2001 BMW M Coupe 3.2 from Portugal


TGV train off rails


Dashboard had to be replaced. some gages ended up loose. front disks were replaced just after 20.000 km. note that the gas gage is not fast enough to keep up with reality, so you will end up siting in the side of the road waiting for assistance (read gas), often. Some problems also occurred with the Bose speakers.

General Comments:

Temperamental and nervous. 323 horsepower waiting to explode in long long controlled slides. amazing performance, seams twice as fast as a Porsche 911 although it's not faster. imagine if you will the cockpit of an airplane about to crash during the night in a storm. that's what you will feel when driving an MCoupe. Very intense very controllable precision circuit vehicle even if you are just going to work. this very very ugly BATMOBILE looks somewhat like a shark and it's as aggressive. unfortunately the brakes are not fade resistant and not that powerful. it's a huge fun automobile and it's probably the best second car you will ever own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2003

8th Aug 2005, 18:57

Obviously you did not understand what I wrote.

I did buy the car because it is so ugly that actually it becomes as beautiful as art itself. About the handling, I tried to pass the message that it handles as a kart and that the power is so explosive that you almost enter insanity while driving it. I am an amateur race-car driver and I can make use of some of the capacities the car will deliver. The only defect that I pointed out were the brakes that really do not meet the requirements because they fade too much.

2002 BMW M Coupe 3.2 from UK and Ireland


Awesome motor! Seriously quick!


The drivers door mirror will not adjust all the way out, apart from that, NOTHING!

General Comments:

Very fast, loads of low down grunt!

You hardly every have to change gear on this car as it has so much power. 5th gear on a motorway is all you need, when you put your foot down at 80mph, you can feel the torque wind in nicely.

Definitely a licence loser of a car, you need to be well disciplined or have some form of speed camera detector, just in case!

This car is an awesome little package of high performance and serious handling.

With the Dynamic Stability Control switched on, the car is fairly forgiving, however you need to be repectful of the power in the wet, nice light throttle movements.

The brakes are amazing! After a couple of days I managed to stop banging peoples heads of the dash, you literally need the weight of a shoe to stop, no leg muscles required!

Great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2003

24th May 2003, 10:15

Me again, I have to say since writing this review my car has let me down.

It has just had the oil pump and big end bearings replaced and she is tapping quite loudly now. I missed a recall that went out for the oil pumps on the S54 M Power engine, which can also be found in the M3. So I now have an engine that has been pulled to bits and rebuilt.

For some reason the car just does not seem the same to me.


16th Jan 2004, 09:37

Yes, the engine seems to be very vulnerable. I read many reports from engine breakdowns. Then there is the short transmission ratio. When driving flat out on German autobahns revs go beyond good and evil. Especially when the speed limiter is disabled. Bad luck BMW constructed sheer transient driving pleasure.

1999 BMW M Coupe 3.2 from UK and Ireland


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.