I resent this. It's very close to being the betrayal of everything I believe in. But there is no other choice: fairness is paramount, and while I hate to admit it, I have to concede.
The BMW Z4 coupe looks good.
It's like one of 3D puzzles that you have to stare at. Out of a jumble of pointless lines and intersections comes a well-sorted sportscar. The roadster is awkward, although probably the least objectionable of the early Bangle designs, but fitted with a roof, it suddenly works.
Not the first time it's happened, either. The last E46 models (the previous 3-series) got a restyled front end in their final years. In pictures, it looks like crap, but in real life it actually fits in very well with the overall shape of the car.
I am one of the very few people who liked the shape of the Z3 coupe. Especially in M Coupe guise, with the wide rear arches, I think it looks wonderful - very purposeful, a proper sportscar that puts function over form. The function is to take two passengers and a reasonable amount of luggage around the continent, and at this it excels much more than any 911. It is also a great sports car - a popular choice with privateer teams in GT racing, getting good results with minor modifications and no factory support whatsoever. It is quite possible that the M Coupe will be my midlife crisis car. (That or a Z8, if things go well.)
And as long as I'm making confessions, I saw an iPod Nano today. It's still overpriced, and I'm not convinced by the small size - I like my gadgets chunky - but it is very desirable.
The exact sciences
3 weeks ago