch wider rear wheel tracks and correspondingly wider rear wheels and rear fenders that were part of the 1997 upgrade package. The Z3 3.0i got larger brakes, and staggered-size 17-inch wheels that gave the car an aggressive appearance, particularly with Sport Package’s two-piece cross-spoke wheels.
Z3 3.0i production began in September 1999, and the Oxford Green car seen here, #LJ56305, was built in October 2000. It was used as a test and reference car by the engineering team, then displayed at Roadster Homecoming. The model proved popular: By the time its run ended in June 2002, BMW Manufacturing had turned out 18,787 of these quick Z3 3.0i roadsters.