While most people’s first impression of the BMW Z8 was watching it get sawn in half by a helicopter in the Bond film “The World is Not Enough,” enthusiasts’ first caught sight of the retro-chic roadster at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1997, where it was purely a design exercise called the Z07 Concept celebrating the 50th anniversary of the BMW 507. That original V8-powered, aluminum-bodied roadster is exceedingly rare, as BMW only produced a few hundred of the gorgeous design (penned by the famous German-American stylist Count Albrecht Goertz). The response to the homage was so enthusiastic that BMW decided to go ahead and build it, and thankfully the production car is almost identical to the lines Henrick Fisker created for the concept. While the Z8 is flush with classy retro touches like the banjo-spoke steering wheel and the center-position gauge cluster, the performance is entirely modern. Underhood is the unparalleled drivetrain of the BMW M5 of the same era, meaning the Z8 has the same 394 horsepower to play with—but the Z8 is also much lighter than the M5, being made primarily of aluminum. So if the Z8 didn’t already have enough going for it, with stellar looks and unbeatable pedigree, it is also the fastest and best handling BMW built up until its introduction—no small feat, and a perfect tribute to BMW’s often-underappreciated sense of style.