Wiesmann MF4-S road test

With the BMW M3's twin clutch drivetrain, Wiesmann's lightweight roadster is an impressive bit of kit.

Evo rating
Price
from £114,000
  • Pure charm and flexible box
  • Expensive wrapping for an M3 drivetrain

What is it?

Wiesmann’s new Roadster MF4-S adds to  the firm’s impressive line-up of classic English design wrapped around bahnstorming BMW mechanicals. You have to love the approach. We’ve previously driven the MF4 with a ZF auto box, but the step up to BMW’s DCT twin clutch gives an added dimension that means the Wiesmann lives up to its eye watering £114,000 price tag.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Technical highlight

Without doubt it’s the gearbox. Purists will argue that a car that looks like this should come with the six-speed manual, and they could have a point. But then the DCT seven-speed is just about good enough to convert anyone, blipping the downchanges when you’re charging hard and equipped with a creamy auto mode.

What’s it like to drive?

Simply brilliant. Better even than the range-topping MF5 in the real world. That car comes with the SMG sequential manual, which is hateful in everything other than hard, manual mode, while this one has real flexibility and does everything well.

The V8’s 414bhp is more than enough on the open road in a 1395kg package, while Wiesmann’s claimed 4.3sec 0-60mph figure smacks of a refusal to upstage BMW’s own figures. It handles like an M3 that weighs a third less, too. It can be thrown into bends, and where a '60s sports car would simply hit a tree and catch fire, the Wiesmann uses an Elise-style bonded monocoque chassis to skate elegantly through to the other side.

With less weight over the front end than the range-topping V10 MF5 it feels sharper, crisper at the nose and better balanced in the bend. The steering is a touch light for flat out track driving and a brief run at the Nurburgring revealed the wheels and arches to be a little too closely related.

It’s too soft for hardcore track work, then. But that’s not really the point; on the road the set-up rides the line between comfort and sporting intent almost perfectly.

How does it compare?

At £114,000 including taxes the MF4-S is staring down both barrels of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Audi R8 Spyder. Both are faster, more competent, but lacking charm in comparison. It’s closer in spirit to the cheaper Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster – that particular battle could come down to the toss of a coin.

Anything else I need to know?

Buying a Wiesmann gets you more than a car, it’s a virtual social club with drives through the Alps, trackdays at Spa and the Nurburgring and more laid on throughout the year. Which is nice, in an old-fashioned kind of way. They also have one of the largest merchandise ranges this side of Ferrari.

Specifications

EngineV8, 3999cc
Max power414bhp@8300rpm
Max torque295lb/ft@3900rpm
0-604.3sec (claimed)
Top speed186mph (claimed)
On saleNow

Recommended

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

23 Sep 2020
BMW M3 review
BMW M3

BMW M3 review

5 Feb 2020

Most Popular

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
Car pictures of the week
Lotus Elise

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures, from issue 279, we look at the highlights from our lightweight sports car triple test
23 Oct 2020