As this is written, there are 35 BMW Z4 M Coupés and Roadsters for sale on leading classified websites.
They range in price from £12,500 for a 90,000-mile 2006 Roadster to £28,995 for a 24,000- mile 06-plate with the same body. The most expensive Coupé is a 2007 car with 16,000 miles, for £28,390.
The two versions may, at first glance, have the same specification, but the Coupé has slightly firmer dampers, a thicker rear anti-roll bar and slightly quicker steering. If that makes it sound sportier, the soft-top is actually lighter by some 15kg and comes with slightly more aggressive geometry settings.
The Coupé cost £41,285 new in 2006, the Roadster £42,950. Today, that differential has been turned on its head, with used Roadsters costing £3000 or so less than equivalent Coupés. If you are not going racing and have a sensitive back, the slightly more compliant Roadster could be the smarter buy. David Smitheram, author of the Essential Buyer’s Guide to the BMW Z4 M and an ARDS racing instructor, says his Roadster is as quick on a track as a Z4 M Coupé.
Around 1500 Roadsters and Coupés were sold during the Z4 M’s two-year life span from 2006 to 2008. Buyers were lured by the Chris Bangle styling and Boxster/Cayman - baiting M Power punch, courtesy of a 338bhp 3.2 straight-six that drives the rear wheels via a six-speed Getrag manual gearbox. It’s good for 0-62mph in less than five seconds.
A key thing to note if you’re on a tight budget is that the engine’s valve clearances require checking every second service. That will be £1200 at a BMW dealer or about £700 at an independent. On the other hand, the engine is relatively simple to work on, so if you’ve the tools and the know- how, you could do it yourself for around £200 in parts.