What's The Best 10-Year-Old Sports Car You Can Buy?

A decade ago was a high water mark for sports cars. We found one (although it's modded) that represents the best of the depreciated.

This week’s AFTER/DRIVE topic started with us wondering what 10-year-old sports car we would buy. That timeframe, we think, represents a sweet spot. By then, the complex dance of computers, sensors and actuators had become quick enough for driving-dynamics technologies to start getting interesting, tire technology had progressed to enable performance envelopes we’d have considered outer-worldly just a few years before, but cars were still “analog” enough to still feel somewhat like cars, not big, black-and-white space planes piloted by people named Young and Crippen.

We started talking about the BMW Z3 M Coupe, the “clown shoe,” and moved on to its successor, the Z4 M Coupe. That, we figured, was a good place to start. It was niche enough to have been forgotten, or at least overlooked in a 2017 context, but good enough to be considered a modern-classic sports car.

Turns out, Classic Car Club Manhattan had recently procured a Z4M the previous owner had tuned tastefully, and so we took it home for a night, and then built an AFTER/DRIVE episode around it. When the weather gets better, we’ll get it out on the road for a proper video review. For now, it's the perfect discussion topic to get three guys who often sit around gabbing about cars to gab some more.

Here’s the spec list for the tune:

Engine:

  • No internal engine modifications
  • Castrol TWS 10W60 oil
  • RPI intake scoops
  • Euro S54 headers
  • Supersprint X-pipe, connecting pipe and mufflers
  • ESS Software Flash
  • Vorshlag poly engine mounts swapped back to stock 

Transmission & Drivetrain:

  • No internal transmission modifications
  • Redline MTL transmission fluid
  • Redline 75W90 differential gear oil
  • UUC clutch kit w/lightweight flywheel
  • Vorshlag transmission mounts swapped back to stock
  • UUC short shifter
  • UUC DSSR 
  • Clutch delay valve delete 

Suspension and Chassis:

  • KW Clubsport coilovers w/camber plates
  • TC Kline rear trailing arm bushings
  • TC Kline adjustable rear lower control arms
  • TC Kline rear shock mounts
  • Strong Strut front upper strut tower brace
  • Powerflex front control arm bushings
  • BBS RGR 18x8.5 and 18X10 wheels (Track) Running 18’s on the street
  • BBS RGR 19X8.5 and 19X10 wheels (Street) Brakes
  • OEM rotors
  • Motul RBF 600 Brake Fluid
  • Stoptech braided brake lines
  • Performance Friction PFC01 brake pads 

Body and Interior:

  • Sparco DTM RS carbon fiber seats
  • Speedware Motorsports brackets
  • Speedware Motorsports aluminum side mounts
  • Schroth 6-point racing harnesses
  • APR carbon fiber front splitter
  • APR carbon fiber rear adjustable spoiler
  • Braille 15lb battery and mount
  • Custom half cage manufactured and installed by Speedware Motorsports
  • I/O Port camera mount