At $16,000, Is This 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster A Screamin’ Deal?

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Z4 M Roadster is perhaps most notable for being the most successful designs to come out of Chris Bangle’s tenure as BMW styling boss. There’s even more to like under the hood, but will its combo of looks and performance equal its price tag?

When it comes to the used car market, crazy times are truly upon us. That holds true for most pre-owned models of recent vintage as well as for what one might call “the classics.” We looked at a Range Rover Classic yesterday — a 1993 Range Rover County LWD to be precise. According to the ad, that truck had received a ton of updates and upkeep, making it show-off quality if not quite exactly showroom nice. As nice as it did appear, few of you were ready to match that appearance with the seller’s $19,500 asking price. And don’t get us started on the one over on eBay that asked almost six times that amount. In the end, our Range Rover fell in a 63 percent No Dice loss.

If used cars prices really are spiraling out of control then the best thing to do is to follow your gut instinct and still try and get the best deal you can. The expectation will just be that you’ll have to empty your pockets a bit more than you would have last year to do so. You’d also want to make sure you are spending your money on something worth both the extra cash, and the extra effort. Maybe something along the lines of this 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster in fact.

2006 was the first year for the Z4 M Roadster, and that put the model squarely in the middle of Chris Bangle’s run as BMW Chief of Design. The basic Z4 roadster took Bangle’s design philosophy of sharp edges and folds married to complex curves to its fullest extension, and was a dramatic turn from the precedent Z3.

The differences between the standard Z4 and the M-massaged version were subtle, extending to revision of the front and rear valances, a raised hood, more pipes for the exhaust, and, naturally, more aggressive wheels.

Under the hood, of course, the changes were more dramatic. There the M received the M3’s 3.2-liter S54 straight six. That mill features double VANOS cam control and an 11.5:1 compression ratio to make a heady 330 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of twist. Equipped with the six-speed stick as is this car, that can launch the 3,200-pound M Roadster to sixty in under five seconds.

This one has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The seller notes that the Imola red paintwork has been color corrected and ceramic coated so the car should fear no bug or bird. The wheels (Style 664M, I think) have been powder coated in a gloss black and show no sign of curbing. Behind those sit adjustable coil-overs that provide a lowered stance. Up top there’s the stock convertible roof, and it’s matched in color by an add-on wing on the extravagantly shaped boot lid. The interior looks to be a fine place to get down to business, with no wear noticeable on the leather seats and only modest evidence of use on that of the door cards. The steering wheel is shiny from use, but seems to be fine otherwise.

The ad claims 170,000 miles under the tires, and a lot of maintenance work for those miles. The clutch, flywheel and starter are all supposedly new, along with the main ignition bits and the spiny parts on the front of the engine. More work is noted in the description and the seller closes the ad by describing the clean-title car as “BMW enthusiast and mechanic owned.”

You don’t have to be a rabid BMW fan to appreciate a car of the M Roadster’s caliber. These cars tend to get lost in the Porsche Boxster S’s shadow, despite being a bit quicker than its Stuttgart classmate and almost as capable around the curves. It’s not the obvious choice that the Porsche is, and that makes it worth our time and consideration. The question, of course, is whether it’s also worth its $16,000 asking price. What do you think, is this M Roadster worthy of that princely sum? Or, does that price ultimately make this Bimmer a bummer?

You decide!

Sacramento, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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