Feature Listing: 2006 BMW M Roadster

Feature Listing: 2006 BMW M Roadster

Like earlier’s Audi TT, BMW’s first successful foray into the roadster market came in the 1990s with the Z3. The Z3’s styling was less aggressive and more organic than the original “Future Roadster” – the Z1 – had been, but initially motivation wasn’t much better. However, when BMW decided to stuff the E36 chassis full of the higher-power M-product motors, they instantly created a hit. Rear drive only with a singing inline-6 and attached to a manual transmission, they were affordable sports cars that offered a very high fun quotient even if they were not the most refined product, style or substance-wise.

At the same time that the M Roadster and M Coupe debuted in North America, planning was already underway for the Z3’s replacement. The new E85 Roadster and E86 Coupe debuted as a fresh face to replace the 90s-era Z3 in the early 2000s, but almost immediately the styling was considered controversial. There were hard edges, curves and cuts integrated into the exterior, and the traditional driver-oriented dashboard was gone, replaced by a more modern flat-cockpit layout. Much like the original Z1, it didn’t look like anything else on the market at the time, and reception was mixed.

Dynamically, though, it was hard to argue that the Z4 wasn’t a vast improvement in refinement over the Z3. The rear suspension was updated with a new multi-link setup which handled power (and bumps) significantly better than the outgoing E36 chassis with E30 bits. A stiffer structure meant more overall composure. And though the interior remained plastic-heavy, the new generation of dashboards looked much more upscale and modern than the dated 90s pieces. Yet the biggest change lay at the end of the run, as it had with the Z3, as starting in 2006 BMW installed the legendary S54B32. Providing 330 horsepower to the rear wheels and trick M-differential via a 6-speed manual, the limited production M Roadster and M Coupe also corrected one of the perceived flaws of the normal Z4 lineup by retaining a hydraulic steering setup.…

Tuner Tuesday: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute

Tuner Tuesday: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute

If the B10 3.5/1 from earlier was overshadowed by the more powerful headline-grabbing BiTurbo, the Roadster S barely emerged from under the positively giant amount of shade cast by the Roadster V8. So outraged was the enthusiast world that Alpina would yank the S62 V8 and 6-speed out to be replaced by a 540 motor and automatic that you could easily have missed the lesser Roadster on offer from Buchloe. Indeed, far fewer of the Roadster S were produced than the Roadster V8; a scant 370 are reported to have been made. In typical Alpina fashion, the S model featured engine, suspension, interior and exterior upgrades. The N52 magnesium block engine was dropped in favor of the M52 punched out to 3.4 liters, with a resulting 300 horsepower and 5 second 0-60 times. 19″ Alpina Dynamic wheels – the same ones fit to its more famous brother – filled out the wheel wells, while Alpina’s unique front and rear spoilers helped to individualize the hunkered down attitude of the E85. Replete with unique interiors and the all-important enthusiast’s requisite manual, it was surprising that more attention wasn’t levied upon them, but such was the effect of the Roadster V8. Someone was paying attention, though, because they went to great lengths to copy the S design. This is not one of the 370 original cars, but it’d be hard for most to tell:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute on eBay

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

For me, the desirability of the BMW M3 peaked right around 1997 and 1998, when the M3 sedan became available in the US market. Sadly, this more practical take on the //M formula didn’t last long, nor was a four-door example available in the successor, the E46 M3. However, a curious vehicle wound up coming along right as the E36 sedan exited the market: the M Coupe. Based on the M Roadster, this two-seater sports car with a breadvan profile wound up being derided at first for its styling but has since turned into a premiere collectable. Even though the first M Coupe was a niche model, BMW decided a follow on was necessary and created the Z4 M Coupe. This car had a bit more conventional profile but packed the mighty S54 inline-6 that found its way briefly into the end of the original M Coupe production cycle. This Z4 M Coupe for sale in Texas has only 8,600 miles on the clock, giving someone the chance to own a nearly new example of what has become a rather mythical BMW model.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2007 AC Schnitzer ACS4 Sport Coupe

