Feature

The best ... revved-up roadsters

... from BMW, Porsche, Audi, and Mazda

2011 BMW Z4 35is
Price: $61,925
The Z4 received a disappointing update last year, but the new sDrive 35is package “shows that BMW is not about to let its roadster slip off the radar.”  Lower ride height and 18-inch wheels “give it a determined, hunkered-down stance,” and its 3.0-liter, 355-hp, twin-turbo six-cylinder engine provides “rabid full-throttle acceleration.” A folding hardtop adds weight and its seven-speed dual-clutch is “a little hesitant around town,” but this car’s overall improvement “confirms BMW’s commitment” to sports car performance.   
Source: Autoweek

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder
Price: $61,200
Porsche’s most svelte model, a spinoff of the Boxster roadster, “trades luxury for lightness” by getting rid of countless features—including air conditioning and even the radio—to tip the scales at just 2,811 pounds. The standard 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine offers improved performance, and the weight loss is hardly noticeable—the vehicle has the same “poise and confidence that we love.” Oddly, the Spyder’s base price is $3,200 higher than that of the Boxster S—“only Porsche could get away with charging extra to remove equipment.”  
Source: Automobile

2010 Audi TTS
Price: $46,725
The new TTS—a performance-tuned, all-wheel-drive Quattro version of Audi’s TT roadster—is “a potent blend of speed, flair, and livability. Watch out, Porsche.” Features include a reworked 2.0-liter engine that packs a bigger turbocharger, delivering 265 hp and zero-to-60 mph acceleration in under five seconds. But the TTS isn’t all about power. Its featherweight chassis, flat cornering, and athletic handling make this model “a capable all-arounder, not just a straight-line missile.”
Source: Motor Trend

2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price: $22,960
The latest iteration of this reliable, fun-to-drive roadster earns a coveted Recommended rating. “Handling is super-agile, with quick, precise steering and balanced behavior at its limits.” Its crisp six-speed manual gearbox and 167-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combine to provide “instant power delivery.” The trunk is small, even for a sports car, and cabin noise “can grow wearying on long cruises”—but overall “it’s hard to find a car more agile and fun to drive than this one.”
Source: Consumer Reports

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