While everyone’s clamoring at the chance to see the brand spanking new BMW Z4, other people are refusing to let go of the past and are still looking to other models that wore the Z4 badge in BMW’s history. Some have even forgotten that the Z4 once came in Coupe guise. That same Z4 was also offered in a true M guise, not the M Performance alternative we have on our hands these days. This is a look back at the original, if you will.
The Z4 M was built between 2006 and 2008 so in rather limited numbers. Apart from the fact that it was in production for only about two years, it wasn’t a really popular car either, back then, mostly because of the E46 M3 that was seen as a similarly potent car which was also a bit more practical. In total, the Z4 M Coupe was made in 4,581 units and that includes both right-hand drive and left-hand drive models.
Under the hood hid the S54 engine from the E46 M3 with a couple of changes done to it. The cylinder bore was increased to 87 mm (from 86.1mm) for a new total displacement of 3,246cc. The Z4 M had modified camshafts, a high pressure Double VANOS continuously variable valve timing system with faster operation at high rpm, increased compression, a new ECU, electronic throttle activation with two M Dynamic Driving Control response modes, finger-type rocker arms for reduced reciprocating mass and friction, one-piece aluminum head casting for lighter weight and a scavenging oil pump to maintain pressure during heavy cornering. It may not seem like a lot, but those small tweaks made a difference in the end product.
All cars came with the only transmission made available for it, a manual 6-speed Getrag gearbox, as well as the M differential lock which is an advanced version of the traditional limited slip differential. All in all, this thing was a beast back then and it still drives like a dream today. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the video made by the guys from Roads Untraveled, posted below.