Tuner Tuesday: 2007 AC Schnitzer ACS4 Sport Coupe

Two weeks ago I took a look at a rare AC Schnitzer ACS3 Silhouette 3.0, the car that predicted the E36 M3 in many ways. Schnitzer has always been a bit left field compared to the more popular Alpina, but their products are generally very tasteful and seem to be sought with equal aplomb as their arguably more famous competitors. In many ways, the same things can be said of the E86 Z4 M Coupe. It’s got all the right components to make a stellar package, but seems to be generally overlooked as a potential classic at this point. Perhaps it’s because it’s too new, or the styling is polarizing? News flash: the styling on the Z3 was pretty polarizing not that long ago, too. Just like the end of the run Z3 M Coupes, the better driving Z4 M Coupes are stylish, different, and absolutely great to drive. Couple the two of these offbeats up and you should have a great combo, right? Well…..

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 AS Schnitzer ACS4 Sport Coupe on Boston Craigslist

2007 BMW M Coupe

2007 BMW M Coupe

Something interesting is occurring in the BMW world. As the E36/8 M Coupe skyrockets in value and collectability – especially the very limited S54 versions – for some reason, it’s successor isn’t. Now, both generations of M Coupes and Roadsters are love it or hate it designs, but the early cars – even though stylistically they have some typical 90s weak spots. Those fender vents, for example, have become a cliche stick-on applique to all the best ‘hood Accords and Maximas. To me, the replacement for the Z3 was edgier but more handsome. It still looks modern and honestly I think it could reasonably still fit into the design language of the current BMWs. The M Coupe managed to escape the period which many enthusiasts characterized as the worst styling period for BMW as the Belle of the Ball. And the layout and drivetrain wasn’t updated, instead running the end of the run naturally aspirated screamer S54 through a manual gearbox and driving only the rear wheels. Only some 1,800 of them were imported to the U.S., too – guaranteeing their exclusivity, they seemed to be a natural collector status BMW right out of the box. But for many more, the E86 M Coupe was more classic GT sports car than the bread delivery van styling of E36/8. Throw in a similarly love it or hate it rare color like Laguna Seca Blue, and you’ve got either a travesty against automobiledom or a car with serious collector potential:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on Craigslist

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

I’ll be honest. I never particularly liked the BMW Z4 M Coupe when it first debuted. But as time moves on, I find myself drawn in to this little sports car. Perhaps its the dearth of manual gearboxes, even in the M Cars. Or maybe I’m just overwhelmed by the excessive offerings in the SUV market. Whatever the case may be, this was a worthy follow-on to the much loved, first generation M Coupe, known as the “clownshoe.” This Z4 M Coupe for sale in Winnipeg, Manitoba was brought to our attention from our reader Toshihiko. It is the only Monaco Blue example to have come to North America.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe on Autotrader.ca

2007 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe

2007 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe

As BMW started exploring new vehicle segments such as the SAV, or Sport Activity Vehicle, almost 20 years ago, a new model appeared that didn’t get much attention when it first arrived. The Z3 and M Coupe. This oddly proportioned coupe had a breadvan profile that didn’t sit well with all enthusiasts. But years down the road, these cars have become quite collectable. The follow up to the Z3 Coupe was the Z4 coupe, also available in Motorsports form. These Z4 Coupes haven’t taken off in value as much as some of the late model Z3 based M Coupes, but they have the chops to be a future collectable. This Z4 3.0si Coupe for sale in Georgia isn’t the M model, but with a 6-speed manual, you won’t be missing out on too much performance.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe on eBay

