BMW Zagato Roadster Concept revealed

By Editors on August 17, 2012 2:01 PM

After a quick tease earlier this week, the wraps have now come off of the BMW Zagato Roadster Concept that's making its world debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. As expected, this new variation on the BMW Zagato Coupe Concept that was presented earlier this year at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy shares virtually all of its major styling elements and much detailing with its closed-top sibling but brings its own open-air flair to the package.

The decision to proceed with the new Roadster Concept was the direct result of the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Coupe. However, as Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, explains, the process took on a special sense of urgency when it was decided to have it ready for this California reveal. "We set ourselves the challenge of preparing the car in time for the renowned Pebble Beach Concours," a choice that left just six weeks to move the Roadster Concept from first design idea to finished vehicle.

Andrea Zagato notes that like the Coupe, the task of creating this fully drivable variation on the Z4 production model also is a testament to the ability of BMW to work in close and focused collaboration with his organization. "BMW is a high-achieving carmaker boasting a vast well of knowledge and technical capability in this area. When you combine that with our expertise in the creation of micro-series cars and our streamlined production processes, everything is in place to produce a beautiful model like the BMW Zagato Roadster in double-quick time."

As you'd expect, the most prominent differences between the BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster Concepts lie aft of the doors. Removing the roof involved a major rework of the entire rear quarter area highlighted by a new fascia that offers an even more "horizontal" orientation that gives the car a wide-stride stance. A smartly sculpted decklid with integral fixed roll hoops, a revised diffuser treatment and revamped taillamps complete the redesign process most impressively. Replacing the Coupe's Rosso Vivace paint is a color described as "brilliant grey." Offering a liquid-metal type of finish it reportedly has the ability to shift in tone from dark grey to light silver depending on how the light strikes the car.

Inside, the BMW Zagato Roadster Concept features a bounty of rich brown leather that fully encircles the cabin area, even extended to the roll hoops. In recognition of its heritage, the backs on the well-formed bucket seats are adorned with an embroidered "Z." Like the Coupe Concept, there's still no definitive word as to whether the BMW Zagato Roadster Concept will ever make it to limited production status.