The factory Z3 M wheel fitment was an interesting, but compromised setup, due to the mix of components and architectures present in this chassis. Narrow 225 front tires contributed to understeer, while 245s in the rear were especially limiting for models equipped with the S54 engines. Naturally, a set of wider wheels and tires that take advantage of the wide fenders are the perfect upgrade for Z3Ms.
We created forged wheels like the VS-5RS, EC-7RS, SM-10RS along with our flow formed wheels like the ARC-8, EC-7, FL-5, and SM-10s to offer lightweight chassis-specific fitments for classic BMW sports cars like the Z3 M. Dial in your next set of Apex wheels with our Z3 M Wheel and Tire Fitment Guide.
Launched in 1997, the M variant of the Z3 featured larger brakes, an uprated engine and was only available with a 5 speed manual transmission. The engine and brakes for the Z3 M were shared with the E36 M3 initially. Like the E36, European Z3 M models received the more potent S50B30 engines with higher output. US models were initially equipped with the S52B32 engine, but later on in 2001 through 2002, the Z3 M models were brought into parity with each other from an engine perspective. Cars sold in European and North American markets both received the S54B32 from the E46 M3.
Unlike the standard non-M Z3 models, the Z3 M coupe and convertibles were only available in widebody configurations to support the more aggressive staggered factory fitments. Track width and suspension differences do mean that the M models can support wider and lower offset rear wheel fitments as well. Like the standard Z3 models, coupes were relatively rare and were more of a shooting brake design, with a large rear hatch area that made them surprisingly practical vehicles for their overall foot print. Fondly referred to as the clown shoe, these cars are a must drive for classic BMW enthusiasts not in love with the roadster’s convertible top.
The compact frame of the Z3s combined with ample power and capable brakes made them a formidable track platform years ago. While they might not keep up with more powerful modern chassis now, they are still capable track platforms that should not be underestimated. E36 and E46 M3s of a similar vintage are far more commonly seen on track, but share many of the same components in terms of engines and brakes which offers some cross pollination of aftermarket parts between these models.
Enthusiasts should note the interesting combination of E36 front suspension with a modified E30 based trailing arm rear suspension. With this unique configuration and an extremely compact wheelbase, the Z3 M can be a lively platform on track with the rear sliding more easily than larger cars with more conventional suspension configurations. One solution to combat this somewhat unplanted feel is with a wider Z3 M wheel setup. Increasing both front and rear traction will dramatically improve on track performance.
If you’re considering buying a Z3 M, be sure to brush up with a buyers guide before adding this M car to your stable.
* Designed to fit BMW 5x120mm center caps
Our new forgings weigh as much as 120 pounds before machining. To form such a thick blank we require special equipment capable of 10,000 metric tons of pressure. This extreme pressure increases the strength of the aluminum by eliminating porosity and improving the grain structure.
Many companies use 3rd-party blanks intended for non-motorsport wheels which can severely limit sizes, concavity, spoke design, and critical brake clearance. We designed our very own blank profiles from scratch to give us total control over the final product.
To be as light as possible the VS-5RS features extra-deep, side-milled spokes. Any excess material that doesn’t add strength is carved out using a precision CNC ball cutter. Side-milling is often deemed cost-prohibitive by others, but for true performance without compromise we believe it's essential.
Our forged Sprint™ wheels are lightweight without the strength compromises found on typical lightweight wheels. First, we carved out as much material as possible, then we purposefully added one pound back to reinforce critical areas, creating a stronger inner lip and a higher load rating.² What’s the point of a lightweight wheel if it’s fragile?
We conducted extensive Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to reinforce high-stress areas and to remove material where it didn’t improve strength. The result is a wheel that is exceptionally light without the strength compromises found on typical lightweight wheels.²
We don't rely solely on computer simulations or unverifiable in-house testing. We believe independent testing is critical to protect consumers in this unregulated industry. We chose STL, an independent lab in Ohio, to test our Sprint™ wheels far above JWL standards, including increases in testing duration, impact drop height, and total load.
Introducing the Sprint™ spec inner lip, with a unique channel profile that makes it even stronger than our previous designs. So even though our Sprint™ wheels are pounds lighter than comparable flow formed wheels, the inner lip is stronger.
than our flow formed wheels3
From day one, APEX has been on a mission to build wheels that clear big brakes. Our new forged wheels are the product of everything we’ve developed over the past 10+ years, including an innovative high-clearance barrel design and vehicle-specific spoke profiles.
Our new forgings were redesigned to create extra deep, concave spoke profiles. Their new shape allows us to make any profile, from flat to deep and everything in between. Each one is optimized for a specific application using 3D laser scans of factory and aftermarket brake kits.
Whether it's a day at the track or months of street driving, repeated hard braking and acceleration can make a tire slip along the bead seat and go out of balance, causing vibration. Knurled beads help, but are less effective when painted over. Our forged line features unpainted knurled beads that stay sharp and maximize grip.
Track wheels need track tools. Don’t settle for wheels that require undersized tuner lugs or thin walled sockets. All APEX wheels accommodate over-sized race lugs and impact sockets to make swapping wheels lightning fast.
Socket Diameter Clearance
As track enthusiasts ourselves, we know how frustrating it is to try to locate and decipher wheel specs that have been hastily hammered into the rim or become unreadable over time. With our new Sprint™ wheels, we chose to invest a little extra and laser-engrave the specs on the barrel, in plain sight, making them easy to find and read. (You’re welcome.)
All VS-5RS wheels are purpose built for select vehicle applications. Very few applications require centering rings.
All APEX wheels come with our gloss black cap included that is interchangeable with the OE cap. We also offer additional colors for select fitments.
APEX wheels can be used with all OEM mounting hardware, proper aftermarket hardware and most wheel spacers. Wheel locks and stud conversion kits also work perfectly.
All APEX wheels accept OEM and aftermarket Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors and standard fit valve stems. If you don’t have sensors, then select from our metal stems available in multiple finishes.
All Apex Wheels come with a
lifetime structural warranty against defects in
workmanship and materials, plus a 1 year finish warranty.
Exchanges are fast, easy, and hassle-free.
See terms and conditions.
Curb rash or pothole damage on the street? Make an oopsie at
We’ve all been there. APEX is proud to offer 50% off replacement
wheels, no matter the damage.
See terms and conditions.