2008 BMW M Coupe

2008 BMW M Coupe

My wife and I had a rather amusing conversation yesterday. It started via text; shortly after Rob’s 2PM post on the 1988 Porsche 911, I received a text message from my wife. “How much does a new 911 cost”, she asked. Now typically I know questions like this are leading somewhere and she’s not a huge Porsche 911 fan, so after some inquiry she asked why the asking price on a 1988 example was over $60,000. She said, and rightly so, why would anyone pay $60K for a near 30 year old example – even if it was quite pretty – when you could just about buy a new car for that amount. After I said that the Porsche 911 market was the new Tulip craze, she said two really funny things. First, she said “Let’s not base our economy on it!”, something that got me laughing. Then she said that if it was so popular, why were manufacturers like Porsche building new examples of their old cars? The answer, as we discussed, was that it just wouldn’t be profitable. Though limited run manufacturers such as Singer and Eagle have seen success building “new” old cars, the reality is that between making cars safe enough and economical enough to meet today’s standards, they’d be heavy and slow – necessitating even more power, which would raise the price. Take the GT86/FR-S/BRZ clones; while critics have loved their handling and prices have been kept reasonable, they’re generally referred to as “slow” cars with 200 horsepower and 2,700lbs of curb weight – nearly identical to what the 1988 Porsche Carrera was specified at.

However, there are options outside of the 911 market for a personal sports 2-door that throwback to simpler times, and I think the M Coupe was one of the best. With a gutsy inline-6 up front, rear drive and a 6-speed manual, the E86 was a classic blueprint for a sports car.…

2006 BMW M Coupe

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.…

Christmas Wish: 2007 BMW M Coupe

Christmas Wish: 2007 BMW M Coupe

I’ve featured a few collectable coupes this week – the 2013 Audi TT RS and the modified M Coupe. But as much as I love the soundtrack of the Audi and the statistics on paper, and as hot as the E36 M Coupe market is, were it my money I was plunking down for a personal coupe it would be the second generation Z4-based M Coupe that would get my attention. And for my Christmas wish, this one would do quite nicely! Interlagos Blue is certainly one of my favorite colors, and the lower miles and pristine shape of this particular example would have me overlooking the all-black leather:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on eBay

Motorsport Monday: 2007 BMW M Coupe

Motorsport Monday: 2007 BMW M Coupe

The E86 Z4 was a fairly radical departure from the E36/8 that it replaced. In many ways, the Z3 was born out of a series of spare parts and in some ways almost seemed an afterthought. It wasn’t as innovated as the Z1 and while the original M Coupe has become a fan favorite, the Z3 just overall seemed the odd-man out in the BMW lineup. On top of that, the design just overall hasn’t aged particularly well in my mind. But in 2002, the redesigned Anders Warming penned E85 Z4 roadster launched. It was bigger in every dimension, with cutting edge new styling that managed to incorporate both round and angular designs into one fluid package that somehow worked well. Over a decade on, it still looks quite new to me – one of the best tests of the staying power of a design. Also one of the best tests is that it was somewhat controversial at the time, but by 2006 and the launch of the M models most critics were convinced that it was a nice package. The addition of the stellar S54 powertrain certainly didn’t hurt, and with just 1,800 examples of the new Coupe design in the U.S., it was guaranteed classic status. But that hasn’t stopped some from converting the coveted Coupes into race cars, such as this Fall-Line Motorsports built wide body:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on Race-Cars.com

2007 BMW M Coupe

2007 BMW M Coupe

The current BMW market is quite interesting. The three posts I did on BMWs yesterday really drew that into sharp contrast for me; first, the E34 M5 Double Take underscored a more simple time at BMW with classic designs and classic motors. Then the “New Blue” BMW roundup outlined what’s currently available – progress happens, but it’s apparent that BMW’s current market has diverged substantially from the blueprint of the 1980s and 1990s success. But capitalizing on that 1980s legend are perhaps some undeserving cars, as the E30 M3 fail from yesterday proved. Where is an enthusiast to look, then? Well, you could argue you don’t have to look back very far to get a great, classic piece that follows in the footsteps of some of BMW’s great designs, but still with a modern twist. The Z4 M Coupe is a great example of this – a slick design, rear drive only, a 6-speed manual transmission and the last of the great normally aspirated inline-6s, the S54, hiding under the long hood:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on eBay

