Each year, the prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este held at Italy's Lake Como brings together some truly amazing examples of the automotive art form. This past weekend was no exception, and one of the highlights of the gathering was this new BMW Zagato Coupe Concept. A collaborative effort between the German automaker and famed Milanese coachbuilder, this elegant one-off integrates "hallmark" design cues from both organizations into one brilliantly cohesive entity.
While BMW and Zagato both remain surprisingly circumspect regarding the mechanical pedigree of this striking reality-based exercise, it obviously shares a good deal of its basic form and almost certainly its key underpinnings and powertrain elements with the BMW Z4 Roadster, most likely in M-enhanced xDrive 35is configuration. That contention is further reinforced by the fact that the car's design brief stipulated that it was to be a "Vmax concept", a fully engineered, street-legal vehicle capable of meeting all safety and crash requirements.
The BMW Zagato Coupe Concept features hand-formed aluminum bodywork presented in an exclusive Rosso Vivace color that serves to boldly complement tautly executed character lines and dramatic detail elements that extend from the car's sweeping hood and roofline to its powerful rear flanks. Like the vehicle itself, the paintwork is truly unique, consisting of six layers of black primer, one of silver metallic then another half dozen layers of color, all finished off with a pair of clear coats.
Up front, the Zagato influence is most creatively seen in its reinterpretation of BMW's classic twin-kidney grille forms. In addition to an understated reshaping, this remake replaces the conventional vertical bars with an array of small matte-finished "Z" elements geometrically interspersed with others rendered in dark and chrome that maintain an unmistakable identity while adding a new dimension of depth to the appearance. Punctuated by a pair of air scoops, the prominent contours in the hood that extend back from the grille on to the BMW Zagato Coupe Concept are also in evidence on its "double bubble" roof panel, a touch that adds visual interest and extra torsional rigidity to the design while enhancing its aerodynamic qualities.
Large side air intakes and lightweight matte-finish 19-inch aluminum alloys complement the edgy fender contours and distinctive greenhouse/C-pillar treatments to add presence to the profile view of the BMW Zagato Coupe Concept while its prominent rear quarters match a Zagato-signature glass panel with a large bumper and functional diffuser -- also with a matte finish -- flanked by a pair of bright exhaust outlets.
Inside, the hand-rendered BMW Zagato Coupe Concept steps up the basic Z4 look with a number of dedicated color and material fitments. Unique light and dark grey leather upholstery is set off with red contrast stitching and as well as red "Z" logos emblazoned on the headrests of each sport bucket. The car also is fitted with a pair of dedicated matching accessories, a hat bag and a travel bag. As a proper final flourish, the latter also boasts the same "double-bubble" look as the top.