While most people’s first impression of the BMW Z8 was watching it get sawed in half by a helicopter in the James Bond film “The World is Not Enough,” enthusiasts first caught sight of the retro-chic roadster at the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show, 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. 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. Under the hood is the unparalleled drivetrain of the BMW M5 of the same era, meaning the Z8 has the same 400 horsepower to play with. Yet the Z8, being primarily made of aluminum, is also much lighter than the M5. So if the Z8 didn’t already have enough going for it, with stellar looks and unbeatable pedigree, it was 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.