Cool, unusual, fast and free. One of the rarest BMWs ever made, and certainly the rarest production M convertible, the S54 powered M roadster – often referred to as a Z3M Roadster – is a cracking machine. The first edition of the Z Roadster used the earlier generation S50 engine from its sister car, the E36 M3. Fast as it was, the S50 demanded hard revving to return its reward, and by 2001 lacked the grunt needed to see off BMW’s rivals. But it appears BMW ran out of engines before they ran out of shells. So, they installed the brand new S54 3.2 lifted from the newly launched E46 M3 into the last run – with miraculous results. On paper, the difference is a mere 4bhp. In the real world it feels like at least 40. The free revving characteristics remained, but with the power instantly available, throughout the range. Smoother, torquier, more responsive – in other words chalk and cheese.
With its huge tyres bulging obscenely from the wide rear arches, and fat quad exhaust pipes, the Z Roadster finally had the engine to match the design. Although kitted out with a clever M limited slip differential, BMW judged it too lairey to be released without traction control – but it can of course be turned off. The sports seats and M cabin trim finish off the look, and leave you begging to drive it. You won’t be disappointed.
Unfortunately for the world, only 73 of these naughty little two seaters were produced. This particular model is in the perfect period colour of Phoenix yellow, another new innovation nominally reserved for the new M3 model, but diverted to the last edition Z. Contrasted with the two tone black with yellow inserts, there probably isn’t another Z Roadster like this.
As always, our workshop team have carried out a thorough appraisal and report of the car in preparation for sale, and we are delighted and proud of the results. A few issues have been highlighted for rectification by us prior to delivery to the new owner (wheel refurbs needed, seat rail bushes worn, faulty horn, mobility kit replacement), so this Z will be a fabulous car for the next lucky owner. As always, this gorgeous two seater will be sold fully serviced and with a brand new MOT, having been fully inspected and prepped by our technicians – people who know these cars arguably better than anyone else in the world.
For more information or to book a viewing, please contact our showroom team on 01825 740456 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org