The BMW Z4 enters a third full model generation this year, getting lower, wider, faster and better-equipped than any of its predecessors.
But is the latest version, which switches back to a cloth-top hood from the folding metal roof of the last Z4, and comes in BMW’s M Performance-branded form to boot, finally the driver’s car to really challenge the perennially brilliant Porsche 718 Boxster S?
On paper, BMW’s two-seater sports car has plenty going for it, including two extra cylinders. The 3.0-litre engine produces 340bhp and 369lb of torque in range-topping M40i guise, and according to BMW, is three seconds faster around the Nordschleife than an M2.
Does it deliver a Porsche-beating experience in the real world – and does it do justice to the long lineage of front-engine, rear-drive Z cars? Matt Saunders took to Lisbon’s best roads to find out