No more-BMW's brilliant new double clutch system might have taken longer to come to market than VW's, but it was worth the wait, and this is now a sports car you can simply slot in drive and enjoy at sedate pace with seamless, creamy gearchanges from the seven-speed DCT. And Wiesmann knows a thing or two about ride quality, too.

Looking at it from the side it simply doesn't make sense, because the MF4 is low, taut, and aggressive, and those Michelin Pilot Sports wrap around the 18-inch BBS wheels like rubberbands.

Yet the Wiesmann cruises down the high street with utter grace and poise and despite the wind noise getting a little reckless beyond 100 mph, it's a wondrous world of comfort and joy. That's in part down to those stunning seats, which cosset and support in equal measure, but it's also down to a sublime chassis setup built around a Lotus-style monocoque that combines this cruising capability with simply epic performance.

Because this is, when all said and done, M3 power in a much lighter package, and it comes alive on the quieter roads away from Dulmen. The Wiesmann weighs in at 2,890 pounds full of fluids, 30 percent less than the M3, so this thing goes like a rocketship. Boot the throttle and the Michelins chirp as I click second gear, then third. Wiesmann claims it hits 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, but it feels faster, and the car just keeps hammering down the road, with a click of the right finger, all the way to 200 mph. As with the M3, it needs revs and there isn't much torque to play with, but when the engine powers to 8500 rpm that's not a major issue.

And it handles like an M3 that weighs a third less. It can be thrown into bends, and while a '60s sports car would simply hit a tree and catch fire, the Wiesmann enjoys all the benefits of BMW's traction control system and skates elegantly through to the other side. It's here that the V8 shows its individual strength, too; with less weight over the front end than the V10 it feels sharper, crisper at the nose, and this is what makes it the best in the range.

It's monumentally expensive. This car costs $200,000-Lamborghini and Ferrari money-but with the intoxicating blend of old English charm and brutal German engineering precision, the Wiesmann is an offbeat alternative for those who dream of a classic car but don't want to deal with the flowing feces that go with it.

Wiesmann MF4-s
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

4.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve

Seven-speed DCT automated manual

Double wishbone, anti-roll bar (f), double wishbone and trailing link, anti-roll bar (r)

Dual-piston sliding calipers with 374mm perforated composite rotors (f), single-piston sliding calipers with 370mm perforated composite rotors (r)

Length/Width/Height (in.): 166.9/74/48.4
Wheelbase: 98.7 (in.)
Curb Weight: 2,888 lb

Peak Power: 414 hp @ 8300 rpm
Peak Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.3 sec.
Top Speed: 200 mph

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