At its launch in 1997, the very appearance of the BMW Z3 M Coupé polarised both IAA visitors and journalists alike: a closed version of the Z3 Roadster from BMW M? The design was progressive and markedly independent. The long bonnet, coupled with a compact rear and wide wheel housings, was untypical for a sports car of this format. Typically M was the engine with the most powerful version of the straight-6 cylinder engine for its time. For the press, first tests made clear that if there was anything the BMW Z3 M Coupé stood for, it was pure driving pleasure.