Back in the late 90’s, I nearly bought a BMW Z3 M Coupe. The car was just a riot to drive, had more cargo space than the roadster version, and it was well within my budget. But part of me just couldn’t get past it’s rather unique styling, and I ultimately went with a different German roadster. It’s something I always regretted, especially after seeing how prices of the so called “clown shoes” have skyrocketed over the years. FML.
Now, BMW has just unveiled a one-off BMW Concept Touring Coupé at the opening of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2023, and the resemblance is uncanny.
The hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind BMW Concept Touring Coupé unites a body concept steeped in tradition with the technology of a purist modern-day sports car. Its proportions and name are reminiscent of the BMW 328 Touring Coupé that won the Mille Miglia endurance race in 1940. The functionality of the shooting-brake concept is a nod to the BMW 02 Series model variants of the early 1970s, which featured “Touring” in their name to distinguish them from sedans. The styling of the signets on the rear and inside this unique vehicle was inspired by the model inscription of this historic predecessor.
Exterior design: Striking proportions, exclusive details
The design highlight of the BMW Concept Touring Coupé is its sculpted rear end. Created from the flowing contours of the roof, which merge seamlessly with the rear side panels, the shape accentuates the car’s athletic shoulders, while the flat rear window and clearly defined body surfaces emphasize the vehicle’s solid stance.
Viewed from the side, the BMW-typical interpretation of the shooting-brake proportions is clearly recognizable. The long bonnet, streamlined roof contours, and powerful rear section form a distinctive two-box design, while the elongated side window graphic with the Hofmeister kink and flared rear wheel arches underline its sporty elegance.
The Sparkling Lario exterior paintwork was specially created for the BMW Concept Touring Coupé. With embedded flakes of blue glass, its grey-brown hues achieve a unique impression of depth. The effect is completed by silver-bronze accents and the specially designed BMW kidney grille with longitudinal bars. The exclusive light-alloy wheels, measuring 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear axle, provide a logical continuation of these color accents in the 20-spoke radial design. The intricate implementation and discreet gold-colored surfaces underline the vehicle’s elegant sporty character.
Interior design: Craftsmanship at the highest level
The interior ambience of the BMW Concept Touring Coupé is defined by the brand’s usual driver orientation in the cockpit, with maximum attention to the choice of materials, color scheme and workmanship. The exclusive bi-color option from Italian leather workshop Poltrona Frau divides the interior horizontally into two distinct color segments: In the upper section, a dark brown tone aids concentration while driving; in the lower section, a light saddle brown brings comfort and warmth into the interior.
Precise perforations, as well as braided leather straps for the seat valences and slide bar, highlight the artisan character of the interior, which combines traditional craftsmanship at the highest level with modern design principles.
High-quality workmanship and attention to detail also characterize the luggage designed exclusively for the BMW Concept Touring Coupé by the long-established Schedoni leather workshop in Modena. The custom-made set consists of two large and one small weekender bags, plus a garment bag, all of which are perfectly coordinated with the vehicle.
Under the hood of the Concept Touring Coupé is the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder from the current Z4. So while BMW hasn’t released any numbers, it will likely have around 380 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque.
“The BMW Concept Touring Coupé celebrates the original Sheer Driving Pleasure,” says Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW Design. “A highly emotional vehicle like this shows that the passion for everything that goes into driving pleasure has been essential through the ages and will be for the future.”
For now, BMW is stating that this is simply a one-off concept. But given the buzz that this car is already receiving, I would love to see BMW bring this beauty into production. I’m sure they wouldn’t have any trouble finding buyers for them, myself included. Here’s hoping! 🤞