Now BMW’s just showing off.
Earlier this year, the automaker showed a small sports car called the BMW Zagato Coupe, a one-off concept based on the Z4 roadster that showed what can happen when you throw enough money at a prestigious design firm. After an overwhelmingly positive reception, BMW’s following up with the Zagato Roadster concept.
Debuted today, the BMW Zagato Roadster looks very much like the coupe that preceded it, albeit without a roof and with brilliant gray paint covering it instead of red. Of course, there are other differences between the two models, with a large, leather-covered rollbar sitting overtop the car’s seats, a signature double-bubble cloth top, and a softer rear-end shape, showing a continuing double-bubble theme trailing to the end of the car. Where the Zagato Coupe has a glass liftback sitting above its tail lights, the Zagato Roadster’s lights fall into the trunk’s shape, looking visually thinner underneath the car’s rear spoiler.
Like the Zagato Coupe, it was a collaboration between both the automaker and design house to draw up something unique, coachbuilt. Little “Z” shapes make up the car’s kidney grilles, and that theme follows into the interior. It’s a car defined by details, flowing with a little more irrationality and eccentricity than what the German BMW would ever put into one of its production cars.
The car makes its introduction at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California, showing its every curve to legions of connoisseurs entrenched in fine automotive culture. Seriously, they’re the sort who dress in period vintage clothing to match their cars and often have more money tied up in assets than frivolous things like, say, new cars.
That’s not to say they’re driving Duesenbergs and Tuckers to work every day—except for maybe Jay Leno. It’s more that they don’t often waste money on vehicles that depreciate.
But when they do, you can be sure BMW is there to cater to those whims, too. Also debuting at Pebble Beach this weekend is the 2013 BMW B7 Alpina, the BMW 650i Gran Coupe, the standard 2013 7 Series, M5 sports sedan, and the M6 coupe. If that weren’t enough, though, BMW is proving a few special treats to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the BMW M division.
At the Monterey Historic Motorsports Reunion, BMW will have on display a 1986 BMW-March GTP car, the 1980 BMW M1 Procar, and a 1975 BMW 3.5 CSL similar to the one that won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring. The CSL will be piloted in one of the races by none other than North American BMW president Ludwig Willisch. And because too much is never enough, BMW will also have a 1979 BMW M1—the first M car—on display, as well as the North American debut of the BMW M8 prototype, a 550-horsepower version of the 1990s BMW 8 Series that was never produced.
In fact, for the longest time, BMW denied its existence. BMW had intended to make it but stopped short after the sports car market crumbled in the 1990s. Additionally, BMW went through with producing the 380-horsepower 850CSi, which effectively ended the need for BMW to produce such a supercar.
All the cars will be available to the public at Pebble Beach this weekend for the not-so-modest fee of $250 per ticket. If you can’t make it out there, though, worry not. We’ll be reviewing several of the above cars in the coming weeks.
BMW probably won’t let us have a crack at the M8, though.