Lot 119


1999 BMW Z3 M Coupé


€59,800 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
French Certificat d’Immatriculation
  • One of 5,179 BMW M Coupés equipped with the E36-generation M3’s 316 horsepower 3.2-litre straight-six
  • Electronically limited to a top speed of 250 km/h
  • Finished in Estoril Blue with matching two-tone leather and factory air conditioning
  • Displaying just 33,330 kilometres at the time of consignment

Unveiled in 1995 as a rival to Mazda’s MX-5, the BMW Z3 was initially powered by a humble 136 horsepower four-cylinder engine. In 1997, its appeal was bolstered by a 2,793 cc six-cylinder variant—muscular flared wheel arches helped to identify the 186 horsepower newcomer. While it was faster, though, the 2.8-litre car was arguably more of a cruiser than a road burner. Fortunately for thrill-seekers, BMW’s Motorsport division had dreamt up a range-topping monster.

Equipped with the M3’s 3,201 cc S50 straight-six, the M Roadster took the Z3 to a new dimension. Boasting 316 horsepower (180 more than the 1.9-litre version), the performance was elevated from adequate to astounding: 0-100 km/h was slashed from 10 seconds to around five. With 258 lb ft of torque, the BMW could pull effortlessly in top, or bounce off the rev limiter as it howled through the gears to an electronically limited 250 km/h. The Roadster was epic, but there was more to come.

With a striking glasshouse perched over the broad tail, the radically styled M Coupé looked insane but was just brilliant. Boasting twice the rigidity of its open cousin, it had a tauter, more precise chassis, as well as less drag, and greater practicality. Featuring the same 24-valve twin-cam, M3 brakes, widened track, and 17-inch wheels as the Roadster, it was even better to drive, yet remained something of a secret. Just 5,179 were produced with the S50 engine (plus 1,112 with the later S54), compared to 15,000 M Roadsters. This rarity—and the car’s cult status—means the best are now highly desirable, yet increasingly hard to find.

Supplied new to Mainz in Germany, this particular BMW was first registered on 18 May 1999. Almost immediately, the car moved north to Wuppertal, where (used sparingly) it clocked up some 31,000 kilometres. By 2019, the Coupé had passed to Valladolid in Spain but, while it was treated to new brakes, appears to have rarely been driven. It joined the current owner’s collection in January 2021, displaying just over 32,000 kilometres. Having covered only a few hundred kilometres since the tyres, fuel pump, and dampers were replaced by Charles Pozzi in Paris, this magnificent BMW is beautifully presented. Equipped with air-conditioning and finished in fetching Estoril Blue with two-tone leather, it comes complete with tools, assorted manuals and invoices. A truly iconic machine, it would make an excellent addition to any collection.