1999 BMW M Coupe 3.2


A proper performance car - more Porsche than BMW



General Comments:

This is a fantastic performance car which is seriously underrated by the public. Odd since it was voted Top Gear's Driver's Car of the Year in 2000 and was a favorite long term test car for Evo.

Forget what you hear about them being difficult handling cars. They're not, mine has no traction control, but feels much safer to drive fast than my previous 328i Sport Coupe. This is mainly due to a higher level of sensation than most modern cars.

For me its still too soft (you can potter around at under 2.5k revs and feel like you're in a regular Z3) but it is good compromise for a daily driving performance car.

Mine is performing in about the sub 5.0s to 60 and sub 13.0s to 100 range (measured with accelerometer). This is significantly slower than Evo's test which has 4.3 and 11.5 respectively. Still seriously fast though.

The engine (as you will probably expect) is brilliant. I was especially surprised by the amount of torque available from 2k revs. Above 2000 revs in any gear gives instant hard acceleration (even 4th and 5th). Amazing for such a high revving engine (peak power at 7400, limiter at about 8000).

And the styling? Well its better in the flesh than in pictures and it grows on you. However, no I don't think anywhere near as nice as a 911 (993).

Even in my amateur hands the handling feels great - partly due to the feedback, but also the short wheelbase you feel very connected to the rear wheels. Hence over-steer is very easy to detect and correct for (and power over-steer is very much possible in the first three gears).

In summary I am very happy with this motor - every time I drive it I am impressed all over again. To drive this feels much more like my old Porsche (an old 944S2 - which was fantastic) than a modern, soft BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2003

15th Apr 2003, 00:55

One question? Why in bloody hell have they stoped making a 4 door M3?

20th Jul 2003, 20:02

They didn't. And this either isn't an M3 or the review is in the wrong place.

28th Jul 2003, 10:39

No the M Coupe is quite a different car (with the same engine).

However the 4-door has gone (with the E46 M3) - presume it wasn't very popular. If you want a 4-door why not buy an M5?

Ps. I wrote the original article and my throttle was poorly adjusted so am now looking at more like 11s to 100! Not done a full measurement yet - will do very soon.

2000 BMW M Coupe 3.2 petrol


Lethal... seek professional instruction and then enjoy


Very reliable... mechanically!

General Comments:

I just wanted to warn readers that if they were thinking of buying one of these rare cars, they should be very careful!!!

I've had several fast cars (including a M3 Evo Coupe), but the Z3 M Coupe is a beast to be treated with respect (despite what you may read in car mags about abundant grip from the huge rear tyres). While accelerating straightaway up an incline in damp conditions, this car could not cope with the awesome power and decided to leave the freeway. I walked away without a scratch... luckily!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th January, 2001

1st Jun 2001, 14:23

I'm afraid it's a case of a too inexperienced driver. The car can cope, the tyres can't... and the driver does not have the knowledge to control the car in the described conditions.

12th Oct 2001, 03:34

A BMW is not the suitable car for you! If you can't drive it, don't buy a M3. Buy a long boring and slow Mercedes just like my father who is 55 years old!!!

1998 BMW M Coupe 3.2 petrol


A 911 in disguise



General Comments:

Unique design. Excellent interior and build. 0-60 in 4.3 seconds :)

Excellent handling and comfort. Similar levels of grip to a 4WD car, eg Impreza. Need to be an expert driver to bring the best out of this car, it's not for the faint hearted.

Servicing is expensive, but then it is on par with 'Super' cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2000

12th Jul 2001, 15:26

MX5 to M Coupe?

Quite a culture shock I'd imagine!!!

26th Jul 2006, 02:34

Is there any problem with the car being seated pretty low on the road? Thanks.