If you consider yourself a staunch long roof or hatch enthusiast, chances are that BMW’s coveted Z3 and Z4 M coupes also hold a special place in your heart. While sales were slow and the community remained divided at first, the Z3 M has now earned its place within the community as a favorite among both drivers and collectors, and the Z4 M may soon find itself added to Hagerty’s valuation guide. Quirky styling, S54 performance, and a workhorse personality made the rather unconventional Z3 coupe a a a coveted choice for enthusiasts over the years. At least a few have been lamenting the loss of the Z3 M from BMW’s lineup since 2002, and while the Z4 was a great follow-up, the coupe just doesn’t have the same classic BMW personality as its predecessor. Now with U.S.-spec BMW wagons also going extinct, it appears that we’re out of luck when it comes to getting both utility and performance at a reasonable price.
While some of us may remain bitter about the lack of BMW wagon and hatchback availability in the U.S., overseas, the hot hatch has enjoyed an entirely different fate. In the U.K., what could perhaps be the ultimate example has just been created, and Rampage Racing is behind the build.
Using a rear-drive M140i hatchback (of the previous generation) and cosmetic parts from a donor F87 M2, the creator of this modern-day Z3 M, Dave Campbell, says that he plans on upgrading from stock performance as soon as the bodywork is finished. Though the stock 335-horsepower B58 powering the hatchback certainly is no slouch now, Campbell aims to create a new tuning map to bump power from the turbo six, rather than swapping in an S55 from an M2 Competition.
This decision is the most logical and strategic, given that we’ve seen tuners from all over the world extract big power from the B58 on stock internals, whether that be in the M340i, M240i, or Toyota Supra. This comes as no surprise, given that the B58 succeeded the N55, which took to tuning like bees to honey. Although some will lament the lack of an S55 or S58, the B58 makes sense, as it’s still an upgrade over the original M2’s N55 engine, and the most powerful example found in in the latest examples of M Performance BMW models like the M340i and X3 M40i makes 380 horsepower.
Stitched together, this track-ready, Frankenstein hot hatch is guaranteed to make you do a double take. A quad exhaust, seamless bodywork, and wider fenders that can fit a wide set of track tires? Yes, please.
If you’re local (in the U.K.) and are looking for a similar setup, you might be in luck—Dave Campbell hopes to complete this build and sell kit conversions to enthusiasts down the line, for an estimated $25,150. For stateside enthusiasts, let this build serve as inspiration for your next compact or longroof project; just because we don’t have Euro-spec hot hatches in the U.S. does not mean the community here is going to stop doing what it does best—building our own M wagons and hatches.—Malia Murphy
[Photos courtesy U.K. BMW and Mini Facebook Group, Rampage Racing via Facebook.]