BMW M Roadster
Engine type: DOHC 24 valves inline-6
Displacement: 3.2L (3246cc)
Power: 315 bhp
Torque: 251 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 5 speed manual
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1/4 mile: 13.3sec
Top Speed: 158 mph
With 315 bhp on a tap, a broad band of torque and five tightly spaced gear ratios, the M roadster really squirts. Need to pass somebody on the highway? The throaty-sounding inline-6 makes quick duty of it, pulling like a freight train to its 7600-rpm redline. And around town -where most cars loaf along in 3rd gear- the M roadster cruises comfortably in 4th. This relates directly to the 3.15:1 final drive and gearing so low that the 5th isn't even an overdrive. Clutch take-up, by the way, is second-nature, and the short-throw shifter moves firmly from gear to gear with only a bit more resistance than is felt in the Z3 2.8.
This is a well-built weekend car that's refined enough to drive everyday. only 3,000 are planed for the U.S. in 1998, at an estimated price of $41,900 that includes free maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles. Your smiles are guaranteed to last a lot longer.
UPDATES: The new Z3 based M coupe goes on sale as a 1999 model powered with a 193 bhp 2.8L inline-6 or the famous 240 bhp 3.2L inline-6.
UPDATES: The Z3 roadster gets a facelift which gives a new shape to the rear lights and a more muscular looking body.
UPDATES: A new engine with more power makes it into the M Roadster. It is the same as the M3's, but detuned to 315 bhp (Why?!?). Performance is up by a lot.