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

Like a lot BMW fans, the styling language implemented across the range has left me with mixed feelings. I try and temper myself and keep receptive to new design, but more often than not, what I’ve seen on the showroom floor over the last decade has left me yearning for the classics. In the case of the BMW Z4 M Coupe, however, BMW hit the nail on the head. While the Z4 Roadster was a little bit awkward, the fastback lines and beefed up haunches of the M Coupe looked sharp. This black Z4 M Coupe for sale in Maryland may be of the new school, but its mission is that of speed and power.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe on eBay

Show you’re Z Man: 2000 Z3 M Roadster and 2006 Z4 M Coupe

Show you’re Z Man: 2000 Z3 M Roadster and 2006 Z4 M Coupe

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Last week I speculated in my Z Coupe post that we were seeing a good opportunity to get into some of the rarest BMWs offered on these shores, the Z coupes. While those two Z coupes were the non-M version and both were trick in their own way, it seems most of you prefer to see the M versions. I get it; they’re fast, flashy and fun, so today I cooked up an interesting comparison again between the E36/7 and E36/8s – this time a Z4 M coupe against a Z3 M roadster. Let’s start with the brilliant looking Imola Red coupe:

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Year: 2006
Model: Z4 M Coupe
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 18,912 mi
Price: $33,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe on eBay

If you are looking for the rare E86 M Coupe then you already know that it is regarded by BMW Enthusiasts as the last true Ultimate Driving Machine before BMWs became too electronic and took the fun out of driving with adjustable suspensions, turbochargers, automated transmissions and buttons to adjust the steering, exhaust note and everything else. Here’s a quick background so you know how much I truly love these cars. I was an intern for AutoWeek magazine in college when this car had its press introduction in the US. One of our editors drove one back to Detroit and I took it out for gas and a car wash. I immediately fell in love with the classic long hood, short deck proportions, the unbelievably responsive drivetrain, the seats that felt like they were custom made for me and the thickest little steering wheel I had ever set hands on. I vowed to myself to buy one when I could afford it.

Future Collectables? 1999 Z3 2.8 Coupe and 2008 Z4 3.0si Coupe

Future Collectables? 1999 Z3 2.8 Coupe and 2008 Z4 3.0si Coupe

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Recently, Rob wrote up a pristine and well priced Z3 M Coupe and hinted that this will be a future collectable. I have to agree; they’re rare cars to see, they had a neat design, great driving characteristics and the limited production numbers guaranteed exclusivity. Like Rob, I remember well my first drive in one of these Z Coupes; it was a Imola Red Z3 M Coupe and the BMW rep said to me “I just ate my lunch, so don’t go crazy, okay?” It was a fun rocket ship in a clever package that looked like it wanted to beat you up. Great, so go grab one and wait for it to appreciate, right? Well, not so fast; while the M versions of both the Z3 and Z4 were quite desirable, there is a slightly less traveled road to take if you care to speculate. Welcome, then, to the quite rare non-M versions of both the Z coupes; today we’re looking at a Z4 3.0si Coupe and a Z3 2.8 Coupe. Let’s start with the Z4:

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Year: 2008
Model: Z4 3.0si Coupe
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 33,000 mi
Price: $26,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Z4 3.0si Coupe on eBay

The 2008 BMW Z4 roadster comes in three models (3.0i, 3.0si, and M), and coupes come in two trims (3.0si and M). Each trim brings different engines underhood. The 3.0i is powered by a 215-horsepower, 3.0L in-line six-cylinder engine, while the 3.0si gets a more powerful, 255-horsepower version of the 3.0L; both have Valvetronic variable valve lift. The top-of-the-range M includes a 330-horsepower, 3.2L six. All three models come with a six-speed manual gearbox, but a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles is optional on the 3.0i and 3.0si.Roadsters have a fully automatic power folding soft top, with dual-layer material, an aluminum and magnesium frame for light weight, and a heated rear window.The Z4’s proportions, with a long hood and a rearward seating position, allow for an excellent weight distribution and good dynamics for high-performance driving.