BMW Zagato one-off Coupe turns into a Roadster for Pebble Beach
By Vincent Rice
August 23, 2012
In early July we brought you news of a hand-built one-off collaboration between Bavarian motoring giant BMW and Milanese designer/coachbuilder Zagato – the BMW Zagato Coupe. It was a popular piece and it seems Gizmag readers aren’t the only ones with taste; the vehicle had such a positive reception that BMW and Zagato agreed to create a roadster version in time for the Pebble Beach Concours at Monterey. With barely six weeks between design sketch and completion it was a tough task but the result is, if anything, more beautiful than the Coupe.
The striking front end is the same with the witty BMW radiator grill made of tiny “Zs” but the new “molten metal” paint finish shows off the curves to much greater effect. The windshield surround/A-pillar is now in black, which accentuates the length of the front deck.
The rear is of course changed, with the glass panel of the Kamm tail now blacked out rather than transparent, and it incorporates an integral spoiler. The rear deck has two “bubble” contours that are a Zagato hallmark, flowing into two forward-leaning rollover hoops covered in leather. The soft roof is supposed to have bubbles too, but we haven’t got to see those; one suspects they ran out of time.
We do get to see the cabin properly this time and most excellent it is, too, in contrasting brown leather and matte aluminum highlights plus the usual BMW switchgear.
There are no technical specs since this is just a show car, but as with the Coupe we can assume Z4 running gear and a 400bhp straight six engine. The Coupe underwent some road testing, so there is no reason to think the Roadster doesn’t run equally well.
There is not a lot more to say except that this really is an exceptionally well designed vehicle. There may be some who find the rear glass tail a little challenging, but I think it adds character. It's hard to say what kind of business model, internal politicking or homologation regime would be required to get the car into production, but after such positive reaction to the design there must surely be some future for such a successful collaboration.