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Car video reviews:

Body style: Convertible (spider/spyder, cabrio/cabriolet, drop/open/soft top)
Segment: Roadster & Convertible

BMW introduced an M version for its nimble little roadster Z3 in 1997 and offered it on both sides of the Atlantic, but with different power levels.

Basically, it was just another Z3 with a more powerful engine. But there was more than that. There were some visual upgrades and technical improvements that made the M-Roadster more desirable than its less-powered siblings.

The exterior benefited from a new front bumper that featured a lower spoiler. In addition, both the front and rear fenders were wider to fit the larger wheels and tires. In addition, the front fenders' louvers got a chromed horizontal slat, resembling the legendary BMW 507 from the late '50s. At the back, the quad exhaust system expressed in a vocal way the sound of the six-cylinder engine.

Inside, the Z3 M-Roadster received more standard features than its less-powered siblings. The leather-wrapped and heated high-seatback bucket and the power-folding roof were offered as standard. In addition, a better sound system and an AC unit were also present.

When it was introduced, the M-Roadster received the 3.2-liter S52 engine carried over from the E36 M3 that produced 321 PS (316 hp) for the European customers, while the American version featured the S50 powerplant that offered just 240 hp (243 PS). Later on, in 2001, the car finally received the improved S54 powerplant that provided similar power on both sides of the Atlantic. All versions were paired with the same five-speed manual, and the power went to the rear via a limited-slip differential. In addition, the M-Roadster got better brakes and stiffened suspension than its siblings.

BMW M Roadster (E36) 1997 - 2002 15 Photos
BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)BMW M Roadster (E36) (1997 - 2002)
press release
BMW M Roadster (E36) 1997 - 2002
  1 gasoline engine
  • 3.2L 5MT (325 HP)

BMW M Roadster (E36) 3.2L 5MT (325 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  3.2L 5MT (325 HP)
Cylinders
L6
Displacement
3246 cm3
Power
239 KW @ 7400 RPM
325 HP @ 7400 RPM
321 BHP @ 7400 RPM
Torque
258 lb-ft @ 4900 RPM
350 Nm @ 4900 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
155.3 mph (250 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
5.3 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
Fata: 225/45 ZR17 - Spate: 245/40 ZR17
DIMENSIONS
Length
158.5 in (4026 mm)
Width
68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height
50.7 in (1288 mm)
Front/rear Track
56/58.7 in (1,422/1,491 mm)
Wheelbase
96.8 in (2459 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.3 in (109 mm)
Cargo Volume
5.8 cuFT (164 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.37
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2976.2 lbs (1350 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3527.4 lbs (1600 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
14.2 mpg US (16.6 L/100Km)
Highway
29.8 mpg US (7.9 L/100Km)
Combined
21.2 mpg US (11.1 L/100Km)
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