The M Coupe was first unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt motor show. As the M-developed version of the Z3 coupe it sported one of three 24-valve six-cylinder engines originally developed by the BMW M Division for the E36/E46 M3. It also had an M-tuned chassis and several unique cosmetic parts including a more aggressive front with brake cooling ducts in place of fog lights, unique side vents with the M logo, curved M door mirrors, a lower rear bumper with four exposed exhaust tips, and a repositioned rear number plate.
The first M Coupes, with engines from the E36 M3, were built from June 2000 with the S50 engine in both LHD and RHD, and with the S52 engine in LHD only. After having been discontinued for more than six months, a revised M Coupe entered production in February 2001.
The interior of the M Coupe featured several unique items that included a chrome-ringed instrument cluster with red needles and an M logo on the tachometer, three auxiliary gauges in the centre console, heated sport seats with special pleated leather trim, a 375mm three-spoke M steering wheel with tri-color stitching and colour-matched accents, an illuminated M leather shift knob with the M logo on the shift pattern, an oval-shaped rear-view mirror, Nappa leather door pulls and centre console trim, chrome interior door handles, and door sill plates with the ‘M’ logo.
Depending on the market and production date, factory options for the M Coupe included side airbags, headlight washers, electric front seats, cruise control, rear partition net and load cover, electric sliding sunroof, various radios, and a Harmon/Kardon audio system.
Estoril Blue Metallic, Black Nappa leather, M leather steering wheel, Limited slip differential, Driver and passenger front airbags, Alarm system, Heated front seats, Air conditioning, Electrically adjustable door mirrors, Pioneer cassette radio, Pioneer CD changer, Retractable rear load cover, Warning triangle and first aid kit, BMW tool kit, Spare keys.
This low mileage, low owner non-sunroof example looks superb in metallic Estoril Blue, surely one of the best colours for an M car of this era. The paintwork is beautifully presented all round and retains a deep glassy shine across every panel. On closer inspection there are hardly any stone chips at the front end, with no signs of road rash to those voluptuous rear hips. There are also no car park dings along either side and the brightwork is still in excellent condition. A fantastic example throughout.
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The sports seats are upholstered in all-black leather as opposed to one of the two-tone colour schemes commonly found in Z3Ms. Unmarked Nappa upholstery continues along the centre console to the dash and door cards, all with a lovely shine-free texture. Looking closely there’s no marking to any of the gauges or delicate switchgear, and the driver’s seat bolster is also in fine order. Protected by a set of tailored overmats the carpets are spotless throughout, and in the boot you’ll find the retractable load cover and period Pioneer CD changer still in place.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Being an earlier example, this M Coupe is equipped with the brilliant S50 straight-six that produces an impressive 317hp. With no kind of electronic traction or stability control system, it is certainly not for the faint-hearted. On test, the 5-speed manual gearbox remains feeling as tight and precise as ever, handling the engine’s power perfectly.
This low mileage example is accompanied by a very good maintenance history with thirteen stamps in the original service booklet. It was most recently serviced in May 2019 less than 2k miles ago. Since arriving at 4 Star we have had the car fully inspected for the new keeper’s peace of mind. The MOT is valid until February 2021.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The 17-inch M RoadStar alloys fill the arches perfectly, the deep rear dish giving the Z3 a very broad and aggressive stance. The wheels present in great order with no curb marking to report. They are wrapped in a matching set of premium Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, all with at least 6mm of tread remaining. The brakes have also just been checked and are in fine operational condition.
This fantastic example of the rare Z3M Coupe was first registered in April 2000. It has now driven just 39k miles in the hands of only two registered keepers. The History File is complete with all owners’ manuals, the original service booklet with thirteen stamps, two spare keys (one standard, one remote), and a raft of MOT certificates going back to 2003.