German Power and Italian Sheet metal – The new BMW Zagato Coupe
An artistic lesson in high speed.
Zagato has a way of creating brilliant works of art using sheet metal that makes eyes well up with tears of joy and excitement. Their latest collaboration with BMW is a one-off masterpiece that is set to make its public debut at the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The BMW Zagato Coupe is a handcrafted automobile that is registered and ready to go on the road or racetrack and is the latest design in a history between the two companies that stretches over 80 years.
The partnership between Italian designers and BMW has yielded in iconic designs such as the Isetta, 1959 BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale, 1959 BMW 700, 1962 BMW 3200 CS Bertone, and 1978 BMW M1. The collaboration has resulted in another one-of-a-kind automobile with traditional sports car proportions and a modern design.
The BMW Zagato Coupe features a long hood that flows into a cockpit that is set towards the rear to showcase the car’s rear-wheel drive power. The customary double-bubble roof and Kamm Tail make the exclusive sports car instantly recognizable as a collaboration between Zagato and BMW.
The front of the BMW Zagato Coupe was designed to be three-dimensional and give the car a striking character. Two sets of circular headlights are positioned at an angle and almost flow into the hood and contoured fender lines. The traditional kidney bean grille with BMW logo stares ahead. The two grilles were inspired by Buckmister Fuller geodetic structures and feature matte Zagato “Z” letters that form octagons and appear to be floating at a distance. The fascia is dynamic and was made to appear as though the car is in mid pounce. This is accentuated by the sweeping and contoured hood with air intakes that seamlessly flows into the iconic double-bubble roof. The Zagato design feature not only improves torsional rigidity, but also allows for extra room in the interior and improves the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the sports car.
The entire silhouette of the BMW Zagato Coupe is pushed towards the rear to create a dynamic design and emphasize the rear-wheel drive layout. Two side air vents are carved into the front fenders and flaunt the car’s performance capabilities. A pair of chrome “Z” badges is worn beneath the powerful shapes cut into the fenders. The lines along each side flow and swell into two powerful rear wheel arches, and then stream upwards to a distinct spoiler at the tail. Special 19-inch, matte-finished five-spoke alloy wheels were fitted and feature a propeller design as homage to the history of both BMW and Zagato.
At the rear, Zagato gave the coupe a Kamm-tail layout that negates the need for a spoiler other than the simple lip that is integrated into the car’s sheet metal. The design was used in early BMW and Alfa models that is functional and improves the overall aerodynamics of the sports car. The Kamm-tail was integrated into a very muscular, low-slung rear that makes the BMW Zagato Coupe appear as though it is securely planted on the road surface. The bottom of the bumper features a large diffuser to create a suction effect at higher speeds and houses dual exhaust tips that mimic the outlines of the taillights.
The muscular lines and beautiful figure that was handcrafted by Zagato wears a unique, Rosso Vivace paint. The exclusive paint finish emits a range of colors from a darker black shade to a vibrant red. This effect was achieved by using a black primer coat covered in shimmering metallic silver followed by six incredibly thin layers of the unique red shade and then two layers of clear coat to complete the color. Each of the windows is also tinted to give a sportier presence to the BMW Zagato Coupe.
Inside the rearward cockpit is a typical BMW driver-focused interior design with a touch of Zagato flavor. Light and dark grey leather adorns each of the seats, instrument panel, and doors with contrasting red stitching. Special “Z” logos are embroidered into each of the seatbacks as a nod to Zagato. Sporty, handcrafted lines were fitted to the entire interior and create an impressively classy and powerful design. The trunk features the dual grey theme and red lines that mimic the double-bubble roof shapes.
The finishing touch in the BMW Zagato Coupe is a luggage set comprised of a hat bag and travel bag. Both bags were given the Zagato touch and color scheme to match the interior of the sports car. The travel bag features a double-bubble form to match the roof and keeps the shape even when empty.
The BMW Zagato Coupe will go on display for the first time at the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. There are no plans for production and the collaboration will remain a one-off model.
BMW Zagato Coupe Gallery