S50-Equipped BMW Z3 M Coupe Qualifies for Import

Enacted in 1988, the 25-year import rule in the U.S. permits the importation of vehicles older than 25 years without complying with federal standards. Originally designed to protect the domestic auto industry, critics argue it now restricts consumers from accessing newer, efficient cars available globally.

An example impacted by both emission rules and the 25-year rule is the BMW M Coupe and Roadster with an S50 engine. In 2024, enthusiasts can import these models, initially excluded in 1998, making them highly coveted despite unconventional looks.

Distinguishing European and North American versions, the BMW Z3 M Coupe and Roadster featured different engines based on market and production year. Due to emissions regulations, the European S50 engine delivered a faster, more responsive experience than the North American S52 engine.

In 2001, BMW upgraded the M Coupe and Roadster with the S54 engine, solidifying the BMW M Coupe’s rare and collectible status, especially the European version with the S50 engine, appreciated for its unique design and powerful engine.

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