June 22, 2024
News

Elegant BMW Concept Skytop Resurrects the Iconic Bangle Design

For decades now BMW has utilized the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to showcase its newest imaginative design concept, and this year is no exception with the unveiling of the Concept Skytop, a two-seat grand tourer that appears ideal for cruising around Lake Como. While there are many appealing aspects to the Skytop, as a fervent admirer of Chris Bangle and his era at BMW, I am particularly thrilled by the revival of the Bangle Butt.

Although the butt may not be identical to what it was during Bangle’s tenure in BMW design, the Skytop undeniably exudes vibes reminiscent of the E63 6 Series. While I do appreciate many of BMW’s current designs – evidenced by my affection for the Bangle era – my preference lies with the more unconventional models. That being said, the Skytop is undeniably stunning and represents a significant enhancement over BMW’s present large coupes. Based on the current M8 Competition, it’s easy to envision the Skytop providing a glimpse of what the next-generation 8 Series might encompass.

The current head of design, Adrian van Hooydonk (who actually designed the E63 6er based on Bangle’s earlier Z9 concept), states that the Skytop aims to evoke the essence of the 1950s 503, one of BMW’s most remarkable vehicles, along with the nostalgic Z8 roadster from 1998. The Skytop offers one of BMW’s finest contemporary interpretations of the shark nose front end, boasting angled kidneys that almost converge where the front end tapers off and ultra-thin LED headlights. The front bumper features substantial intakes but maintains a blissfully uniform body color, presenting a simpler aesthetic compared to current BMW M cars. The rear end mirrors this simplicity with prominent round exhaust tips and Z8-inspired taillights.

The sculpted haunches are particularly striking, with minimal distractions from clean lines aside from a deep side skirt. The Skytop showcases sharp flying buttresses linked by a leather roll bar that forms the B-pillar and evokes the roof design of the E63 cabrio, while a subtle spear runs down the rear deck, continuing from the hood. The wheel design, described by BMW as having gill-like attributes, and the “silver with chrome shadow” paint finish add to the vehicle’s allure.

However, the interior, resembling that of an 8 Series in overall design, may not be as exciting. Adorned in terracotta-colored leather with brogue accents and featuring crystal elements like the steering wheel spoke, the interior exudes elegance. The Skytop’s two removable leather roof panels can be stored in the trunk, and the rear window is retractable as well.

BMW has not disclosed whether a production version of the Skytop is in the works or if it indeed offers a preview of the next-generation 8 Series. Nevertheless, it serves as a testament to BMW’s continued ability to craft beautiful cars for enthusiasts and showcases the brand’s capacity for designing unique and captivating vehicles.

**FAQ Section**

**Q: Is the Concept Skytop a production-ready model?**

A: BMW has not confirmed whether the Skytop will enter production or if it serves as a preview for the next-generation 8 Series.

**Q: What design elements distinguish the Skytop from BMW’s current lineup?**

A: The Skytop features a sleek, shark-nose front end, reminiscent of classic BMW models like the 503 and Z8, along with a clean rear design and unique wheel aesthetics.

**Conclusion**

In conclusion, the BMW Concept Skytop represents a harmonious blend of classic design cues and modern aesthetics, showcasing BMW’s ongoing commitment to crafting visually stunning and innovative vehicles. Whether or not the Skytop sees production, it serves as a testament to BMW’s design prowess and ability to captivate automotive enthusiasts with each new concept.

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