The BMW M Roadster and Coupe were high-performance derivatives of the Z3 and Z4 sports cars. Produced in limited numbers, they are a sure bet for collectability down the road.
Introduced in 1998, the Z3 M was produced until 2002; the Z4 M was produced from 2006 to 2008. Approximately 15,000 Z3 M Roadsters were produced, making them very rare and desirable to enthusiasts. The body of the Roadster had slight differences, including bumpers, gills, rear fenders and trunk lid. Under the skin, they were beefed up with suspension and brakes from the E30 M3. A dual exhaust system with quad tips first appeared on these cars and has since become a BMW M division signature. The interior had a different look to the standard Z3, with the M-version steering wheel and different instrumentation. Finally, the car was available in M-specific colors. The Z3M used the S52 DOHC 6 cylinder motor producing 240 HP.
The Z4 M cars are more modern in appearance, with the stunning “flame-surfacing” design, and are rarer, being only in production for three years with approximately 3,000 produced. Having demoed the‘06 recently for nearly 1,000 miles, the car is simply one of the best cars I have ever driven. Its nimble and sporty frame will handle the sharpest of turns. As fast as a Z06 Corvette, the car leaves nothing to be desired for the performance-oriented driver.
First generation M cars can be less than $15,000 with low mileage, while the Z4 Versions are less than $30,000 in good condition. Still, considering they are so rare and cost more than $60,000 new, I doubt they will fall much further. BMW M cars have developed a cult following, ensuring their desirability for years to come.
By Shawn Miller