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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SAABstory
SAABstory
1 month ago

I don’t instantly hate it, so that’s progress. Waiting to hear everyone’s favourite goth car designer check in. (Yes, the extra u was intentional.)

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

Quick unleash the designers, this one needs their ministrations.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Carson
4004
4004
1 month ago

I don’t know… not a fan of the big grilles, but this is.. boring? Like a 2er and 6er left in the sun and then smothered together, before being turned into a soap bar. Seems like the sort of soap bar concept Mercedes would turn out

D M
D M
1 month ago

Does this mean they’re moving away from the bugs bunny, buck toothed look? Fingers crossed.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  D M

But what will the Angry Beavers drive?

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

Bring the side window line down to the that shoulder line—it’s an open car, shouldn’t it feel airy? Also makes it look too fat. Same with the deck lid height. Is that vinyl above and below the rear window? Vinyl roofs do not need to make a comeback in whatever capacity.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago

Great! I’ve been waiting a long time for a more expensive, less reliable DelSol.

Any guesses as to how long it will be before BMW announces a 12 and 13 series?
/snark

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 month ago

I know they’ve trademarked 1-10 so it might not be that crazy

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

Is it objectively good looking or just good looking compared to the war crimes BMW has been committing over the last 5 years? I’m leaning towards the latter. It’s fine, and I’m a card carrying BMW enjoyer. But the fact that we’re at the point that we need to celebrate a merely palatable design from them is telling…

Danster
Danster
1 month ago

I hope we can all feel it’s progress, Ramen!

JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
1 month ago

It’s nice simply because they went back to wide rather than tall grilles. Besides that? Eh. The rear is basically devoid of any styling. It’s a blob with LED strips for tail lights. The wheels are hideous. Rear haunches are too high/fat.

It’s an improvement over the buckteeth, but that’s not really saying much.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 month ago

The beltline is too high, but otherwise this is a very handsome effort, which is something I haven’t said of a BMW styling exercise in quite some time. The wheels are excellent, which is hard to pull off in these aero-optimized times. Good stuff!

Roofless
Roofless
1 month ago

I don’t know if I love it, but I definitely don’t hate it. There’s a bunch of very nice well-executed touches, and it feels coherent.

Also: Shark nose! Shark nose! Shark nose!

https://imgur.com/a/Gaw8olr

AssMatt
AssMatt
1 month ago

And it has an actual name!

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
1 month ago

Could have swore I seen one of these prototypes testing in Michigan. I was right behind it at a stop sign and it turned right, immediately noticed the back wheels turning a lot before it started turning.

Didnt know they were using such wild steering angles for the rear steering.

Was cool watching it monster-truck turn 90 degrees from a stop.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago

Still not actually good looking, let alone “nice”

TDI_FTW
TDI_FTW
1 month ago

IDK if I would call it “nice” but it’s definitely not a “crime against our eyeballs”
so the title works, but the image caption is a bit of a stretch, imo.

Kurt Kimmerly
Kurt Kimmerly
1 month ago

Can one of you Photoshop masters do a chop of this in black, with a firebird screaming chicken decal on the hood, and Burt Reynolds in a cowboy hat behind the wheel?

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Kimmerly

I knew I was liking this design. Now that you pointed it out, definitely some firechicken vibes. Needs snowflake wheels too.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 month ago

Every year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, BMW rolls out a concept car.

Most of them are Hommage cars and not Concept cars. Sometimes its a motorcycle and not a car or both. It’s even been a Mini before and not a “BMW”.

BMW has been the main organizing & partner sponsor of the event since 2009, and they have been introducing a concept/hommage car/bike there annual since 2005. So it’s only been “every” year since 2005.

Prior to 2005 BMW did have a large part in reviving the event in the 1990s and we’re the major sponsor going forward, prior to pretty much taking control of the whole thing in 2009. There had been no event for over 40 years before it came back in 1995.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago

The front half is good, the back half, not.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago

This goes totally against BMW brand standards, it must be uglified by at least 22% – did anyone even read the branding guide PowerPoint that was sent around?

Industrial_design_guy
Industrial_design_guy
1 month ago

It’s Coke classic kind of not bad. But I’m growing tired of the squinty eyes cliché that every car maker knows how to do. It’s a dead end gimmick. Let the cars see!

Goof
Goof
1 month ago

Dem wheels!

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 month ago

I wouldn’t call this a Concept Car so much as a concept for a car.

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
1 month ago

All BMW has to do now is take a chop saw to the nose, raise the “targa” bar so an actual human could fit under a convertible top, and fit their inline-six, and this might do pretty well.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Wow
Did BMW lay off half their design staff?
Or was this done on a holiday weekend by an *actual designer* when everyone else was safely away at home?

Because it doesn’t appear that everyone and their brother had a hand in adding their contribution of slashes, vents, lumps, bumps and contrasting crapola.

Roofless
Roofless
1 month ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

You know, I suddenly understand BMW’s design language: start with a normal car, and then have every designer in the department sign it, and then cast those signatures in sheet metal.

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

AI is not always the answer to the unasked question.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 month ago

Damn, could they please make the next 6 or 8 look like this? And then jettison the XM into a volcano?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

I’m not sure that Pele wouldn’t spit out the XM and obliterate Hawaii in revenge for that bilious offering.

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