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M Coupe: 1999 vs. 2002

3342 Views 38 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  nate
Did anybody own a new M Coupe with 240 hp and sell it to buy a 315 hp version? I want an M Coupe and the 99s have started to get into my comfortable price range. However, I feel that maybe I should wait until a 2002 drops in price. I have read some magazines that say the older car was real nice on the street due to the gearing and torque but of course the 315 hp car would run away on the top end. Any thoughts from those who have driven the cars?
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Sorry, but AFAIK, there's no 240 hp engine in BMW's program. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The 3.0 L which comes in the M-Coupe (which is called the Z3 coupe) has 225hp in US version (Source:Edmunds) and 231 hp in European version.

Alex
Alex Baumann said:
Sorry, but AFAIK, there's no 240 hp engine in BMW's program. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The 3.0 L which comes in the M-Coupe (which is called the Z3 coupe) has 225hp in US version (Source:Edmunds) and 231 hp in European version.

Alex
Alex, as far as I know, US-spec M Roadsters and Coupes do have 240HP engines. The 02's have 315HP engines.
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ALEX325i said:


Alex, as far as I know, US-spec M Roadsters and Coupes do have 240HP engines. The 02's have 315HP engines.
Check the Edmunds site. I didn't see an engine with 240hp. Maybe my bad.

The Z3 Coupe shares the same 3.0 Liter engine with the E46 330 (225 hp)
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Alex,

It’s true that the current Z3 Coupe / Roadster does share the 3.0 liter engine with the 330s and the previous Z3 Coupe / Roadster shared the 328s 2.8 liter engine. The pre 2002 M Coupes / M Roadsters had the same 240 hp engine that powered the U.S. spec M3. The U.S. market finally gets the high hp 3.2 liter engines that the rest of the world gets in their M3s and M Coupes / M Roadsters. The M Coupe / M Roadster fans had to wait one additional year before they got the 3.2 liter engine. The M3 is stated to have 3.2L 333 hp and the M Coupe now has 3.2L 315 hp in the U.S. specs. The power is slightly lower in the M Coupe / M Roadster due to the exhaust layout.

Obviously the M Coupe is a car you either love or hate and I have always been in the love it category. It is a true classic in this age where even some great cars lack a real sense of individual style. It’s retro and forward thinking at the same time. I think it’s retro without over doing for the sake of being retro like the VW Bug and Ford T-bird. Anyway, I think I will wait until the 2002s drop in price to around $28,000 to $32,000 before I get one.
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Maybe I should just break down and buy this one for $27,500. Damn tempting. I just wish it wasn’t on the opposite coast.:cry:

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your patience will be rewarded...

just wait for the s54 engine'd coupes to be on the market for about a year. they're too unique and a lot of people will cash out and trade in for an m3 or something with more "luster".

it will be a bargain.

pro's: you will have all the HP you'll ever need unless your name is M. Schumacher

con's: you hafta wait. big deal.
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I think you are right blawkdawg. I have my 325 to keep me company until then :)
Alex Baumann said:


Check the Edmunds site. I didn't see an engine with 240hp. Maybe my bad.

The Z3 Coupe shares the same 3.0 Liter engine with the E46 330 (225 hp)
'00 M Coupe... :thumb:
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ALEX325i said:
Thanks Alex. Interesting, this engine doesn't show up in my BMW books. The early M engine (all Euro spec), which came in E36 M3 between 1992-1995 had 286hp, the one between 1995-1999 had 321 hp.

But the engine which you guys are talking about has really impressive performance figures, acc. to the Edmunds site.
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Wingboot,

I bought the 99///M Rdstr to hold me over until the 01 became available. The 99 is a CPO that I got in November 2000.
After getting the 01///M Rdstr (picked up at the factory during HC01), it was decided to keep them both.

They're both great cars, but if I had to choose just one, it would definately be the 2001.
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G
Alex Baumann said:


Thanks Alex. Interesting, this engine doesn't show up in my BMW books. The early M engine (all Euro spec), which came in E36 M3 between 1992-1995 had 286hp, the one between 1995-1999 had 321 hp.

