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Z3 coupe vs M coupe

Discussion in 'E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)' started by JamesDumas, Mar 29, 2010.

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    JamesDumas

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    I am in the market for a coupe and am trying to decide between the 3.0 and the M. I have to admit that I never cared for the lines of the coupe, but now I'm coming around. To my eye, the Z coupe rear fenders are less flared and more graceful than the M. Am I right, do the M rear fenders stick out a couple of inches more? Also, is the power difference between the 2001 coupe with the 3.0 engine and the 240hp M coupe that noticeable?

    Thanks!
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    az3579

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    What year is the M coupe you're looking at? I think later ones have S54's in them, making the power gap significantly larger between the standard and M coupes as opposed to the relatively small gap between the standard and S52-powered ones...

    If the M coupe is an '01 or '02, it's got the S54. Anything older and it's just an S52.
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    eam3

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    The torque of the S52 will more than make up the difference in daily driving though. The S54 will scream at higher rpms but having driven a '99 M Coupe I can tell you that it moves and is, by a loooooong shot, the most fun BMW I've ever driven. I still regret not having bought one when I could :(

    This probably will steer you more towards the M than the regular 3.0:

    http://jalopnik.com/258496/the-jalopnik-fantasy-garage-first generation-bmw-m-coupe

    I personally like the lines of the M better. When I first saw it my first thought was 911 Turbo and that's not a bad thing.

    BMWtoyz guest

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    " it's just an S52", I have a 98 M roadster with the S52 and I love it! And yes the M roadster rear fenders stick out about 2 inches more than a non-M roadster (with the exception of at least the 98 2.8, it has the same rear end stance as the M)

    willconltd guest

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    The 4 cylinder Z3 roadsters have narrower rear fenders, but they stopped production in 98. Every other Z has the same fenders. In 5/2000 they freshened the rear end of the roadsters and changed the fenders and the trunk lid, bumpers, etc. The M roadster did not get the update, I assume because they would have to re-engineer the trunk lid for the license plates again. Some like one more than the other. I have one of each, and they both have their strong points. The coupe has the same fenders for its whole run. They didn't change anything on the exterior of the coupes but the M emblems and the paint they used on the wheels. The M Coupes and Z3 coupes differ only in the bumpers and wheels. The fenders are the same.

    The S54 makes more torque and HP than the S52 at every point in the power band. The S52 runs out of steam where the S54 keeps on pulling till you run out of road. There is a significant price premium for the S54 cars. They made around 670 of them in total over two years, so they are harder to come buy. I think both engines are wonderfully entertaining. The S52 suffers the standard E36 cooling system explosion, the S54 needs valve adjustments. So they both have pros and cons.

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