The Boldmen CR4 is probably one of the most interesting manufactured vehicles that you can actually buy. Time for a comparison with the more than 30-year-old Alpina Roadster Limited Edition, which has many parallels to the Boldmen.
Friedhelm Wiesmann doesn't like it when his youngest baby, the Boldmen CR4, is called BMW Z4. With its so-called BMW CLAR architecture, this forms the basis for the exclusive automotive manufactory product - but not a single part of the CR4 outer skin is identical to the sheet metal parts of the base. After the end of the legendary sports car brand (1988 to 2013), Wiesmann would like to do it again and founded a new car brand together with the entrepreneurs Harald and Michael Käs. And the fact that this undertaking still works in the age of increasingly difficult approval procedures is almost sensational.
After all, the entrepreneurs Käs and Wiesmann have already delivered 13 cars to customers - the Boldmen CR4 is by no means just an announced project in a glossy brochure, as is often the case with exotic cars, which can only be admired as prototypes at some trade fairs. No, it stands on the road, drives and is continuously produced.
Reason enough to borrow it and place it next to an Alpina Roadster Limited Edition, which in turn is based on the BMW Z1. Even if the approaches are completely different, the two models definitely have parallels. Like Boldmen, Alpina also has manufacturer status. And then there is the cooperation with BMW.
Above all, however, the Bavarian Swabians have maximum independence in mind: not only does the CR4 not look like a Z4 - the changes are also technically huge. Instead of plain sheet metal, technician Michael Käs (who incidentally worked for Alois Ruf and later for Alpina) uses carbon as the outer skin to save around 100 kilograms in weight compared to the base.
The excitement is slowly rising. It's high time for a lap with the CR4, whose three-liter straight-six (the B58 borrowed from the BMW shelf) brings it to 408 instead of the previous 340 pens. And the first few meters in the compact roadster are already an impressive demonstration that it's not just a renamed Z4 at work here. In terms of longitudinal and lateral dynamics, the CR4 wants more, darts beastly around the bend than the base, but is not stingy with residual comfort.
The CR4 also works as a tourer and cruises with its crew a few hundred kilometers at a time without damaging their backs. For short dynamic interludes on country roads when hopping in traffic jams, it is always available to catapult the corners of the passengers' mouths upwards again.
The right pedal can also be used to generate plenty of forward thrust, and it should only take 3.9 seconds to reach country road speed. And as the engine speed increases, so does the sound experience with the guttural, trumpeting six-ender, despite the sound-dampening turbos. The latter also do not prevent the three-liter from turning lightly towards the limiter, while still offering punch like a sledgehammer.
The fresh air kick follows the adrenaline kick. With the Alpina this works a bit better with the topic "let the wind blow in your face" than with the CR4. The small, eccentric BMW Z1 with its now legendary electric sliding doors, um, in this case Alpina Roadster, is a really big hit from the perspective of the convertible experience. The fact that an Alpina is available here is of course of central importance, especially in the context of the Boldmen CR4. The Bovensiepens named the Z1 BMW-Alpina RLE, which stands for "Roadster Limited Edition".
But cruising, especially with the doors open (which is allowed, by the way) in the Alpina Roadster is quite a unique experience and the hairdo is guaranteed to be over after a brisk drive on the Autobahn - or perfectly straightened, depending on your point of view. In any case, both extremely exclusive cars offer a lot of fun - just in different ways. It's nice that the CR4 as a new car can be configured as the customer would like it to be. Of course, fine interior materials are good form. The team from Welden near Augsburg realizes various types of fine cowhide, even several at the same time, as well as a virtually unlimited choice of colors.
The CR4 starts at 184,900 euros and is exclusive, but still a fully-fledged everyday car. Of course, this also includes infotainment that is state of the art. From the great music system to the on-screen navigation and smartphone integration, everything is included. The search for the right Alpina Roadster is more difficult because most owners no longer give their copy away. Often not a single one appears in the relevant stock exchanges for months. And then there should hardly be any leeway for price negotiations. A little tip: Order a CR4 and have fun while you go on a detective search for an Alpina Roadster Limited Edition. It's nice when the budget allows for this fun.
Alpina Roadster Limited Edition - technical data:
Roadster, construction period: 1990 to 1991, length: 3.92 meters, width: 1.69 meters, height: 1.28 meters, wheelbase: 2.45 meters
2.7 l six-cylinder petrol in-line engine, 147 kW/200 hp, maximum torque: 261 Nm at 4900 rpm, 0-100 km/h: 7.1 s, Vmax: 231 km/h, five-speed -Manual transmission
Former new price: 116,000 German marks
Today's market price according to Classic Data: Note 2: 99,000 eurosNote 3: 63,000 eurosNote 4: 34,000 euros
Boldmen CR4 - technical data:
Roadster, length: 4.42 meters, width: 1.93 meters, height: 1.28 meters, wheelbase: 2.47 meters
3.0 l six-cylinder petrol engine with two turbochargers, 300 kW/408 hp, maximum torque: 610 Nm, 0-100 km/h: 3.9 s, Vmax: 250 km/h, eight-speed automatic transmission ( converter), average consumption: 7.9 l/100 km (WLTP), CO2 emissions: 181 g/km, basic price: from 184,900 euros