Nothing on the roads looks like the Z3M coupe. Even Ferrari, with their blatant copy-cat FF model failed to capture the aggression and purpose of the pocket rocket that delighted buyers upon its launch back in the late 90s. Developed by a break away group within BMW M as a side project (imagine that happening today?!) this two seater M3 eater is every bit as rewarding as it looks. Cool, unusual, fast and fiery, the M coupe in S54 guise is a rare machine indeed. Only 165 of these awesome machines were built by BMW in right hand drive.
The first edition of the M coupe 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.
In an M coupe you sit more or less directly over the back wheels, so every bit of feedback is transmitted direct from the tarmac to your behind. This makes for an intuitive ride – and one that true driving enthusiasts will certainly enjoy. The snug cabin is pure classic sports car, the centre console and dash beautifully designed with its plethora of dials and gauges, giving you the immediate sense that you’re driving something really special. Then it throws you a curve-ball. It’s a compact two seater – but with a hatch-back boot and load area, large enough for a Labrador or set of golf clubs. Or, better still, a weekend’s worth of luggage for that spur-of -the-moment road trip.
With its huge tyres bulging obscenely from the wide rear arches, and fat quad exhaust pipes, the Z coupe 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.
Black with black interior, this particular Z3M coupe is devilishly handsome. We have known this car for years, and have enjoyed helping the last three owners to keep it in mechanically tip-top shape. The previous owner used the car as a daily drive and was delighted with his time behind the wheel. He now regrets selling the car, but a move to the city meant that only on street parking would be available, and that wouldn’t do. The current owner bought the Z as a toy and has ensured that mechanically the car wants for nothing. He has hardly driven the car at all and has therefore decided it would be better living with someone who has more opportunity to use and cherish it.
Physically this M coupe is very useable, but the opportunity exists for a serious collector to restore the bodywork. As the few remaining S54 M coupes – there are reckoned to be fewer than 100 still on the road – rocket in value, this may be the last opportunity to acquire one of these hugely desirable cars at a sensible price. The new owner will then have the choice of either bringing the Z up to ‘collection’ standard, or continuing to enjoy the car on a more relaxed basis.
As always, our workshop team have carried out a thorough appraisal and report of the car in preparation for sale, and we are delighted with the results. A few issues had been highlighted for rectification by us prior to delivery to the new owner, so the current owner decided to carry out every item on the list. This particular M coupe will therefore be a fabulous car for the next lucky owner and is ready to drive away. As always, this gorgeous two seater is sold fully serviced and with a brand new MOT, having been fully checked and prepped by our expert 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 email@example.com