BMW Concept Skytop shows brand still capable of creating alluring cars

Published May 27, 2024


In recent years BMW has been accused of producing cars that are somewhat less than attractive. The M4, XM, and 7 Series are perhaps the most spoken about examples of BMW designs that have proved controversial.

The BMW brand’s design boss Domagoj Dukec has been forced to defend his designs on numerous occasions and even the company’s CEO Oliver Zipse has stepped in, stating that future-oriented design cannot come without controversy.

But the new BMW Concept Skytop revealed at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como seems to be an exception to the rule.

Many internet commentators are hailing it as the best-looking BMW in the past 10 years. BMW’s group design head is even comparing it with some legendary sports cars of yesteryear:

“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.

“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 concept has slim headlights and a large illuminated grille. Picture: Supplied/BMW

It remains to be seen whether this concept represents a change in design direction for the Bavarian brand. But UK publication Autocar says BMW is keen on producing a two-seat grand tourer similar to this as early as 2025, if response to the show car is positive enough.

BMW hasn’t released exact specifications for the one-off concept just yet, but says it is fitted with the most powerful version of the company’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. This engine currently produces up to 460kW in non-hybridised form.

Taut, muscular surfaces

BMW describes the exterior of its new Concept Skytop as being clean as well as taut and muscular. Unusually for a BMW it features a targa top, complete with a fixed roll-over bar, retractable rear window, and two removable roof parts that can be stored in a special compartment in the boot.

Upfront, the car’s headlights have the slimmest profile currently available for a production car and they flank a large, illuminated horizontal kidney grille.

The cabin boasts high-end leathers and crystal ornamentation. Picture: Supplied/BMW

The concept’s colour scheme was created by a master painter at BMW’s Dingolfing plant. It boasts a seamless colour transition from its interior to exterior, whether the roof is open or closed. For instance, the rear section’s reddish-brown roof smoothly blends into the exterior’s muted silver with a chrome shadow effect.

Inside, brogue-style leather surfaces aim to impart a feeling of luxury while “artfully embedded” crystal applications add to the sense of sophistication. These high-quality interior surfaces were crafted in the traditional saddlery at the Dingolfing plant.

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