3 hours ago
// - send in the clowns - // #drivedisgracefully
| after-hours projects don’t get much better than bmw’s z3 m coupe. you can thank burkhard goschel for that one. leading up a group of five engineers on an after-hours project, his brief was to fix the chassis flex of the z3 roadster. off came the wings and a shooting brake-style coupe body was grafted on. it’s tempting to imagine that they neglected to adequately ventilate the studio and lost all power of reason due to the aerosol effects of the sculpting foam, but that’s not the case. the design they came up with was shocking, challenging and quite unlike anything bmw had ever produced. yet the m coupe redressed a lot of the failings of the roadster. although mechanically identical, the fixed roof served to stiffen the chassis ensuring the semi-trailing arm suspension wasn’t overburdened. introduced in september 1998, the hard top car found immediate favour with buyers, outselling the identically-priced m roadster by nearly three to one. developed in garching but built in spartanburg, north carolina, the m coupe was built with three engine options. the us specification car got the short straw, with a 240hp 3152cc s52 six. in europe, the m coupe was offered with the more exotic s50 3201cc motorsport lump good for 321hp. this engine featured double vanos (on both intake and exhaust strokes), higher compression ratio, individual throttle plates for each cylinder, lightweight pistons, a dual mass flywheel and so on. it’s leagues better and that’s the engine that powers the m coupe we feature here. all the aussie imports feature the s50 unit.
from june 2000, the m coupe was offered in europe with the 3254cc s54 engine. marginally more powerful at 325hp it also got switchable dynamic stability control (dsc). whichever version you chose, it came with a zf type c five-speed manual gearbox with a limited slip differential with a maximum locking of 25 percent. the chassis? the team at garching did a great job, m coupe emerging with a static twist resistance 2.6 times that of the roadster. at the time, it was the most torsionally rigid car bmw had ever built. #bmw #mcoupe #z3m #z3mcoupe #bmwz3mcoupe #granturismoveloce