BMW M Coupe : 2002

First unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Filed under:  Classic
Comment(s): 1
MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
$44,990 3.2 liter, inline 6, 3246 cc 315.0 1998 - 2002
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The ugly duckling turns into a swan as soon as you sit in the driver's seat. The M Coupe is not an average coupe; it's a true M performance mobile.

bmw m coupe fs

Manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, the Coupe is a Z3 with a high-performance suspension, larger wheels, bigger exhaust, and the inline six-cylinder engine from the BMW M3.

The M coupe was first unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show, though production did not begin until the following year.

The M coupe was developed under the leadership of engineer Burkhard G?schel with the intention of adding increased torsional and structural rigidity to the Z3 roadster's chassis. The development team had a hard time convincing the Board of Directors to approve the model for production, but it was eventually given the green light as long as it remained cost-effective to produce. To achieve this goal, as many body panels as possible had to be shared with the roadster, thus the doors and everything from the A-pillar forward are interchangeable between the coupe and roadster, as are most interior parts. The Z3 coupe, which mates the M coupe's body with the standard Z3 drivetrain, chassis and cosmetics was approved for production at the same time. This car had previously won praise for its combination of unique style and lightening quick responsiveness.

1998 thru 2002.
We often don't see them in traffic, but once we see them zipping around it's very hard to keep up with them. This car doesn't appeal everyone. Hell most people don't even like the way it looks, but if you like driving something unique and a true performer, this is definitely your car.

For year 2001 the M Coupe receives some minor freshening, as well as additional standard safety features. BMW has sold high-performance automobiles under the M brand for over 21 years, with 82 percent being sold in the U.S. The German automaker refers to the new M Coupe as "a true GT," designed in the same tradition as the classic Jaguar E-Type and Jensen Interceptor.

At first sight, many people see this new BMW as having an odd, unusual shape. That's fine with BMW, since the automaker only plans to build a small number of the high-powered coupe. The suspension has been modified from the M Roadster, and the new coupe is 2.6 times stiffer than its topless counterpart. The M Coupe is also the fastest stock BMW ever sold in America, reaching 60 mph from a standstill in only 5.1 seconds. The 2001 M Coupe went on sale in May of 1999.


-- 2000
- Chrome on the headlights and on the kidney grilles
- "Coupe" inscribed on the door sills deleted
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror

-- 2001
The M Coupe gets a number of upgrades for the 2001 model year, with the highlight being a boost of 75 horsepower for the 2001 model year. Dynamic Brake Control, Satin Chrome finished wheels, and interior updates are new as well.

- S52 and the S50 engine are both replaced by a single "world" S54
- 325 hp engine, including a new oil cooler
- Differential ratio changed to 3.15 from 3.23
- DSC replaced ASC
-New tire pressure monitor
- Satin Chrome finished wheels
- Curved M badging on the rear, sides, and on the engine
- Interior changes: gray face gauges, chrome-trimmed rear view mirror, rear defroster relocated, exterior temperature replaces voltmeter, updated clock

-- 2002
- CD player standard

- 2-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC), 24-valve inline 6-cylinder engine with Double-VANOS "steplessly" variable valve timing
- 6 individual throttles, electronically controlled
- Digital Motor Electronics (DME) with on-board diagnostics
- Distributorless electronic ignition system
- Cylinder-specific knock control
- Five-speed manual transmission with direct 1:1 fifth gear
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
- All Season Traction (AST) with limited-slip differential
- Engine-speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering
- Independent suspension with M calibration (stiffened dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars)
- Gas-pressurized front struts and rear shock absorbers
- Four-wheel BMW M vacuum-assisted ventilated disc brakes
- High-performance-tuned anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring system
- M RoadStar light cast-alloy wheels with Satin Chrome finish, 17x7.5 front, 17x9.0 rear, with safe-stop rim design, and 225/45ZR-17 front and 245/40ZR-17 rear performance tires
- BMW M front spoiler, ground effects, and side skirts
- Wraparound body-colored bumpers with hydraulic energy absorbers and front-compressible elements
- Halogen free-form low/high-beam headlights
- Aerodynamically designed BMW M-power side-view mirrors
- Heated side-view mirrors, windshield washer jets, and door locks
- Choice of standard or metallic paint, including special BMW M colors
- Four polished stainless-steel exhaust pipes
- Clear turn-signal lenses, front, side, and rear
- Anti-theft Harman Kardon premium audio system with AM/FM stereo/cassette, 9 speakers (incl. subwoofer), Radio Data System (RDS), Dolby B/C noise reduction, Auto-Store
- Pre-wiring for BMW center installation of BMW CD player
- Recalibrated M-design instrument cluster with aluminum-finish-ringed instrument dials (with gray backgrounds and red needles)
- Service Interval Indicator
- Oil temperature gauge
- Exterior temperature gauge
- Nappa leather-covered seating, instrument-panel areas, console sides/top, and door panel inserts
- Two-tone (or black) dashboard trim and seating
- 4-way power/2-way manual M-design sport seats with adjustable thigh support
- Heated front seats
- M-badged doorsills
- Air conditioning
- Power front and rear windows with "one touch" up/down operation
- Automatic-dimming interior rear-view mirror
- Leather-wrapped M 3-spoke sport steering wheel
- Cruise control
- Dual sun visors with vanity mirrors
- Interior courtesy lights and map-reading lights
- Console valet
- Cupholders (installed on request, at no charge, by BMW center)
- Trunk-mounted tool kit
- Driver's and passenger's front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with dual-threshold and "smart" dual-stage deployment, and sensor to help prevent unnecessary passenger's airbag deployment
- Front-door-mounted side-impact airbags
- Automatic front safety-belt pretensioners and force limiters
- Child seat automatic safety-belt locking device
- Central locking system (leaves gas filler door unlocked) and double-lock feature
- Coded Driveaway Protection (prevents engine start when your key, with constantly changing electronic code, is not used)
- Crash sensor that automatically activates hazard lights, interior lights and unlocks doors
- M Mobility System (includes BMW Roadside Assistance and lifetime tire assistance)

- notes
No, the windows don't go all the way down.
No, seats are not available for the rear.
No, the sunroof cannot slide back. It only tilts.

All Z3's are based on the E36 chassis and share a number of components with all other E36s (door handles, for example).

All Z3/M coupes are E36/8.

Base Price :: $44,990 USD
Weight :: 1465 kg / 3230 lbs
0-60 mph :: 5.3 seconds
EPA City / Highway :: 17 / 25 mpg

(images: BMW)

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bmw logo 1

BMW logo with "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tagline.

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