2006 BMW M Coupe

The E86 Z4 M Coupe is one of those vehicles I never much cared for until very recently. When it debuted in 2006 I remember being aware of its existence and that’s about it. I’d bet I’m not the only one with a story like this either, as the M was always in the shadow of the Cayman S and its design was divisive to say the least.

I think the years have been good to the car and its certainly one of the better designs from the Bangle era. Look at it long enough and lines that at first seem frivolous begin to soften and become pleasing to the eye. The most offensive visual issue I have with the E86 is that it can be kind of dorky looking from a head on perspective. The car appears oddly wide in the front before tapering off in the back. I blame this on the bulging fenders that should have housed wider wheels from the get go. I’ve seen models with staggered setups and meaty tires that properly fill the wheel wells, giving the car a seriously badass, aggressive look. Were I to get one of these getting the stance right would be thing to do right away.

Beyond getting it setup to maximize the curb appeal, there’s not a whole lot you need to do with an M Coupe. The M didn’t suffer from the much criticized electro-mechanical power assist steering like the regular Z4’s and the high revving S54 engine is the stuff of legend. Known for its durability and the noise it can create, the iron block was given one piece aluminum head castings for reduced weight, modified camshafts and 87mm bore cylinders that increased displacement to 3,246cc. Suspension wise these cars were pretty hard edged in stock form and that has always been the major gripe about it in the automotive community. Furthermore, for about the same money you could get a Cayman S, which could be optioned with PASM, allowing you to choose when you wanted to realign you spine and when you wanted a more comfortable ride. Also the Cayman S is in my opinion is a much better looking vehicle but the M Coupe does have the edge on the Cayman in one very important category, the interior.

Having test driven a 2007 Cayman S just this past week I can tell you that the seats and the steering wheel left a lot to be desired, and those things shine on the M Coupe. The wheel in the Cayman was large and thin whereas the wheel in the M Coupe is thick and just about the perfect size. The Cayman I drove did have the sport seats but they sure didn’t feel like it. I’ve only sat in the M Coupe once and boy I tell ya, those seats leave no question as to the sporting intentions of the car. I suppose that makes sense as from what I’ve read, the Cayman S is much more useable as a daily driver than the M Coupe, a conclusion that I find surprising. A Porsche that’s not as hardcore as a BMW? Just sounds wrong but the mid Aughts were a strange time for everyone I suppose.


Year: 2006
Model: M Coupe
Engine: 3.2L inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 94,700 mi
Price: $22,999 Buy It Now


Very good condition 2 owner Z4M Coupe that I have enjoyed for several years. Truly, one of the finest pure driving machines on the planet. Until this week, this car lived its entire life in a garage. It is in very good cosmetic condition, though it is not a garage queen. The 1st owner(los angeles) bought an extended service warranty with the car so its completely up to date on maintenance

This particular M Coupe is a very tidy example for a vehicle with nearly 95,000 miles on it. Clearly the two owners enjoyed driving this car regularly, as it should be. I’d want a whole lot more information than the seller is providing and I have no reason to suspect that I wouldn’t be able to get it. Just going off my gut instinct I think the seller is just assuming that if you’re looking for one of these vehicles you know a fair amount about them and will know what questions to ask. Frankly that’s not the smartest way to get a car sold quickly but if you’re not in a rush then I suppose it’s not a big deal. Also, the guy has a Patriots license plate frame on a registered in Washington, that’s just plain awesome, +10 cool factor on the car.

There aren’t any red flags here, just some lazy sales language in the post and of course the scuffed front bumper. At $22,999 “Buy It Now” or offer I’d expect this car to sell pretty quickly as the Z4 M is rarer than you might think. After all it was only available for two years (’06-’08) and only 4,275 were sold worldwide. Sure the design isn’t for everyone but neither was its predecessor’s and look how popular the “Clown Shoe” has become with collectors in recent years. Between the vaunted S54 engine and potential for being a weekend track monster, I’d say the Z4 M Coupe deserves a place in any enthusiast’s heart, if not in their garage.



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  1. I loved these cars from the day they appeared. They remain on my short list of attainable dream cars, and I believe their time will come with collectors. I feel they never attracted the attention they deserved.

  2. I just can’t. Most boring, ubiquitous, dismal, predictable color combination ever, and it looks like something out the of film the league of extraordinary gentlemen. Oh and black wheels, trend one, revealing the brakes, trend two, for that “lingerie” look. I’m sure the engine is thrilling but what’s visible counts too: google “rr flying bedstead”.

  3. I love these in Sepang bronze.

  4. Ray, yes I believe their time will certainly come.

    Brad, I nearly spit out my beer when I read the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen comment. I too think black wheels are lame but the nice thing about wheels, you can always get other ones.

    Having test driven one of these earlier this afternoon I have to say that whatever styling issues it may have on the outside, the experience on the inside is fully worth it. The noise from the S54 and the feeling of that wheel combined with the comfort of the seat makes for a very nice package.

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