Friday, September 18, 2009

2000 BMW M Roadster -- thoughts and review

The 2000 M Roadster was one of my favorite cars.  An interesting combination of circumstances resulted in me purchasing this vehicle.

During my insecure younger years right out of college, I have told some of my new friends that I used to own a BMW Z3 to impress them.  Technically, I have driven one around, but it wasn't mine.  Some of them called my bluff.  Lastly, this was right around the time the unfortunate event of 9/11.  This was my perfect final excuse to throw all of my parent's teachings of saving my money and investing wisely out the window -- I mean, there is a real life example that you can die anytime.  You have to enjoy everyday!

So I ended up on the market for a new car.  During my search I was debating between a 1997 Porsche Boxster (I will eventually own a Porsche, but not today), a 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i, and the 2000 M Roadster.  I ultimately chose the M Roadster because the car was still under warranty, the quad exhaust, and how aggressive the vehicle looked.

I remember hearing about the new M Roadster being supplied with the 315hp engine, the same engine that was offered in the upcoming, all new 2001 E46 M3.  Since both the 2000 and 2001 model look identical, I incorrectly assumed the 2000 model I am purchasing will have the same engine as well.  Another example of how little I knew about cars at the time. The car I purchase had the old M engine with 240hp.

Positives. In terms of driving experience, the car is an extremely fun car to drive.  There was a lot of low end torque, and the vehicle came with a short shift kit standard on the Z3 M models.  In addition, I loved the low rumble the vehicle had at low RPMs.  The retro roadster look is also very nice (with nice, deep dish 17" wheels/rims in the back) and to add to that it had a power convertible top that raised and lowered in less than 15 seconds.  Because of the short wheelbase, the vehicle was also very quick and nimble. 

Downsides. This is also probably one of the most impractical cars I have owned -- the trunk is non-existent. The car was also not very stable at high speeds, and is electronically limited to 134mph (I know first hand, don't ask me how).  Overall build quality of BMWs was just sub par.  This was a start of a long relationship I had with the BMW service adviser.  Things constantly broke in the car, from the passenger power window to the driver's side A-pillar cover falling on my lap while driving.  Although the convertible top was insulated, the rear window was plastic, and had a tendency of fogging over and turning yellow over time.

Price paid. $34,000 USD + license and taxes.
Price sold. $33,000 USD

Tenure. 7 months.

I didn't have this vehicle for very long.  I ended up selling it 7 months later when I got my 2001 BMW M3 convertible, but this car still has a special place in my heart, and I do miss driving it from time to time.

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