When was the last time you saw a BMW M Coupe? I bet it was a while ago, as they’re much rarer than you might imagine. Just 821 examples of the original 321bhp M Coupe were made in right-hand drive, plus another 168 of the revised version, with the upgraded 325bhp ‘S54’ engine from the E46 M3. That makes the M Coupe one of the rarest models BMW has ever produced and partly explains why good ones still fetch reasonably strong money on the second-hand market.
This particular car dates from 2000, so it’s one of the original versions with the 321bhp in-line six-cylinder, and its main selling point is that it’s covered just 28,450 miles in the past nine years. We went to the Hairpin Company’s exquisitely stocked converted-barn showroom to take a closer look.
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Unsurprisingly, the car’s condition is excellent. It’s had three owners from new and has just returned from a £1600 ‘Inspection 2’ service at the local BMW dealer where all the brake discs were renewed, the fluids changed and the front suspension top links replaced.
To drive, it feels as fresh as you’d expect; just a minor hesitation at 2400rpm spoils the wonderful flood of M power as the revs soar to the 7600rpm maximum. I’ve always been a sucker for the more intimate driving experience of the M Coupe over the regular M3, even though it’s what I’d call an ‘eight-tenths car’ – if you want to experience more controllable on-limit handling then you should go for the M3 Coupe. If you fancy something a little different, however, then this M Coupe feels like a wonderfully mechanical, modern-day throwback to when E-type coupes were all the rage.
With thanks to vendor: The Hairpin Company, Compton Bassett, Wiltshire (01249 760686)
• Exterior Original metallic blue paintwork in good order, just a few stone chips around the grille. Wheels unmarked• Interior Driver’s seat has minor scuffs (easily repaired)• Mechanicals Excellent – car has covered just 4000 miles in the last four years• Should I buy it? BMWs tend to cover higher-than-average mileages, so this is a great opportunity• FOR: Good colour; just serviced; rare• AGAINST: A regular M3 is much more practical, and cheaper too
|Engine||In-line 6-cyl, 3201cc|
|Max power||321bhp @7400rpm|
|Max torque||258lb/ft @ 3250rpm|
|Top speed||155mph (limited)|