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BMW reveals Concept Skytop design at Concorsa d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

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The BMW Concept Skytop design, a V-8 engine open two-seater, was already receiving rave reviews before its official reveal at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy this past weekend.

A press release describes the vehicle as resembling a “meticulously crafted vehicle sculpture with a flowing, sporty elegance that complements its athletic, muscular stance.” And the interior and exterior of the concept car feature warm monochromatic colors. 

“The BMW Concept Skytop is a truly unique and exotic design, in the tradition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design, in the release. “It offers a combination of driving dynamics and elegance at the highest level, comparable to its historic ancestors, like the BMW Z8 or BMW 503.”

The BMW Z8, produced from 1998 to 2003, was featured as James Bond’s car in the 1999 “The World is Not Enough” film. The BMW 503 was a prestigious model for the company from 1956-1959. 

“From a bird’s eye perspective, the prominent, sweeping hood, the iconic BMW shark-nose design with illuminated kidney grille, and sculpted rear section, all catch the eye,” BMW’s release for the Skytop says. “References to the legendary BMW Z8 roadster were carefully chosen. Especially striking is the pronounced spline that extends from the hood, through the interior, to an aluminum trim positioned on the trunk lid, emphasizing the dynamic flow of the silhouette.”

The Drive reports BMW’s concepts have been more futuristic in recent years with what it calls “radical looking EVs, with shockingly large grilles.” 

“But the Skytop is different. Instead of big hulking batteries and electric motors, the Skytop rocks a good, old-fashioned V8. Specifically, it’s a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged “S68” that makes 617 horsepower, plucked from the M division,” The Drive says. “As with all V8-powered M cars, it’s paired with an eight-speed auto, but BMW doesn’t say whether it’s rear or all-wheel drive.” 

Yet, the Skytop concept doesn’t pull away fully from new technology. 

“The harmonious design of the headlights blends highly complex details into the overall concept,” BMW’s release says. “The LED units, positioned on milled aluminum carriers, were custom developed for the BMW Concept Skytop, utilizing the latest technology and design for automotive headlights with the slimmest profile possible.

“The clean, purist design allows all lighting functions to be consolidated in a single installation space. The flat and defined shape of the rear lights complements the BMW Concept Skytop’s overall appearance.” 

The vehicle’s two seats are combined with side fins on the B-pillar and a fully retractable rear window, the release says. It includes two removable roof parts that can be stored in a compartment in the luggage space. 

BMW says the muted silver with chrome shadow effect of the exterior paintwork uses a technically elaborate color gradient crafted by a master painter at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. The exterior color scheme transitions to the reddish-brown tone of the interior surfaces. Crystal applications are embedded into the cockpit and the leather seats feature brogue-style accents. 

Car and Driver reported the “powerful tailor-made” vehicle is intended to become a handbuilt collector’s item. 

“If the board approves the proposal, the first of no more than 50 items (although one source suggested 100) should be completed at the new coachbuilding wing of the automaker’s Dingolfing factory late next year,” Car and Driver says. “The base price is rumored to be the equivalent of $542,000.” 

The article further says none of the nine cars presented at the event previously have ever made it into production. 

Car and Driver critiques the concept saying the front end is “spot on” but its side view is “arguably not the Skytop’s most fetching prospective.” 

“But it’s the interior of the Skytop that truly excels and makes all the difference,” Car and Driver says. “It avoids the temptation of adding conventional luxury touches like too much chrome, wood everywhere, overly elaborate stitching, an over-the-top display, or gimmicky contrasting piping. Instead, the design team opted for a beautifully finished, totally monochrome driver environment trimmed wall to wall with sumptuous soft leather.” 

Overall, Car and Driver praises the project saying, “We’d love to see the Skytop be the kickoff project for a new streamlined Bespoke Strategy for BMW—one that would combine color and trim upgrades with very specific, yet potentially profound, sheet metal revisions.”

Road & Track also had praise for design with an ending remark to their article saying, “The Z8 was one of BMW’s great cars, and has been without a successor for years. with the i8 also in the rearview, it’s due time for another design-first megacruiser.”



Feature and inside photos of the of the Skytop Concept Design provided by BMW. 

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