Time was when sports cars had massive six-cylinder engines under bonnets that stretched across three time zones, as well as rear-wheel drive and ‘stick shifts’. Kind of like this one, except in this case you don’t need masses of chest hair, a Breitling watch and nerves of steel.
You do, however, need £42,750 – a small price to pay for a car as fun as BMW’s new Z4 M Roadster.
At the top of the Z4 family tree, it has by far the meatiest engine in the form of a fire-breathing straight-six, pumping out 343bhp from 3.2 litres. If you’re an automotive luddite who’s wondering what all that means, try this: 0-60mph in a fraction under five seconds and a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155mph (for your own protection).
It’s not all about the performance, though, with maxed-out styling to make it look a bit fiercer than the lesser models in the range. There’s a slightly redesigned front end and four – yes, four - tailpipes. Three more than strictly necessary but very cool.
And then there’s the roof. Although it’s not the killer feature in the brisk British spring, the electric soft top will really come into its own when the sun comes out and the hemlines are rising. In fact, this is the fastest jalopy in the world with a fully electric roof. Whaddya think about that then, eh?
The Z4 M Roadster is available now via www.bmw.co.uk