The BMW Z8’s leather air deflector is a wonderful exaggeration

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

This weekend I attended ArtCenter College of Design‘s annual Design Invitational show, this time held in the school’s new building Mullin Transportation Design Center in Pasadena. In addition to showcasing the campus and student work with an art fair, the event includes a car show filled with cars owned by teachers and alumni, as well as cars designed by teachers and alumni. old students. Looking at a magnificent BMW Z8 At the show, I noticed an option that I had never paid attention to before: it had a removable, leather-wrapped wind deflector.

It seems that every Z8 I got this air deflector from the factory, the leather color of which matches the rest of the car’s interior. (Our Z4 resident owner Andy Kalmowitz says BMW’s smallest roadster has a similar setup.) Cover slips the Z8The beautiful roller hoops, with mesh sections behind the open centers, and between the hoops is a central mesh panel that attaches or can be removed with a pair of metal snaps.

Cabin of a BMW Z8

This is what the Z8 looks like without the baffle in place
Photo: BMW

Most wind deflectors are pretty simple things, especially these days; This is usually a plastic rectangle with a mesh in the center that flips up or slots between the roller hoops, more function than form. The Z8’s unit, meanwhile, looks so seamless that I didn’t even realize it was a separate part at first. It’s a really elegant solution for something that usually seems like an afterthought. Was there an easier way to do this? Probably. But for the cutting-edge Z8, I’m glad BMW opted for something more complicated.

If you own a Z8 without a wind deflector, be prepared to pay. A replacement will cost you around $2,500 if you buy from an official BMW dealer, and there is a NOS unit on eBay in Germany for a ridiculous $5,500.