Big, bold, brash, and beautiful, BMW has unveiled its latest concept car for Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, one of the world’s premier shows for ultra-rare, highly desirable antique cars. As its chief sponsor, BMW has introduced new concepts at the show for the past few years.
This year, the car of choice is the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe, a large, V-12-powered tourer that harkens back to the 8 Series of the 1990s. BMW said in the past that the 6 Series was never really a substitute for the dearly departed 8. We can see what the automaker meant now.
Designed in collaboration with Pininfarina, the design house that has brought the world many of the world’s most beautiful cars, most of which are Ferraris and Alfa Romeos, BMW has made this large-and-in-charge one-off a fixture of what BMW represents today and what it was in the past, reanimating the “shark nose” grille from the BMW 3.0CS series of the 1970s. The front is traditional BMW, except with full LED headlights. The back is more futuristic and a freer interpretation of what a sporting coupe is, according to Pininfarina.
Under the hood of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is the familiar twin-turbocharged BMW V-12 with what we assume is the same 530 horsepower from the BMW 760Li; BMW hasn’t said whether it is or whether it’s a unit pulled from a Rolls-Royce with even more power.
Like the BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster of years past, the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is likely headed for a museum after this–maybe a short production run for well-heeled buyers who have AmEx Centurion cards. That’s sad. While the 6 Series does fill the niche of $100,000-plus grand tourers quite well, BMW lacks a car that scoffs in the face of people who ask “How much?” Mercedes-Benz has a few; so does Audi with its latest R8 models.
BMW doesn’t have anything between the 760Li and Rolls-Royce. Perhaps a warm reception will help BMW rectify that and shove it into the face of those who think austerity is necessary. We can only hope.