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BMW Z4 M Coupé E86.

This M Coupé was only manufactured for two years. This, along with its legendary engine and polarizing shape, has made it a sought-after classic car.

11 May 2021

Faster to 100 than the legendary BMW M3 E46 and quicker in a sprint than the direct competition from Zuffenhausen – the portents for the BMW Z4 M Coupé E86 were good in the spring of 2006 when the series version was launched at the Geneva Car Show. At the same time, the BMW Z4 3.0si Coupé celebrated its debut. The german Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper judged the Coupé, “a not completely unreasonable car”, which fitted two people “like a tailor-made suit.” (FAZ, 14.09.2006).

The rear overhang is as tightly cut as the rim of a bowler hat, the cockpit short and flat and set far back, as in the iconic sports cars of the 1960s and ’70s. Then there’s the recess in the middle of the roof, the typical BMW “Hofmeister kink” at the transition from C column to chassis, the endlessly long bonnet with deeply embedded kidney grille and fully filled wheel arches with exclusive 18-inch aluminium wheels. In short: A car designed for true petrolheads.


  • Max. output: 252 kW (343 hp)
  • Max. torque: 365 Nm
  • Displacement: 3.246 cm3
  • 0–100 km/h in 5.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 250 km/h


BMW Z4 Coupé E86BMW Z4 Coupé E86
Sporty: the dimensions of the BMW Z4 M Coupé in detail.

Power and acceleration, puristic driving pleasure, an absolute need for speed – the aura of the Z4 M Coupé is much more progressive than that of its predecessor, the BMW Z3 M Coupé E36/8. The snappy, 4,113 mm long and only 1,287 mm high two-seater’s high recognition value is not least thanks to the striking edge on the tail and the characteristic lateral flyline. The Z4 M’s four tailpipes, set in pairs to the right and left in the bumper, emanate vertically below the outer ends of the spoiler-like tear-off edge of the hatchback. Every mm of the rear of the chassis is perfectly formed. Stay on his tail, drivers behind will say. But with this M engine that’s much easier said than done.

4.36 kg/hp4.36 kg/hp

4.36 kg/hp

The BMW Z4 M Coupé has an excellent power to weight ratio – which sent a strong signal to the competition.


Engine compartment and inline-six-cylinder engine of the BMW Z4 M Coupé Engine compartment and inline-six-cylinder engine of the BMW Z4 M Coupé
Built far back into the long front end: the in-line 6-cylinder engine with 343 hp.

5.0 secs from 0 to 100 km/h, 250 km/h top speed (electronically limited), racing bursts of speed. Already at 2,000 rpm, 80% of the maximum torque of 365 Newton metres is available. The power to weight ratio of the 1,495 kg BMW Z4 M Coupé is just 4.36 kg/hp.


Gear lever of the manual gearbox of the BMW Z4 M CoupéGear lever of the manual gearbox of the BMW Z4 M Coupé
Handset: the short gear lever on the centre tunnel.

Short shifts, tight gear ratio, precise operation – the Z4 M Coupé’s manual gearbox is impressive proof of why manual gear-shifts were for a long time de rigueur in sports cars. In the Z4 M Coupé, an automatic in combination with the legendary S54 engine was never even offered. Why should it? When combined with a high-revving engine, manual shifting is a first-class haptic and sensorial pleasure. And then there’s the sound of the M inline six-cylinder engine: “At low revs, it rumbles hoarsely, then at 5000 rpm the floodgates open and it blares belligerently” – is how AUTO BILD described the Z4 M Coupé in a used car test (, 05.12.2019). And went on: “Back then, a car for just real fans, today a classic car in waiting”.

M sports seats in the BMW Z4 M CoupéM sports seats in the BMW Z4 M Coupé
Strong support: the M sports seats in the BMW Z4 M Coupé.

Above all in the rare special paint job Phoenix yellow metallic. The BMW M paintwork is a homage to the Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona, which is known as the world’s fastest one-mile oval. The ideal place for the Z4 M with its excellent acceleration and ventilated compound brakes, which were also used in the M3 CSL E46. A variable M limited slip differential on the rear axle, hydraulic rack and pinion steering, M Sport seats for optimum lateral support in every driving situation – in terms of driving dynamics and pleasure, the M Coupé is in a league of its own.

BMW Z4 M CoupéBMW Z4 M Coupé


Interior, steering wheel and centre console of the BMW Z4 M CoupéInterior, steering wheel and centre console of the BMW Z4 M Coupé
Perfect control: M leather steering wheel in the Z4 M Coupé.

The cockpit is dominated by the two canopied individual instruments and the M leather steering wheel, with thumb recesses offering secure hold and precise handling. Alongside the stubby gear stick is the Sport button. This reduces the servo steering assistance and increases the engine response.


The outstanding dynamics of the production model virtually predestined the Z4 M Coupé for motorsport. BMW Motorsport built 12 GT3 racing versions of the Z4 M Coupé. Also powered by the 3.2-litre engine, but optimised up to 316 kW (430 hp). In the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring, the car chalked up numerous victories with Hans-Joachim Stuck and Claudia Hürtgen at the wheel: 11 of the 16 races in the 2009 and 2010 seasons were won by the GT3 version of the Z4 M Coupé.


units of the BMW Z4 M Coupé left the factory halls. This makes the model even rarer than its predecessor, the BMW Z3 M Coupé.


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