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Year Makes All the Difference

In the four short years of BMW M Coupe production, there were essentially 3 different versions produced (6 if you count right hand drive and differentiate the European S54).  The first and most common is the North American S52-engined car.  Produced in 1999 and 2000, these cars produce 240hp and 236 lb/ft of torque.  This is the same engine as found in North American versions of the 1996-1999 E36 M3.   Europeans – as they did with their version of the E36 M3 – were offered the 321hp, 258 lb/ft S50 engine.  For 2001 and 2002, both North America and Europe received the 315hp S54 engine from the 2001-2006 E46 M3.

Model Year 2000

While the drivetrain carried over to the model year 2000 cars, a number of other changes were made beginning in cars produced after April 1999.  These include:

Exterior Color Changes

  • Discontinued
    • Arctic Silver Metallic
    • Boston Green Metallic
  • Added
    • Titanium Silver Metallic
    • Oxford Green II Metallic

Other Changes

  • Chrome slats added to front kidney grilles
  • Chrome surrounds added to headlights
  • Fuel door added to central locking system
  • Airbags upgraded to two-stage
  • Smaller chrome trimmed mirror with auto-dimming function added
  • “Coupe” detail removed from door sill (“M” remained)

Model Year 2001

The 2001 model year (cars produced after February 2001) brought the new S54 engine as mentioned above as well as an additional round of upgrades. These include:

Exterior Color Changes

  • Discontinued:
    • Evergreen
    • Dakar Yellow II
    • Cosmos Black Metallic
  • Added
    • Laguna Seca Blue
    • Phoenix Yellow Metallic
    • Steel Gray Metallic
    • Black Sapphire Metallic

Interior Color Changes

  • Discontinued:
    • Evergreen and Black Nappa Leather
    • Kyalami Orange and Black Nappa Leather
  • Added:
    • Laguna Seca Blue and Black Nappa Leather
    • Kiwi and Black Nappa Leather (never officially offered in North America)

Other Changes

  • 3.15:1 differential replaces 3.23:1
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) replaces Automatic Stability Control plus Traction (ASC+T)
  • Tire pressure monitoring system added
  • Gray faced gauges replace black
  • Exterior “M” badges now curved rather than flat
  • Chrome shadow finish for the RoadStar wheels replaces satin chrome finish

Model Year 2002

  • In-dash CD player becomes standard in place of now optional cassette player

Chrome on the headlight pull knob, interior door pulls, and door lock buttons seemed to come and go at random throughout the model run.  It is not indicative of model year. (Thanks Josh)


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Jon Martin
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