Home > Information and Reviews > Don’t Call Me a Z3 M Coupe

Don’t Call Me a Z3 M Coupe

May 4th, 2010

With the arrival of the Z4 M Coupe in 2006, many people and even some auto publications have relabeled the 1999-2002 M Coupe the Z3 M Coupe.  This is not technically correct.  While based on the Z3, the name from BMW was simply “M Coupe”.  Before the M Coupe and Roadster arrived, BMW M models of the time were named according to their series (i.e. M3 for the 3-series, M5, M6, etc.).  BMW probably could have named it the MZ or MZ3, but they chose to name it simply “M”.  To me this always meant BMW distilled all the M essence into one unique car, and you could choose to have it in coupe or roadster form.  Whether or not that’s what the BMW product planners intended, that’s what I like to think :-).

Lately, BMW has been adding the M to the end of the title of its off-series M cars.  For example, X5 M, X6 M, Z4 M.  I assume this is probably because MX5 was already taken by the Mazda Miata and they wanted to be consistent.  They didn’t do that with the 1998-2002 M cars.  While it’s convenient to add the “Z3” for reference, it takes a way some of the specialness of THE “M”.

Categories: Information and Reviews Tags:
  1. Jeremy
    May 18th, 2010 at 10:06 | #1

    The E86 and the E36/8 series are both “M Coupés.” the lay person doesn’t know the series identifiers, and as you’ve found in your searching, “M Coupé” is a generic identifier that covers the two series. So for the “enthusiast” the series identifier plus “M Coupés” is normally used to identify (“E86 M Coupé”) , but for the lay person, “Z3 M Coupe” and “Z4 M Coupe” are used.

    • May 18th, 2010 at 14:10 | #2

      I agree. I had just had a conversation with a coupe owner friend whose pet-peeve is people saying Z3 M Coupe. I’m not against it, and commonly use it to clarify or when talking to lay people. Just thought it was a funny topic to write about.

Comments are closed.