In its December 2001 issue, Car and Driver wrote of the BMW M Coupe, “Delinquency. That's what this car is about: delinquency, prurience, and gratuitous displays of power. And we like it. This has been the M coupe's character since its introduction in 1998, and it remains intact with the modified 2001 model.”
Keep in mind the publication made this characterization before legendary BMW tuner Steve Dinan got his hands on the car. This Estoril Blue 2001 BMW M Coupe features performance modifications by Dinan, designed to elevate its acceleration, handling, and braking potential.
A total of 2,858 BMW M Coupes were produced for the North American market between 1998 and 2002. Of those, only 472 were rendered in Estoril Blue, 15 of which featured the dark gray and black Nappa leather upholstery found on this car. Cited by the selling dealer as being a beautiful example of the model, this “Clown Shoe” BMW is located in Naperville, Illinois.
BMW’s highly regarded S54 3.2-liter DOHC inline-six powers this M Coupe. Mods include Dinan Stage 3 engine software, along with a high-flow cold air intake and a low-restriction exhaust system. A lightweight flywheel, clutch, and clutch stop from UUC have also been installed. BMW rated the engine at 315 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 251 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. No dyno figures are quoted with the current modifications.
BMW’s five-speed manual transmission feeds the rear wheels through a 3.46:1 limited slip differential with an E46 dual-ear cover from Rogue Engineering. A UUC EV03 short-shift kit has also been fitted. According to the seller’s disclosures, the engine exhibits a clean cold start and displays no leaks or weeps. Transmission shifting is cited as being evident of good condition.
The Estoril Blue finish is said to be original to the car and in good condition. Similarly, the E36’s body is said to be “free of blemishes and rust.” The sunroof is understood to be fully functional, all glass and windows are held to be in good condition, and the body’s seals are reported to admit no leaks. All exterior lighting is conveyed to be fully functional. Blacked-out “kidney” grilles, clear side marker lamps, and a Dinan rear badge number among the appearance modifications.
The two-tone gray and black Nappa leather upholstery covering the seats is said to be in good condition. The same quality is ascribed to the carpeting and headliner. All interior trim is said to be present and intact. Instrumentation is declared fully functional, as are the Harman/Kardon audio system and climate control system. The same is said of the power windows and automatic door locks. An aftermarket shift knob, LeatherZ armrests for the doors and center console, and a set of Dinan pedal covers comprise the interior modifications.
Chassis modifications include a Dinan front strut brace, Randy Forbes subframe reinforcement, and Brembo GT 355 brake calipers. The seller reports the power steering system to be in good condition, as well as free of play and vagueness. Additionally, he says the BMW tracks straight. Bushings and shocks are classified as being in good condition, as are the brakes. The M Coupe is also running a set of 19-inch Enkei RPF1 light alloy wheels, which are said by the seller to be free of curb rash and pitting. The age of the Goodyear Eagle performance radials is not specified, and DOT date codes are not readily discernable in the seller’s photos.
The selling dealer states that it will provide a clean and open Virginia title for the proper transfer of ownership for this vehicle. A clean Carfax report showing the car to be accident-free is also included. The seller says, “The E36/8, or ‘Clown Shoe’ M Coupe, has become sought-after by enthusiasts for its unconventional aesthetic and engaging driving experience. Built as a hybrid of the E30 and E36 chassis, the M Coupe combines hatchback practicality, a capable engine, and a competent chassis in one analog package.” With but 15 examples produced in Estoril Blue over two-tone black and gray Nappa leather, this car represents an opportunity to own a rare example of the 2001 BMW M Coupe.