Australian designer Calvin Luk nearly threw his hand up to turn around a BMW Z4 that had become a stodgy, overweight shadow of its original self. He knew, because the Z4 was close to his heart. He owned one. Not just as a company car, but with his own cash. Luk, 31, uses an original E85 Z4 as his personal transport around Munich and, besides, it was his parents’ purchase of an E36 3 Series that hooked him on car design in the first place. “All of these cars are very personal to me,” Luk told me in an exclusive interview in a Bavarian photographic studio in July. “One of our family friends got a Z3 when I was a kid and the designer of that car is now a mentor of mine. “The Z8 is from the Bond film and that’s a big influence here, this E89 Z4 that my parents have and the Z4 that I use. I feel like I grew up with these cars.” As soon as BMW’s engineering team took the decision to move the driver forward to tackle the Porsche 718 Boxster’s handling advantages, Luk felt like the 2000-200...

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