Home » Surprise! BMW’s New Concept Car Isn’t A Crime Against Our Eyeballs

Surprise! BMW’s New Concept Car Isn’t A Crime Against Our Eyeballs

Bmw Concept Ts
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Every year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, BMW rolls out a concept car. Given BMW’s current production car lineup, this should be cause for trepidation, but this year’s one-off bucks the ugly trend. The BMW Skytop concept has leaked and it’s not egregiously difficult to look at. In fact, it’s actually fairly conservative for a targa-roofed GT car, and could symbolize a return to form for the Bavarian brand.

Over the past few years, BMW has earned a reputation for vehicles that are aesthetically challenged. The front of the current M3 is still difficult to look at, the new X2 is rather ungainly, and the less that’s said about the XM, the better. While a certain refocusing of the brand identity was necessary, refocusing requires direction, not a Roblox account.

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If we look at what made BMW design iconic in the ’80s and ’90s, it’s sharp, reasonably safe styling that nails the fundamentals and doesn’t rock the boat. After all, nobody would call the E30 3 Series or E39 5 Series visually innovative, but almost everyone wouldn’t mind looking at either car. Well, the Skytop concept takes off where reasonably classy models like the outgoing G30 5 Series left off, appearing to start with an 8 Series coupe and take things to the next level.

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Up front, a prominent brow evokes shades of E9 coupe and E24 6 Series, and the kidney grilles aren’t just horizontally oriented, they don’t bleed into anything. There’s enough space on the fascia to let all the elements breathe, something we haven’t seen from the brand in far too long. Isn’t restraint lovely?

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BMW Concept Skytop

Around back, there’s a little bit of Z8 to the blade-like taillights while the prominent central spear along the decklid echoes the treatment on the hood. Admittedly, that element’s rather showy, being most famous in modern use on the Bugatti Chiron, but it’s not offensive.

BMW Concept Skytop

Around the side, a line down the bodyside between the arches cleaves visual mass out of the sheetmetal, while flared side skirts redirect the eye, making the bottoms of the doors look less heavy. However, the piece de resistance of this concept is the execution of the targa roof. Not only does the greenhouse incorporate a proper Hofmeister kink, the swept targa bar and largely flat deck lid carry plenty of retro-cool drama without directly ripping off any one car in particular. Now that’s how it’s done.

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Mind you, it’s probably too soon to draw any conclusions about BMW’s future styling from the Concept Skytop. This thing’s a one-off concept for Villa d’Este, and last year’s Villa d’Este concept was the equally tasteful Concept Touring Coupe shooting brake. However, projects like this show that someone deep inside BMW’s design department has taste, and that’s hope worth hanging onto.

(Photo credits: BMW/Youcar)

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Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 month ago

I’m not sure I love it, but honestly I’m just glad they didn’t start wrapping the kidney grille around the top or the sides because they ran out of room on the front.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

I’m just not really feeling the squinty headlights, but that’s a general design trend I’m not happy with, not just this example.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 month ago

It’s kind of hilarious that after a few decades of putting completely outrageous, nonsensical designs into production, one after the other (and I don’t even mean the i3 or i8 – I kind of like those!), this is what people at BMW think a concept car is in 2024. Also pretty funny that BMW’s current bar to clear is not making you want to scoop your eyeballs out with a rusty spork.

Last edited 1 month ago by Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago

It looks like a concept from 2007

Racecar_Steve
Racecar_Steve
1 month ago

So it’s not just me! When I first saw it, something about it looked like it could have been conceived in the early 2000’s, but I can’t place my finger on it. Maybe its the relatively “simple” surfacing, combined with the retro-futuristic thin headlights and taillights. It has an oddly bloated look IMO, but I’ll still take it over most of their more recent design trends.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago
Reply to  Racecar_Steve

Yep. Precisely all those things

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 month ago

Came here to say the exact same thing, down to the year. This looks so mid/late aughts, Umbrella by Rihanna just started playing in the back of my mind (immediately followed by Deerhunter’s Cryptograms).

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago

Lol. It truly is a precise anachronism!

MGA
MGA
29 days ago

Very reminiscent of the BMW Gina concept. To me, at least.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
1 month ago

A BMW that doesn’t look like ‘Mater (“Cars”)?

That is an interesting concept…

Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
1 month ago

They should’ve painted it 3 shades of green and called it the 2800 Spicup Hommage.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
1 month ago

Mind you, it’s probably too soon to draw any conclusions about BMW’s future styling from the Concept Skytop.

But we can dream, as you said, there is hope.

Still, looks suspiciously “ready for production” for a concept car, even for today’s standard. I mean, standard current BMW interior, nothing like the Neue Klasse full of screens and touch. I would dare to say that the rearview mirrors are a minor rework from late F/ early G series. Or the budget allowed only access to an old parts bin or they just wanted to send a message “we could have a nice design, we just don’t want to.

For me, they could just slap a Z9 badge, a hybrid inline 6, a high 5 figure price tag and call it a day.

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

It only looks “ready for production” by virtue of how conservatively styled it is.

In a world where BMW had to team up with Toyota to justify and help shoulder development costs for the current iteration of its Z4, I can’t see this going to production unless it becomes a low-volume, high-margin Z8 replacement (in other words, something that costs $180,000+). And at that price point, it’s just another limited-edition car for the hyper-rich that I, personally, couldn’t care less about.

Joby Tapia
Joby Tapia
1 month ago

farrrgggg…put that face on the i4 and I’m all in on one

Vee
Vee
1 month ago

The rear is nice. The flat paint is a deliberate choice to cover up some of the weirdness with the haunches, where the sharp shoulder disappears just around the door seam. The front is still far too angry and squinty. I so very much want the headlights to connect to the grill inlets with a scallop down to the trapezoidal outer corner, but I’m assuming BMW avoided that to not look like they copied Mercedes-Benz’ EQS. Having the headlights be parallel to the ground instead of angled still would’ve done so much to help the weirdness of the front end where it looks like the hood’s been sat on, plus it would’ve created a nice compliment to the flat taillights and trunk edge of the rear.

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