Some of you love it, some of you hate it but all of us respect it (it is quite underrated). This particular version of the M Coupe is most likely the rarest of the modern BMW automobiles. Between 2001 and 2002, only 690 BMW M Coupe’s were made for the North American market with the S54 (naturally aspirated inline six) engine dropped under the hood. Even the worldwide total is less than 1,500 cars. In the modern day of production costs versus production numbers, under a 1,000 units per/year produced worldwide is something to see. And this unique two door is really something to behold.
Nicknamed the “Shoe”, the M Coupe’s polarizing design is based on the BMW Z3 which beautifully displays nods to it’s forefathers, the 503 and the 507. From the rear, the M Coupe’s extra wide stance is as unmistakeable as it is functional. This coupe is loved by the track boys not only as a daily driver but also as a favorite track ride. Much of the M Coupe’s track cred is due to it’s wide rear stance, powerful engine (the S54 puts out 315 hp and 261 lb.ft. of torque) and because the M Coupe is 2.7 times stiffer than the M Roadster. I remember, distinctly, the first time I saw this car on the road. It was a beautiful fall day in upstate New York in 2001 and some guy was driving his M Coupe away from the track. I could tell where he had been all day because he was still wearing his flame retardant suit and he had 2 slicks and rims stacked around the roll cage in the back of the gutted hatch while 2 more track tires road shotgun where the passenger seat once lived. It was an awesome sight indeed.
This particular M Coupe belongs to a friend of mine who happens to run a fantastic automobile news and design site called CarType (a museum of automobile typography). You should definitely check it out when you can. It’s full of everything from reviews to knowledge nuggets to some of the best collections of classic automobile images on the web.
Let me know what you think of the car in the comments section. Photos were taken within 100 yards of what I can only describe as the Mecca of Photography. Calumet Photographic. If you own a camera… You should check it out. Downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr