Here’s Why the BMW Z1 Is the Strangest Modern BMW

The BMW Z1 is the strangest modern BMW -- and most people have never even heard of it. Today I'm reviewing the BMW Z1, and I'm going to show you why the BMW Z1 is so weird.
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This is a bmw z1 you've probably heard . of the z3 z4 and the z eight but if you . haven't heard of the z1 well you're in . for a treat here's a little overview the . z1 is a two-seat roadster with two doors. and as you can see the doors don't swing . out like normal doors instead they go . down into the body more on that in a . second now the z1 was sold for only a . few years in the late 1980s through june . 1991 and bmw only made 8,000 of these i . strongly suspect the reason it's so rare . is because of the price tag back when . this car was new in 1990 it cost more . than a bmw 7-series it cost as much as a . new porsche 911 the equivalent of around . was based on the bmw 3-series and it . used the same engine from the 3-series . of its time now one major reason why you . may have never heard of the z1 if you . live in north america is that bmw never . sold this car in the united states or in . canada and yet i've traveled all the way . to la jolla california near san diego to . review this imported one which i've . borrowed from la jolla independent an . excellent bmw shop here in la jolla . that's basically heaven for bmw . enthusiasts today i'm gonna take you on . a tour of the zy i'm going to show you . all of its weird quirks and unusual . features including the most obvious one . which i'm sure you're already wondering . about then i'm going to get it out on . the road and find out how the z1 drives . and then i'm gonna give it a dug score . and for more of my thoughts on the z1 go . to autotrader. com. oversteer where i've also compiled a . list of some other interesting bmw . models that i suspect you've never heard . of. okay so i'm gonna start where you . obviously want me to start and that. would be with the doors yes the doors . retract into the body when you want to . get inside the car and yes they come . back up when you want to close them i'm . not really sure why they did this . they're trying to be cool and different . and they succeeded now i've always . assumed that in order to get into a z1 . or out you pull this thing this door . handle well it turns out that has no . effect pulling that person that doesn't . do anything don't touch it instead if . you want the doors to go up and down . you press this after unlocking it and . they pop right up and as you can see the . window closes as the door closes and so . now it's flush but i put on the top i . could then lock it using this little . silver thing here and then the car would . be locked just like any normal car i . want to get back in again . i don't push the handle or push down on . the door anything i walk up i push the . silver thing and the door retracts . surprisingly quickly and of course the . window retracts too and now i can step . inside now obviously that begs the . question how do you get inside this car . because the doors are as they are. bmw i'd to put all of the crash . protection and structure for the car . below them so this door sill is . incredibly high and as a result there's . a little bit of a technique to getting . in really the easiest way to do it is . first put one leg in then grab on to . this little roll bar on the top of the . windshield more on that in a minute and . then get inside it's not that difficult . or that bad especially once you get used . to it but it is worth noting that one of . the reasons i did it that way is you're. not supposed to sit on this ultimately . this is the top of the door and it won't . support your weight so you can't sit on . this and you'll climb over it when . you're getting inside is e1 good to know . just in case you ever happen to get . inside a z1 of course getting out is . also kind of complicated again grab the . roll bar on the windshield and then just . do what you got to do it's not . incredibly difficult but then again it's . also not incredibly easy and i imagine . it'd be a lot harder if you were wearing . a skirt or a dress but let's go back now . you're in your z1 and you're wondering . alright well how do i close the door . well again you don't do anything with . this exterior door handle in fact i have . no idea why that's there it doesn't have . any apparent function in this car. instead you pull a little latch . get it inside the interior it looks a . lot like any other bmw door latch except . well it's next to your shin you pull it . and the door closes and so now the doors . closed just like in any normal car in . fact sitting here in this position with . the door up this looks just like a. normal car with a normal driving . position except for the fact that the . door panel has basically nothing on it . which is unusual now let's say it's time . to get out what do i do i pull that . latch again the door slides back down . and then it's time for me to climb out . it's actually surprisingly simple . considering this is such a novel and . bizarre concept something else i like . about the door situation in the z1 on a . normal car your passenger gets out they . forget to close the door or they don't . close it all the way you have to get out . walk all the way around and close the . door again and the z1 no problem just . reach over pull the latch and the door . closes there's nothing like a nice . automatic door that closes upwards now . there are two other interesting things . worth noting about the z1 doors one of . which is the fact that when the door is . in its up position you can roll down a . window like in any normal car so you can . have the door up in the window down and. just you're cruising along like you're . in a little roadster and put the window . up basically any normal vehicle does . that but when the door is in its down . position they don't let you do anything . with the windows you're just stuck with . the door down then again i have no idea . why you'd want to bother with the . windows or with putting the doors up. because in this car yes it's true . you can drive around with the doors in . the down position and it's glorious . [music]. okay so you've seen how the doors work . you've seen how to get inside the car . from the outside out from inside all . that stuff you might think i'm done with . the doors but not quite because there . are a couple of other interesting things . that happen when you make a car with . doors that slide downwards instead of . open for example the doors can't really . contain anything because sometimes they . might be bounced you can't put anything . on them now there aside from that . exterior door handle which has no . apparent function everything else has. been relocated off the doors and that is . more stuff than you think for instance . the exterior keyhole like i showed you . before is on the bodywork itself so it . doesn't move when the doors go up and . down that one's pretty obvious but how . about the mirror in virtually every. other car the mirror is on the doors but . not in this one because when the doors . are down you would be able to see . anything so the mirror is moved to the . windshield frame that's kind of . interesting but how about this the . mirror controls in your car they're . probably on the door in this car they're . hidden in the center console underneath . the climate controls they operate just . like normal mirror controls but you'd . never know where to find them unless you . know where to find them also interesting . in the same vein are the interior door . handles like i showed you before they . look like normal interior door handles . but you don't often see interior door . handles mounted basically on the floor . of the car and then how about this now . on the outside you can lock the doors . using the key and that lock that's on . the bodywork like i showed you but when . you're sitting inside with the doors up . you can't lock the doors it's not . possible to lock the doors in the inside . of this car when you're in it then again . a carjacker or a thief would have to . really know a lot about bmws to even . figure out how to get inside this thing . one more interesting door related quirk . i was told it's fine to open the doors . when you're getting in showing it off in . a video but don't overdo it because . replacing the belts that move the doors . up and down it's kind of a process for . one thing so you have to remove the . doors to do it and the doors themselves. weigh more than 150 pounds so it's a bit . of an annoyance now although the doors . are by far the quirkiest and the . strangest thing about the z1 and what . it's most known for there are a couple . of other interesting quirks and features . the biggest of which is the body panels . now this may look like a normal car with . normal body panels but actually they're . plastic that isn't metal now i'll get to . why they did the plastic . panels in just a minute but for now take . a look at these body panels one of the . things that happens to plastic body . panels after 25 or 30 years as they can . start to crack which is kind of . unfortunate but that's a reality when . you have plastic body panels just like . in your saturn another interesting thing . about the z1 is the hood opening now . i'll bring the hood itself is actually . pretty easy just pull a little latch and . it pops right open except you go around . to open the hood and it only comes up . this much well that's because the hood . in this car . opens this way now you may think that's . odd but actually a lot of bmws for a . long time had their hoods open this way . and bmw only stopped this practice in . the early to mid 1990s another . interesting quirk about the z1 is this . bar that sticks out from the windshield . now in most convertible cars that are. difficult to get into you're told no . matter how hard it is to get into never . touch the windshield because if you put . your weight on the windshield frame you . couldn't buckle it which obviously can . screw things up but in this car this bar . sticks out of the windshield and it'
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