Gallery: M celebrates its 40th birthday
And TopGear.com headed to Germany to join the party… Rowan Horncastle reports
Posted: 14 Nov 2012
Like the M1, the Sparco seating position is upright and race-inspired, re-inforced by a nicely-patina'd suede steering wheel. The controls are hearteningly weighty, and once you remember that first gear is where second should be, thanks to the dogleg ‘box nicked from the racing car, it's straightforward to get going quickly.
Weighing 1,200kg and with 238bhp at a magnificent 7,000rpm, you'll see 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 154mph. But this car isn't about out and out pace. The feedback you get feels so implausibly natural, returning to a modern car feels like you've just undergone heavy sedation. The Sport Evo's stiff chassis setup means you vibrate and jiggle around the ‘Ring's broken surfaced Karussell corner until loose change falls out of your pocket and into the footwell. But that doesn't matter. It just feels right.
But no matter how right it felt, we weren't that quick. Mainly because this is someone else's very precious, very low mileage car. But also because no matter how many times you've taken the Foxhole flat while playing Forza in your pants, that elevation change and compression at the bottom requires man parts we simply don't possess.
Luckily, there were men in the vicinity who did, so we went to talk to them.