But the engine which you guys are talking about has really impressive performance figures, acc. to the Edmunds site.
You're looking at the Euro E36 M3 motors. The US-spec S52 is the 240hp 3.2L engine that was in the US-bound 96-99 M3s (including mine). It has not as much HP as the Euro version but it has lots of torque, especially down low. So, compared to the Euro motor, the only place it really falls short is at the top end (where HP truly matters). And in the US, top end is far less relevent than accelleration (which is largely a factor of torque).

And I ran with one of those 240HP M Coupes on the track this weekend and that car is DAMN fast. The weight advantage is huge over my sedan, at least down the main straight where he'd just pull away.
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TD said:


You're looking at the Euro E36 M3 motors. The US-spec S52 is the 240hp 3.2L engine that was in the US-bound 96-99 M3s (including mine). It has not as much HP as the Euro version but it has lots of torque, especially down low. So, compared to the Euro motor, the only place it really falls short is at the top end (where HP truly matters). And in the US, top end is far less relevent than accelleration (which is largely a factor of torque).

And I ran with one of those 240HP M Coupes on the track this weekend and that car is DAMN fast. The weight advantage is huge over my sedan, at least down the main straight where he'd just pull away.
I think, that would be a great engine to have in the E46. With a slight factory modification, that engine would have around 260 hp, which IMO, would put an end to the hp discussion.

What do you think ?
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G
Alex Baumann said:


I think, that would be a great engine to have in the E46. With a slight factory modification, that engine would have around 260 hp, which IMO, would put an end to the hp discussion.

What do you think ?
It's can't be quite that simple or we'd have 332i and 332Ci models on the road right now instead of 330s. I mean, this engine was in the '96-'99 US M3s and in the US M Coupes and Roadsters through '01/'02-ish (whenever the exhaust-limited 315HP E46 M3 engine went into it).

I'm sure that there are many other considerations including emissions, on-going engine development and cross-use issues, plus concerns about the S52's noise and gearing setup (the US E36 M3 is geared such that, at highway speeds, you're running relatively high RPMs - which can be loud - and is not generally associated with a "luxury" car).

And, maybe, since it is an "//M" engine, they don't want to use it in non-//M cars on principle alone.

So those are my guesses as to why not...
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G
TD said:


But, it's just can't be quite that simple or we'd have 332i and 332Ci models on the road right now instead of 330s. I mean, this engine was in the '96-'99 US M3s and in the US M Coupes and Roadsters through '01/'02-ish (whenever the exhaust-limited 315HP E46 M3 engine went into it).

To make things even more perplexing (from your question's point-of-view), the US '95 M3s had a 3.0L engine which put out 240HP but had less torque than the 3.2L. Early on, there was some speculation that the 3.0L M54 engine (in the 330s) was just an update of it (it's not).

I'm sure that there are many other considerations including emissions, on-going engine development and cross-use issues, plus concerns about the S52's noise and gearing setup (the US E36 M3 is geared such that, at highway speeds, you're running relatively high RPMs - which can be loud - and is not generally associated with a "luxury" car).

And, maybe, since it is an "//M" engine, they don't want to use it in non-//M cars on principle alone.

So those are my guesses as to why not...
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TD said:


You're looking at the Euro E36 M3 motors. The US-spec S52 is the 240hp 3.2L engine that was in the US-bound 96-99 M3s (including mine). It has not as much HP as the Euro version but it has lots of torque, especially down low. So, compared to the Euro motor, the only place it really falls short is at the top end (where HP truly matters). And in the US, top end is far less relevent than accelleration (which is largely a factor of torque).

