There's no denying the sex appeal of the Z4 M Coupe. Women wonder if you're James Bond, men spin their heads lustfully when you pimp it down Main Street. It's not that the car looks particularly exotic-it just looks different. There's nothing on the road anything like this radically proportioned Coupe. The same was true of the first one.
I love the attention, but I don't really like the styling. As rare as the shape is, it doesn't seem balanced. And the headlights are just too Bangled for my taste.
On the other hand, the engine has the kind of soul that God would request in a sports car. It's perfectly tractable at low revs, but an obvious willingness to spin is a constant reminder that things get much more exciting after 4000 rpm. It doesn't have the explosive thrust of, say, a 911 Turbo, but the big-hearted inline six wants to swing the needle all the way around the tach every time. This particular individual-throttle-bodied gem will make a believer of the most avid forced induction fanatic. Pushing the Sport button makes the M's throttle more sensitive. But then it becomes overly touchy-reminiscent of the hair trigger on a Mauser rifle. Forget about clean heel-toe downshifts or even smooth clutch uptake during anything other than full-throttle blasts.
And as competent as the Coupe is through the twisties, there's a certain numbness in the steering that leaves me cold. The helm is incredibly precise and there's no dead center to speak of. But it feels synthetic, as though all the great things happening are doing so because of complex computers and 'by-wire' electronics. Most of the ec staff is thrilled by the two-inch-thick sport steering wheel, but for me it's tough to get a hold of when really throwing the car around. It's overkill.
I'll stop complaining to say that the rest of the interior couldn't be better. This is a car you truly sink into, as opposed to merely sitting down in, like you would with a Cayman S. The controls surround you and, as expected of a $55,000 BMW, the interior plastics are top notch. It seems the car's unmistakable sex appeal continues in the cockpit. Ours has red leather. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if there's a use for the vernacular 'pimp', this car is it.