Mileage: 69,800 Miles
Engine: Inline 6-Cylinder S52B32 Engine
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Imola Red 2 Exterior (405)
Interior: Imola Red / Black Nappa Leather Interior (Q6IM)
Classic Red Soft Top
1 of 124 Triple Red M Roadsters (S52 and S54)
Classic Red Power Soft Top
M Leather Steering Wheel
Heated Sport Seats
BMW CD43 Business CD Radio
BMW Harman Kardon HiFi Sound
ZHP Shift Knob
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Clear Corner Markers
Roll Bar Protection System
BMW M Floor Mats
Silver Style 40 Roadstar Wheels
Continental ExtremeContact DW Tires
The BMW M Roadster was the M variant of the BMW Z3. The Z3 made its public debut in 1995 in the Bond film GoldenEye with a young and dashing Pierce Brosnan behind the wheel. The scene with 007 and Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), her hair blowing in the wind, was the picture of top-down motoring—except for the dirt road, the Cessna 172, and the villain’s evil layer in Cuba. Nonetheless, if you were 18 years old (as I was) and you saw that movie, you wanted a Z3—and Natalya!
Initially, Z3 sales followed suit, but it soon became apparent that a more aggressive iteration was in order. BMW M GmbH solved this problem in 1998 with the M Roadster. For the first few years of production they were powered by the E36 M3’s 245-horsepower S52B32 inline 6-cylinder engine. Then for the final two years of production the engine was upgraded to the E46 M3’s 330 (315 in the Z3M) horsepower S54B32 engine. Other additions included Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and the E46-style M instrument cluster. Power reached the ground through a manual gearbox (the only option), M-tuned suspension, and a limited slip differential. When it was time to stop, M3 brakes made short work of the job. The exclusive exterior kit featured a bold front splitter, M badges, staggered Style 40 Roadstar wheels, and a quad exhaust—the first BMW M car to get one. Inside, the exclusivity continued with M Roadster lettering on the doorsills and instrument cluster, an illuminated gearshift knob, and chrome ringed gauges, including an oil temperature gauge. The end result was one of the best retro-classic roadsters ever made. It had the fluid and graceful lines of a proper British sports car, with the raw power and driving dynamics that can only be found in a BMW M car. And, because it was based on the Z3, it was produced right here in the good ‘ole USA in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
This triple red—Imola Red exterior / Imola Red / Black interior / Classic Red soft top 2000 M Roadster is 1 of only 124 examples produced throughout the entire production run (S52 and S54) in that color combo. If you like Imola Red—this is the one! The Classic Red soft top makes it stand out over the standard Imola Red and black top examples, and while photos tend to exaggerate the red, it looks perfect in person. Moritz BMW of Arlington, Texas originally delivered it, where it remained until 2003 and 38,000 miles. Then it went to California, where remained, aside from a short stint in Nevada, until 2019 when it came here to Colorado with just over 69,000 miles on the odometer. As such, the physical condition is fantastic. The top was replaced in 2019 and looks fantastic, complementing the condition of the rest of the car. It has been properly maintained, with recent dealer maintenance in the last 3,000 miles showing the serpentine and air conditioning belts replaced, power steering hose, the right differential seal, passenger seatbelt receptacle (air bag light). The coolant, transmission and differential fluid were also changed at 58,000 miles. In preparation for sale, we didn’t find any immediate squawks. It comes with the tonneau cover, rear wind deflector, BMW floor mats, owners’ manual, and two sets of keys.
Here at Glen Shelly, we are partial to Imola Red. There is just something special about a red BMW roadster! It always looks good, even when dirty, and it does an excellent job of accentuating the M Roadster’s long hood, side gills, and short trunk. The paint on this example is in excellent condition. There are no notable dents or dings. There is some scuffing along the lower edge of the front bumper cover, but the leading edges lack the amount of rock chips we get here in Colorado. There is no failed clear coat and zero rust. All VIN tags are in place except for the hood, which is a DOT-R replacement. The Carfax is clean and the radiator support bracket is original, so this must have been cosmetic in nature. The convertible top has no rips or tears and the rear window is clear, thanks to recent replacement. It looks fantastic. The rear and side “M” badges are lightly faded, but this is an easy fix. All trim and black-work are present and not UV faded. 2000 and later model year M Coupes received chrome rings around the headlight lenses; the outer lenses are clear and translucent and the inner lenses have not burn marks. All indicator lenses and taillight housings are clear and crack-free. The Style 40 Roadstar staggered wheels (17” x 7.5” front and 17” x 9“ rear) have no curb rash, but they do have some paint lifting on the lips from a previous refinish job. They are wrapped with Continental ExtremeContact DW tires with 50% tread remaining.
The interior is one of the M Roadster’s most striking design features—especially in Imola Red and Black leather. Chrome-ringed analogue gauges and HVAC controls are a tribute to the great British roadsters (think Jaguar E-type). The center console is unfettered by iDrive or excessive technology—just heated seat buttons and the ASC traction control button for when hooliganism is in order. The interior of this M Roadster is in exceptional condition. Open the door and you are greeted with that lovely Nappa Leather smell that only Z3 M Coupes and Roadsters have. I’m not sure why it’s different than other M models of this vintage, but it is. The carpets have no stains or tears and are protected my M factory floor mats. The seat leather is in excellent condition with no tears, stains, or failed seams. There is some minor creasing, slightly more on the driver’s seat. The seat bushings do not have excessive play, and all fore-aft and heating functions work. The seatbelt clips are not broken. The 3-spoke steering wheel is very nice. The instrument cluster has no blown out pixels and all gauges work correctly. The original BMW Business CD43 stereo sounds great paired with the Harman Kardon sound system; the volume rheostat can finicky. The center HVAC panel and gauges have no burnt out bulbs. The lower switch panel has no cracks in the switch backing plate (a common issue). The ZHP weighted shift knob is a nice factory upgrade over stock. The glove box does not have excessive sag (another common issue). The auto-dimming rearview mirror has no fluid leaks, but we always recommend preventative replacement with a solid-state auto-dimming mirror, because they all leak eventually. All interior functions work correctly; power windows, power door locks, cruise control; the heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. The factory wind leather deflector is present and in excellent shape, as is the tonneau cover. The convertible top headliner is excellent. The trunk tool kit is complete and the mobility kit is present. It comes with two key and all owner’s manuals.
This is a turn-key M Roadster; all major and preventative maintenance is up to date. It has clearly been properly owned and cared for. The S52 is known to be a significantly more reliable powerplant than the later S54, while still providing plenty of horsepower and gobs of torque lower in the rev range. It fires on command, and pulls strongly to redline. It does not leak or spot. The clutch take up is correct and it shifts smoothly. There is very slight 5th gear shifter lean (a common issue) if shifted into 5th before the car has warmed up, but the shifter re-centers under 3rd as soon as the gearbox warms up. We recommend waiting until the clutch needs replacement to do the shift pin bushings, which will likely be tens of thousands of miles in the future, and we can help with when the time comes. The trunk floor spot welds are in excellent shape. The suspension is tight, and there are no driveline noises or vibrations. The brakes are strong with plenty of life left in them. We pay for and ensure it passes emissions in the State of Colorado.
BMW M Roadsters are one of the best buys in the M car market. They are the last of the old-school recipe: a normally aspirated engine routed through a manual gearbox powering only the rear wheels. The M Roadster’s Z4 successor that followed had none of the grace and fluid classic roadster lines thanks to Chris Bangle’s flame surface design language. Bang for the buck, you can’t beat an M Roadster. We would like to find a new owner who will continue to care for it and appreciate it as much as we do.