One of the more underappreciated cars of its era was the E85 BMW Z4 M Roadster. It was considered good but not great in its day by most publications, simply because of cars like the Porsche Boxster’s existence. Especially considering that the Boxster received a second-generation during the Z4 M Roadster’s life cycle, which hurt the Bimmer’s chances of impressing journos. Looking back, though, it was actually a really fun car to drive. So let’s take at a retro-review of the Z4 M from Top Gear.
What did TG think of the BMW Z4 M Roadster back in its own day? Well, they thought that it was an incredibly quick, surprisingly fun car to drive. However, due to its impressive power, it was actually considered to be a bit too much of a handful. Its 3.2 liter naturally-aspirated straight-six made 343 bhp in its day and it was paired with a proper six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive, as sporty roadsters should.
With all of that power on tap, and not much weight over the rear wheels, the Z4 M Roadster was a tail-happy thing. However, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, that’s actually a good thing. Modern cars have become so sterile, so easy to drive quickly that we’ve come appreciate cars with steeper learning curves. We’ve also become so used to big horsepower that 343 horses seems relatively average now. There are Camrys with that much power.
So looking back, the BMW Z4 M Roadster actually seems like the perfect car to own today, as a second sports car. It’s something special that you can take out for Sunday drives; nowhere to go, all day to get there; and you can appreciate its distinct driving dynamics and its German muscle-car attitude in a way that most fans couldn’t back in the day.
[Source: Top Gear]