Following their first collaboration to create the BMW Zagato Coupe
concept for the Villa d'Este concours event in May, the carmaker/styling house partnership has now chopped the roof off to soak up some Californian sunshine at Pebble Beach
and create the BMW Zagato Roadser.
Zagato double-bubble behind roll bars
Like the Coupe before it, the Roadster is based on Z4 running gear. Outwardly, the Roadster retains many of the Coupe's design cues, particularly its frontal styling. The concept's broad nose with low-mounted kidney grille and twin circular headlights is unchanged from the roofed version, with a repeated pattern of tiny 'Z' motifs making up the car's grille.
The main design changes, unsurprisingly, are at the rear, with smoother surfaces and a lower stance. The concept's forward-angled roll hoops are said to be inspired by aircraft wings and the propeller-influenced 19-inch alloys are a further nod to aviation. The designers have also managed to incorporate the trademark Zagato double-bubble roofline into the Roadster's soft top cover. The Coupe's arrangement of taillights mounted behind tinted glass has been retained.
Brown leather theme throughout interior
The one-off paintwork the concept wears is designed to vary in hue from dark grey to light silver depending on the direction of light, which BMW describes as giving the car a 'liquid metal' appearance. Inside, a rail-like strip of brown leather circles the cabin, running from the dashboard to the rollover bars and splitting the two seats. The same shade of brown is repeated throughout the interior, reappearing on the steering wheel, doors and centre console.
The Coupe wasn't to everyone's taste but BMW said it was encouraged by a largely positive reaction to it and took the decision to make an open version soon after Villa d'Este. BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk says the car was created in just six weeks from the first sketches to the finished article.
The two companies say the aim was to lend the car a distinctive, Italian-influenced character without obscuring its BMW family design cues.
'Z' motif repeated throughout grille
"This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible, but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car which evokes a powerful driving experience," according to Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada.
BMW remains tight-lipped over plans to put the car into production, but in very small numbers combined with a very high price tag, it's not beyond the realms of possibility.