BMW Z3M Coupe
I’m not entirely sure just what BMW were smoking when they hatched their devious plans for the Z3M coupe but I’ll have some.
The Z3M Coupe is a bit of an oddball car. Based on the Z3 M Roadster, the Coupe was developed with the aim to stiffen up the roadsters chassis and therefore improve handling. They succeeded. The Coupe with it’s “interesting” styling has a torsional rigidity 2.7 times greater than that of it’s topless counterpart.
It’s an interesting car the Z3M Coupe. Firstly, it’s ugly. Really ugly. To be fair, it’s one of those cars that has a real sense of purpose about it, a brutality that kind of transcends its styling. It’s that rear end, it looks like it was just lifted from another, more utilitarian vehicle. The car is unconventional to say the least. It looks like a soft top sportscar that reversed into a bread van. The Rear arches massively, almost comically pumped up, barely contain the huge rear tyres. It’s not practical either. Even though it’s technically a hatchback, theres little room for anything, and if you’re tall, getting comfortable in this 2 seater coupe might be a struggle.
Built from 1998 until 2002, the Z3 M has two (UK) variants. The first generation (1998-2000) utilised the 321 bhp straight 6 engine as used in the E36 M3. The Later (2001-2002) cars had the engine from the E46 M3 (325 bhp).
The z3 M Coupe is a bit of a crazy car, that it was produced at all was the result of a handful of passionate BMW engineers working overtime and in secret to develop it, then sell the idea to make it a production reality to the boardroom bigwigs. After a lot of convincing, they finally got the go ahead. That singlemindedness is kind of reflected in the car. A soft Roadster with a hatchback rear end grafted on and a hugely powerful M3 engine in the front. It’s a recipie for an interesting drivers car!