Offered as a coupé and a convertible, the BMW Z3M was the first of the series production ‘Z’ cars.
With a drivetrain taken wholesale from the E36 M3, the Z3M is a bona fide modern legend thanks to a silky-smooth five-speed manual gearbox that feeds the six-cylinder engine’s 317bhp and 258lb/ft of torque to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential, pushing it to a (limited) top speed of 155mph via a 0-62mph time of only 5.4 seconds.
But the Z3M Roadster and Coupé aren’t just about power and straight-line speed: the suspension, which is lower and stiffer than that of the standard Z3, is supplemented by wider tyres and track, a reinforced subframe, and thicker anti-roll bars.
Brakes are ventilated discs on all four corners and the rear tyres, at 245/40ZR17, are a little wider than the 225/45ZR17 fronts – and BMW, being typically thorough, made sure the rear wheels themselves were 1.5 inches wider to cope.
The result is a car that feels like a faster, more comfortable and bigger Mazda MX-5. With perfect 50:50 weight distribution, this is a sports car for grown-ups, and a car that is as at home on the track as it is bludgeoning entire continents into submission.
The roofline was lengthened too, and it can be visually distinguished from its lesser brethren by different bumpers, front wing-mounted ducts, the boot lid, and its mirrors.
The interior benefits from a voltmeter, a clock and an oil temperature gauge, all of which are set in a leather-wrapped centre console. The interior is finished off with unique M-style seats and colour options.
They’re rare too, as fewer than 1,000 right-hand-drive cars are thought to have been built.