And I ran with one of those 240HP M Coupes on the track this weekend and that car is DAMN fast. The weight advantage is huge over my sedan, at least down the main straight where he'd just pull away.
So how was it TD?!! I've been waiting for a report.. :D
I was there Saturday afternoon, around 3-3:30. I was hoping to run into Hunter or Lil Raja...but no such luck. Maybe then were there in the morning half... :dunno:
Boy it looked like a ton of fun!! You have a black 2-dr, right? If the one I saw was you...man your M3 sounds awesome! Did you do anything to your exhaust or is it stock? For some reason it sounded different than the other M3's on the track...better. Oh and that M5 exhaust music gave me goosebumps! Nice...deep gurgle... :D
I liked the fact that there was a 323/325 too!! Oh and that old e30 M3 was nice too! I gotta do it next time....
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hi TD.

how was the track day overall?

get a feel for the e36m3 at the limits?

that car is so much easier to manuever around the track. wheelbase plus a modern rear suspension works wonders, especially on tracks which are bumpy and tend to put the semitrailing rear end of the e30m3's and e36/8 (coupe)'s out of shape. fun once experienced, hairy to learn to live with.
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to answer the original question:

sorry:

if i hadn't invested time and money to supercharge my S52 M coupe, i would have turned it in quickly to get into an S54 engine'd M coupe.

my M coupe isn't a keeper, either. the allure and wail of a flat six is calling me like a siren.
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G
Teej said:


So how was it TD?!! I've been waiting for a report.. :D
I was there Saturday afternoon, around 3-3:30. I was hoping to run into Hunter or Lil Raja...but no such luck. Maybe then were there in the morning half... :dunno:
Boy it looked like a ton of fun!! You have a black 2-dr, right? If the one I saw was you...man your M3 sounds awesome! Did you do anything to your exhaust or is it stock? For some reason it sounded different than the other M3's on the track...better. Oh and that M5 exhaust music gave me goosebumps! Nice...deep gurgle... :D
I liked the fact that there was a 323/325 too!! Oh and that old e30 M3 was nice too! I gotta do it next time....
Really! You came out? Hunter (CD-55) was there from ~10-11am until about 5pm. He took all of the pics I have of me on the track.

And, no, I had the only M3 SEDAN out there on Sautrday. There were 4 or 5 BLACK E36 M3 coupes. And about 5 or 6 E30 M3s of various colors. No exhaust mods on mine either. Obviously, you were watching one of the coupes, although I'd have a hard time guessing which one. Depending on which run group, it might have been a damn fast one too. Those A group students know their sh*t.

(I was also surprised at the fact that there were 3 E39 M5s out there being driven VERY VERY hard.)

In my run group (the novice C group) there were 2 black E36 M3s, two other E36 M3s, one E30 M3, one E46 non-SP 328i (with non-step auto tranny), one non-SP 330i, one 240hp M Coupe, one E30 325e and one E30 318is.

The only wreck of the weekend was the E30 M3 in my run group who lost it in the heavy rain on Sunday coming out of turn 2. He impacted the inside berm with his right front corner. We're all guessing $2-3K of damage. He was an especially nice guy, so we all felt bad that it happened to him. As we're all novices in that run group, we all realized that it could have just as easily been one of us.

You haven't lived until you've driven through twisties over uneven, oily pavement, with both front windows down at really high speeds in the pouring rain. THAT was my Sunday. And those pics are still on the camera (too tired to offload them last night).

Here are the only two pics from Saturday that I uploaded to webspace-





I'll upload and post more pics and do a long write-up later this week when I get more time.

Too bad I missed you on Saturday. I never saw Lil Raja either (although, as I've never met him, I wouldn't know him if I saw him).
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Re: hi TD.

blackdawg said:
how was the track day overall?

get a feel for the e36m3 at the limits?

that car is so much easier to manuever around the track. wheelbase plus a modern rear suspension works wonders, especially on tracks which are bumpy and tend to put the semitrailing rear end of the e30m3's and e36/8 (coupe)'s out of shape. fun once experienced, hairy to learn to live with.
Overall, awesome. It's guaranteed to become a new (expensive) addiction.

As for testing the M3's limits - My limits are still far short of the car's limits. I pushed the hard very hard but saw bone-stock M3s exponentially out-performing me. While I academically know that the driver is more important than the car, this weekend truly brought that point home in a way nothing else could.

(I watched a bone stock except for tires E46 323i SP 5-spd in the A group hanging tight with M3s and M5s. And an instructor driven Subaru WRX hanging very tight as well.)

As I said in my reply to Teej, a more detailed review will be posted when I get time.
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