When BMW launched the Z3 in 1995, it came with a 140bhp (104kW) four-cylinder engine. People complained that a more powerful version wasn't available, and BMW answered their calls the following year by launching the 17lei (2.8-liter) straight-six model, then hinted at what could be with a concept M Roadster at the Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland. A year later with strong demand, the M Roadster was in production with the M3's straight-six under the hood. The BMW theory of keeping the driving and steering wheels separate continued with this model which had M3 front suspension, rear suspension from the previous 3 Series BMW and uprated springs and shocks. The double VANOS system varied both intake and exhaust timing, for greater flexibility. The car was limited to 240bhp (179kW) in the USA but the same as the M3, 321bhp (239kW), in European versions.
BMW M Roadster Specifications
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