Introduced in 1998 as the performance variant of the BMW M3, the M Coupe was offered with a myriad of engineering and design improvements which not only made these cars unique, but also highly respected road cars. The Coupe featured special front and rear bumper fascia, special side vents, a unique set of side mirrors, and a full-length roofline with distinctive hatchback rear glass. Given the high cost of tooling for such a risky proposition, BMW was hesitant to spend the resources to develop this unique car. However, with the improved chassis design and added torsional rigidity, BMW was eventually convinced that sales would potentially lure performance minded enthusiasts to this configuration.
Sales for the M coupe were steady but slower than BMW had hope. Now more than fifteen years later, this history has become a positive feature for enthusiasts seeking preserved rare examples. With production concluding in 2002, the final year of M Coupe production was also the most refined and desirable as it was offered with the S54 engine package. Delivering a powerful 315 hp in North American trim, the performance was exhilarating especially through the manual 5-speed gearbox which allowed for 4.8 second 0-60 and a top speed of 162 mph. Rarely seen in North America, especially with the desirable S54 engine package, only 678 examples were constructed for delivery to the US in the final two years of production.
This example has been under the care of just two owners since purchased new in 2002. The current owner, a local Bellevue, WA enthusiast, purchased the car in 2003 with just over 10,000 miles logged by the first owner. Over the past seventeen years, this M Coupe has been cared for and used sparingly, accounting for a mere 12,300 original miles logged since new. In addition to the highly desirable S54 engine package, this M Coupe is equipped with a sunroof, Harmon Kardon stereo, and is finished in iconic Titanium Silver over black Nappa leather interior, making it just one of 132 sunroof models finished in this color combination. In preparation for consignment, the car has been fully serviced including oil and filter, brake fluid, fuel filter, a new battery, and a fresh set of Michelin Pilot Sport ZR17 tires.
Even under close inspection, the low miles and professional care are evident throughout all aspects of this exceptional car. The silver metallic finish has been metered with a digital micrometer indicating paint tolerances for all metal body panels displaying readings consistent with factory applied original paint. Not only are the finishes glossy and smooth, the body panel lines, door gaps, and overall fit are exceptional from all views, open and close with confidence, and display smooth factory finishes on all inner surfaces. Inspecting the various body panels further confirms matching VIN numbers, an important feature of M series cars. The original glass, lighting, lenses, emblems, and unique M features are all in place and in excellent condition. Even the 17” BMW wheels are beautifully preserved with correct alloy finish accented by BMW center insignias.
The interior features supple black Nappa leather seating with virtually no signs of wear or use to any of the seating surfaces, bolsters, or stitching. The carpeting and foot wells are in excellent condition, while the switches, control surfaces, and dash panel are simply immaculate. Every aspect of the interior from the sun visors and headliner to the rear storage area validates the low miles and consummate care of all interior surfaces. Even the finely designed tri-color red, violet, and blue inner steering wheel stitching (a color hallmark of the M series logo) has been beautifully preserved with no discoloration, fraying, or fading to the vivid colors.
Lifting the one-piece clamshell hood, the 321 hp S54 BMW M series engine fills the engine compartment with a powerful presence. All factory components are in place, once again featuring exemplary detailing, cleanliness, and preserved factory markings. The mechanical condition of the car is not only evident in visual review, but all mechanical features function as expected, evidenced by the recent service and fluid changes. Underside photos not only validate the low miles, but further confirm inclement weather driving has been minimal as all components are clean, well maintained, and properly preserved. The car is accompanied by copies of service records and a recent Carfax.
This fantastic preservation grade two-owner BMW M Coupe is the last of this series, and one of just 678 built for North America with the S54 engine. Expertly cared for and preserved for seventeen years by a long-term Bellevue, WA enthusiast, this M Coupe must be counted as one of the finest original low mile examples in America.