When looking for German sports cars of a certain age, most people go straight to Stuttgart. That’s too bad since cars like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Z4 M Coupe can give its contemporary Porsche competitors a run for their money. Let’s see how much money that takes to do that.
What is it they say, “good things come in small packages?” Yeah, guys have been telling women that for like, forever. I can even picture some Neanderthal making excuses to his wife over the size of the kill he’s brought home to the cave, telling her “no really, the small ones taste the best. You’ll see.”
The 1995 Honda Today we looked at yesterday was certainly a small package. That was by way of it being a Kei car, a class of city car that demanded diminutive dimensions to meet certain tax requirements. A private party brought the Honda here, where it now appears as a small fish in a big pond. Contrastingly big, seemingly, was the $7,500 price tag the little Honda carried. That was voted down by 59 percent of you, giving the Today a No Dice loss.
When BMW released the E85 Z4 roadster in 2002, it represented what was probably the ultimate expression of the design language then being pushed by the company’s then design lead, Chris Bangle. The car’s “Flame Surfacing” style — penned by BMW designer, Anders Warming, was most evident in the odd angles and curves surrounding the Roundels on either flank. The droptop’s roller coaster boot lid was another iconic and polarizing touch. The Z4’s design wasn’t universally praised for its bold departure from styling norms when it debuted, and to be honest, it hasn’t aged all that well.
Fortunately, when the time came to add a coupe to the E85 lineup, another designer was picked to put the top on. That was Tomasz Sycha who is now the head of exterior design at Mini. Sycha’s hatchback hardtop gave the Z4 better proportions and a taller boot lid that made the car look a lot less like someone had just “pinched it off” at the end. A familial resemblance to the 6-series in both that rear section and the window line helped too.
This 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe benefits from being the closed cabin version over the roadster not only in its style but in torsional rigidity as well. The black paint also helps hide some of the remaining superfluous design elements.
This is one of just 377 M Coupes produced for the U.S. in the 2006 model year. That makes it reasonably rare, although there are more of the standard coupes out there so you really have to check the goods to make sure you’re looking at something halfway special.
With just 81,300 miles on the ticker, this one is just getting started. Per the ad, the car has been “Meticulously maintained” and at present, it “Runs and drives perfect.” Under the long hood lies what the seller calls the “notorious S54 engine” which I’m not sure is the most flattering description of that mill. In U.S. spec, that DOHC 3.2 liter straight-six pumped out 330 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of twist. Backing that up is a six-speed manual and a limited-slip rear end.
The ad claims the car to be all factory save for the admittedly still BMW-sourced wheels. The engine bay also shows an aftermarket strut tower brace so I guess “stock” is an interpretive term.
This M Coupe’s exterior and drivetrain may both be notable, but it’s the interior that really stands out. That’s where you’ll find a huge swath of warm wood paneling on both the dashboard and the center console. I think this is the first and only M Coupe I’ve ever seen that’s had that option box checked. Accenting the wood is black leather upholstery on the sport seats, wheel, and shift knob, and some muted brightwork on the door pulls and latch handles. It’s all very elegant and old school and doesn’t look like a bad place to spend a few hours while flinging the car through some corners.
What might it cost to do that flinging? The seller is asking $30,900 and in case you haven’t checked lately, that’s on the low-end of the M Coupe market. What you’re going to need to decide is whether or not it’s low enough. What do you think, is this stock rocket worth that $30,900 asking as it sits? Or, would you expect to spend less Bangle for your buck?
H/T to David G. for the hookup!
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