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BMW UNVEILS Z8 FOR BIG-BUCKS ROADSTER BUYERS

The high-price, low-volume BMW Z8 roadster will debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September, have a featured role in the new James Bond movie opening November 19, and go on sale in Canada sometime in 2000.

That's the official schedule for the 2-seat beauty, according to BMW Canada, which recently released preliminary pictures of the V-8 powered car.

Z8 is supposed to evoke memories of the BMW 507, of which only 252 models were made in the 1950s. According to Tobias Nickel of BMW Canada's PR department, the Z8 is a "sportscar of alluring charm: muscular and smooth all in one; stylish and unique; and with all the assets required to create a new myth."

Those assets start with exterior features that include a long hood, short overhangs, wheel arches that extend through the doors, a short and powerful-looking rear end, and the "snug but comfortable" cockpit.

At the front it's classic Bimmer, with a wide kidney grille, compact Xenon headlights beneath a glass cover, and air scoops between the wheels and the door arches. Nickel says it's the rear view, however, that "most road users will probably see and remember most often," with body lines extending slightly downwards to play up the twin exhaust pipes of polished steel.