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Get set for Z4 M Coupe

Rapid: Lighter, stiffer Z4 M Coupe will also be cheaper than M Roadster.

Z4 M Coupe will be cheaper than the roadster version when it arrives in August

28 Apr 2006

BMW Australia has confirmed its forthcoming Z4 M Coupe will be the least-expensive M model when it goes on sale here in August, despite the fact the Z4 M Roadster was launched earlier this month with a lower pricetag than its (pre-GST) Z3-based convertible predecessor.

"Traditionally, BMW coupes are always positioned below their equivalent convertible models, and that (pricing) strategy will continue with the Z4 Coupe," BMW Australia general manager marketing Tom Noble told GoAuto at the recent Z4 M Roadster launch.

Ergo, the Z4 M Coupe – which shares its M-developed 252kW/356Nm 3.2-litre straight six with both the Z4 M Roadster and the $140,000 E46 M3 – should undercut the Z4 M Roadster’s sticker price of $129,500 by at least $5000.

Of course, in line with its most direct rival in the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (which is soon to be replaced by the 380kW E63 AMG), the V10-powered M5 sedan commands a relatively stratospheric $229,400 pricetag, while the identically powered M6 coupe carries an even higher $274,000 asking price.

An all-new E92 M3, likely to be powered by a 4.0-litre V8 derived from the M5’s V10 and to produce around 300kW, is not expected to appear here until late 2007 – but is certain to carry a price approaching $150,000.

Similarly, the Z4 3.0si Coupe, which is expected to go on sale here alongside its M stablemate, will therefore be priced lower than the Z4 3.0si roadster, which is available at $90,800 (manual) and $93,400 (auto).

While Mercedes’ folding hard-top SLK roadster is priced at a relatively expensive $163,400 in 265kW/510Nm SLK55 AMG guise, BMW’s confirmation means the Z4 M Coupe will also be at least $25,000 cheaper than its other major competitor, Porsche’s two-seater Cayman S coupe.

Porsche’s least-expensive coupe is powered by a 217kW/340Nm 3.4-litre six-cylinder boxer engine but eschews new model pricing tradition by being priced at $148,500 ($155,500 auto) – $16,000 more than the Boxster S upon which it’s based.

But the Z4 M Coupe will not only represent good value. At 1410kg, the Z4 M Roadster is already about 85kg lighter than the similarly engined M3, allowing it to dash to 100km/h 0.2 seconds quicker in about five seconds flat – and to lap the Nurburgring faster than both the Z4 M Roadster and the M3, BMW’s former Nordschleife king.

The Z4 Coupe goes into production at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina this month and, though full specifications will not be available until the car’s European launch next month, sources inside BMW suggest the Z4 M Coupe could be a further 60kg lighter than the Z4 M Roadster.

14 center imageBMW claims the Z4 M Coupe sprints to 100km/h in five seconds – the same as Z4 M Roadster. But given its expected weight advantage, BMW’s history of understating performance claims and the fact the Z4 3.0si Coupe completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.7 seconds (0.3 seconds quicker than the Z4 3.0si Roadster’s six seconds dead), it is odds-on the Z4 M Coupe will offer standing-start acceleration similar to the M5 at under five seconds.

Despite the loss of its convertible donor car’s reinforcing floor members, the Z4 M Coupe is claimed to be among the most rigid models ever produced by BMW, with body stiffness of 32,000Nm/degree.

Throw in the Z4 M Roadster’s variable M differential lock, M3 CSL-based brakes, 10mm lower ride height, more negative front wheel camber and massive, staggered 18-inch rubber (and remove the M3’s SMG transmission and the standard Z4’s electric steering and run-flat tyres) and the Z4 M Coupe appears to be a recipe for high-powered, lightweight, unfettered fun – at a sensible price.

What's coming from BMW:
E87 120d hatch May 2006
E87 1 Series M Sport May 2006
E87 130i Sport auto May 2006
E91 323i Touring May 2006
E90 320d sedan June 2006
E85 Z4 Coupe Aug 2006
E70 X5 2007
E92 3 Series Coupe Oct 2006
E93 3 Series Cabriolet Early 2007
E92 M3 coupe Late 2007
New X3 2009
E89 Z4 redesign 2010

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