- Chassis # 5UMCL93452LJ82105
- Featuring The 315 Horsepower S54 Engine
- 1 Of Just 12 Finished In Black Sapphire Metallic With A Dark Beige Oregon Interior
- Showing Just Under 65,000 Miles From New
- Well Optioned With Harmon Kardon Audio, Heated Seats, LSD, And More
- Complete With Clean CARFAX And Tools
The reintroduced popularity of the roadster body style brought about by the Mazda Miata in North America necessitated a reaction from the European Makes to offer their own interpretation on the genre after helping establish a market in the mid-century.
BMW entered into the fray in 1995 with the Z3. In classic roadster fashion, a long hood and short rear deck composed the overall shape. However, the lines were far from the typical teutonic straightedges commonly seen in the period, and instead, designer Joji Nagashima employed the softer, rounder shapes from the roadsters of the past. Every single body panel possesses some form of curvature, an element that surely gave the manufacturing side of the business a bit of a headache. Fortunately, it all works quite well, and today, the Z3 looks like nothing BMW has put out before or since, and the boldness of the design has aged remarkably well.
Enthusiasts of the brand might have been saddened to see an inline-6 unavailable at launch under that long hood, but all could rest assured that BMW would deliver soon enough. Many could be satisfied with the lightness and responsiveness of the 4-cylinder models, but more power always tends to make things better. Just a year after the car’s introduction, the traditional Inline-6 arrived along with deliciously punched out fenders allowing for a 2.5inch wider rear track. It was only a matter of time now before the M-division got its hands on the little roadster…
Falling in line with E36 M3, North American examples of the new Z3 M Roadster were fitted with the S52 engine upon release. While down on power from its more exotic, individual throttle-bodied cousin, this bored and stroked M52 motor is not without its merits in the context of the contemporary automotive scene. At the end of the day, a naturally aspirated inline-6 with a 7,000rpm redline makes for an enticing proposition to any gearhead. As previously stated, more power is always better, and so BMW would finally deliver what everyone had been praying for. The heavens opened in 2001 and the legendary S54 was fitted into the M-Roadster.
The S54 needs no introduction as its status has well been established over the past 20 years. That being said, its presence within the little Z3 makes for a heart-pounding and thrilling experience. It’s the perfect motor for a roadster: silky smooth, an astronomical redline, and an open throttle howl that’ll raise the hair on the back of your neck. While most of the platform is derived from the E36, its rear suspension utilized the trailing arm design seen in the E30. Anyone who has driven a high-power 3er of that generation will know of the rear end’s propensity to get loose, and the Z3 M roadster is very much the same. This car is not for the faint of heart.
The 2002 BMW Z3 M-Roadster, Vin 5UMCL93452LJ82105, offered here is a truly wonderful example of this hallowed roadster. Just 1,564 of these cars left the factory with the S54 present under the hood and in 2002 just 12 were finished in Black Sapphire Metallic with a Dark Beige Oregon interior like the one now available. It is a smart and stealthy-looking combination that helps to downplay the M-specific exterior touches. In addition, the BMW left the factory with a number of options including a Cup holder (S442A) Air Conditioning (S530A) CD Changer l-Bus Preparation (S692A) Heated Windscreen Washer Nozzles (S314A) HiFi Loudspeaker System – Harman Kardon (S674A), and Heated Seats (S494A) – among others.
The functional and modern interior design receives a splash of character thanks to textured center panels in the seats which bring to mind pointillism. An inviting amount of wear is visible on the typical touch services and little signs of abuse can be found elsewhere. Despite living through several decades, the overall quality of the interior has diminished very little. Many years of use have only resulted in the expected minor stone peppering on the front of the vehicle while some additional minor scruffs can be found on the rear bumper and wheels. These points are exceptions, however, and the paint shows with good depth and consistency all around. We can further happily report that the vehicle and its various systems are functioning as intended and it will arrive ready to use. In addition, the tools and tire inflator can be found present in the trunk.
Reinforcing this quality is a CarFax showing years of dutiful and routine maintenance. The vehicle appears to have been originally delivered to Tennessee and would stay in the volunteer state until 2005 when it was brought to Colorado. Not long after, the BMW was shipped across the border to the great white north and would remain in Ontario up until the past year. It should be noted, there is a reported mileage discrepancy around the 57,000-mile mark. We believe that this is likely a clerical error, which happens from time to time. To the best of our knowledge, there are no signs of an odometer replacement or issue, and the CARFAX history aligns well both before and after the reported issue so it is a bit difficult to determine the cause.
A fantastic example of one of BMW’s greatest sports cars, the desirability of the Z3 M-Roadster will continue to grow as the decades pass. Its classic proportions, biblical motor, and rarity add up for what is a true modern classic. This Bavarian masterpiece is sure to give its next owner many miles of thrilling motoring.
body and paint
The paintwork on the car appears in very good shape with consistent depth and shine throughout the entirety of the body. The front bumper and the leading edge of the hood show some stone peppering as congruent with the mileage. There is additionally a small scuff present on the right-hand side of the front bumper, as well as a small paint chip on the left-hand side of the rear bumper.
glass and trim
The glass throughout the car appears to be all original with the correct factory markings present on all the panes. The trim across the exterior of the car appears in very good condition with little or no signs of deterioration or discoloring. All the lights and lenses appear as new.
All four wheels appear in very nice condition with minimal chips or scuffs on the painted surfaces.
seats and surfaces
The striking Dark Beige Oregon interior remains in fantastic condition throughout with notable flaws present. There is some minor creasing on the bolsters as one would expect with the mileage but otherwise the seats remain in excellent condition. The carpets are clean and tidy, same with the door panels. The dash area is smooth and consistent, with good color and no signs of pulling or cracking.
functionality and accessories
This M Roadster was cared for very well throughout its life, as represented by the detailed CARFAX service records. Due to the careful ownership, the interior remains in excellent condition with everything working and looking as it should. The interior lights operate as they should and the gauges are clean and clear while reading their respective functions as they should. All buttons, knobs, and switches appear to be in correct functioning order.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay appears well kept and properly looked after. It displays a correct factory appearance and no signs of modifications. Painted surfaces appear consistent and smooth and the correct factory stickers are in place. Black platics show minimal aging and hoses, clamps, tubes, and wires appear mechanically and cosmetically sound. There is a bit of surface corrosion appearing on some of the hardware, which is to be expected with the age and mileage.
The trunk area appears in excellent condition with well-fitting carpets and the appropriate stickers in place. The factory tools and tire inflator are tucked neatly in their respective storage areas.
The underside of this M roadster presents very clean throughout with only some minor spots of surface corrosion present which are consistent with the age of the car. There are no signs of any leaks or issues past or present.
The S54 engine fires to life with ease, idles well, and makes excellent and smooth power out on the road. During our brief test drive there were no signs of any flat spots or stumbles in acceleration.
The 5-speed transmission shifts smoothly through gears and holds power with ease. The clutch take-up and feedback feel spot on and presented no issues for us.
brakes and suspension
The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with odd noises or issues. The suspension feels tight and compliant and shows no odd road behavior.
The tires are Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 that appear to have a DOT code of 2013 on them. Despite their age, they have ample tread and solid side walls on all 4 tires.