This new BMW concept convertible looks better than any of its real cars

May 24, 2024 by

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BMW Concept Skytop evokes company’s classic roadsters, will debut at Villa d’Este

  • New concept car features athletic design and an open top
  • Clean lines and a sensible sized grille
  • Concept Skytop has a V8 engine
  • Design is inspired by 503 and Z8 roadsters
  • Will be shown off at Concorso d’Eleganza on the shores of Lake Como

Every year, many of the world’s most rare, exotic and beautiful cars descend on Villa d’Este on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como for the annual Concorso d’Eleganza. This time around, BMW has created a new vehicle purely to show off at the concours.

Named the BMW Concept Skytop, it’s a V8-powered convertible with styling inspired by some of the company’s greatest hits. And, while concept car styling can often be quite ‘out there’, the Concept Skytop holds the dubious honour of being far more attractive than any of BMW’s current road cars. A look into the manufacturer’s future styling efforts?

BMW Concept Skytop – design and styling

The Concept Skytop has a very clean design, with little ornamentation and only a few strong lines defining the body. It’s very long, wide and low, with a distinct point to the front end which really evokes the feel of the ‘Shark Nose’ styling that debuted with the Neue Klasse back in the 1960s.

The slim headlights and continuous styling detail that runs from the bonnet, through the interior and onto the tailgate is a callback to the BMW Z8 roadster, while the use of a V8 engine under the bonnet mirrors both the Z8 and the classic 503.

In the pursuit of clean lines, BMW’s hidden the door handles into little winglets on the door trim, while the turbine-style alloy wheels are precisely finished.

What’s most striking, though, is that BMW hasn’t fitted the Concept Skytop with the enormous grille present on many of its production cars. The modest-sized kidney grille is illuminated, but it’s of a very sensible size and enhances rather than distracts from the car’s elegant look.

The roof isn’t a true convertible in the sense that it has a folding section – instead, the leather-finished rollbar behind the two seats supports two removable roof sections. These are also finished in leather and can be stored in the car’s luggage space.

BMW Concept Skytop – interior

The Concept Skytop has a fairly conventional interior, which looks very similar to that in the 8 Series Convertible. That means it’s pretty restrained by concept car standards, with a separate infotainment and driver display rather than the single-piece cinematic affair used on more recent BMWs.

It even has a full panel of switchgear for climate controls, a proper gear selector and even a rotary iDrive controller for the infotainment system – positively retro.

It is elevated rather by the finishing, though. While the crystal accents on the gear lever and centre console are common to many production BMW models, the brogue-style stitching and reddish-brown tone of the interior leather is unique to the Concept Skytop and was chosen to pair with the muted silver of the exterior paintwork.

BMW Concept Skytop – engine and performance

BMW says that the Concept Skytop has ‘the most powerful V8 engine in the BMW drive train portfolio’. That in itself is a pleasant surprise, when more and more concept cars seem to be electric vehicles.

With this knowledge, plus the fact that the Concept Skytop’s interior is so similar to that of the 8 Series, it’d be a fair assumption that it shares many of its mechanicals with the BMW M8 Convertible. This uses the aforementioned V8 engine too, and pumps out a massive 625hp.

The M8 Convertible is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in just 3.3 seconds. While the Concept Skytop does not have any official performance figures – we doubt it ever will – it might be able to post similar numbers to this.

BMW Concept Skytop – when can I buy one?

If you’re rich enough to find yourself at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza on Saturday May 25th, and you happen to have a blank chequebook, you might be able to twist BMW chief Oliver Zipse’s arm. For us normal people, the Concept Skytop will remain a pipe dream.

However, it’s possible that it previews a – less extreme – final hoorah for the brand’s combustion-powered convertibles. Watch this space…

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