While most BMW enthusiasts clamor on about the wonderful absurdity that is the Z3 M Coupe, the Clownshoe, there’s actually another car that’s quite similar and arguably better — the BMW Z4 M Coupe. The Z4 M Coupe is certainly better looking than the Clownshoe it replaces. In fact, it’s one of Bangle’s better looking cars and has one of the best rear ends of any BMW of its era. But what makes it so great is that it’s one of the best driving cars of the modern BMW era, yet it seems to be forgotten among enthusiasts. So Everyday Driver took it for a drive in this latest video to remind us of how good it is.
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What makes the BMW Z4 M Coupe so brilliant is just how simple it is. It’s a very small, short wheelbase coupe with a big engine up front, a six-speed manual gearbox in the middle and drive going to the back. Inside all of that are very few electronics, hydraulic steering and just one suspension mode. So it’s about as simple a recipe as it gets but that’s what makes it so wonderful.
Under the hood lies the same S54 3.2 liter I6 engine that powered the E46 BMW M3. It makes 330 hp at a sonorous 7,900 rpm and 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. Those lofty rpm peak power figures make you work it to achieve them. Good news is that the S54 is a wonderful engine to rev, as it loves to stretch its legs and makes a spectacular noise doing so. While 330 hp might not seem like a lot anymore, considering the BMW 340i makes more and isn’t an M car, you won’t care in the slightest when you’re rowing the BMW Z4 M Coupe through its gears.
But it’s not just a great engine. The BMW Z4 M Coupe has some of the most enjoyable handling of any modern-ish BMW. Its hydraulic steering is incredibly talkative while also being a bit light and delicate. Its suspension is stiff but it’s solid and controlled and makes the car feel very rigid. It just loves to hunt down corners and it loves to play.
The only problem with the BMW Z4 M Coupe is that now I want one. Dammit.