It's nearly time for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the weekend of automotive pageantry on the shores of Italy's Lake Como. First held in 1929, BMW has partnered with the event for more than 20 years and has much to celebrate this year. This being the 50th anniversary of the M division, Bavarian Motor Works has chosen the bash by the lake for the global debut of the M4 CSL. The reveal will introduce the world to M branch's third-ever Coupe Sport Leichtbau after the 1973 3.0 CSL and the 2004 E46 M3 CSL. From what we've seen of spy shots, expect intakes on top of intakes filled with unique grille mesh, unique headlights, a splitter and ducktail spoiler, some weight loss, and perhaps 540 horsepower from the S58 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six.
Sticking with the German-Italian exchange program, BMW Motorrad will display a special version of the M 1000 RR superbike tied to the M4 CSL. Regrettably, that will be one of the few motorcycle displays since organizers have declined to resume the Concorso di Motociclette. Back to cars, there will be a judged showcase — one of seven — called "50 Years of Mean Machinery," a 50th anniversary M showcase with vehicles from the Classic Collection, three 'Ring Taxis, and plenty of private entries. We have a feeling the "Born for the racetrack: 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday'" will star a few M cars as well.
The battery-electric i7 xDrive60 makes its public debut Villa d'Este accompanied by "historic eye-catchers" of from the model lineup. Can anyone say "E38?" BMW will host a Wheels & Weisswürscht Lake Como event, combining the casual celebration of cars with the white sausage that's a Bavarian breakfast specialty. Expanding the brand family reunion, Rolls-Royce is flying over the latest gem in its four-year Boat Tail series.
Beyond Germany, BMW makes special space for Ferrari's 75th anniversary with the showcase, "The Cavallino at 75: eight decades of Ferrari represented in eight icons." Four more judged classes will be in session over the weekend, including "The golden age of elegance: the art deco era of motor car design," "Kompressor! The supercharged Mercedes-Benz," and "Celebrating 150 seasons at Villa d’Este: how grand entrances were once made," and "Breaking the speed barrier: pioneers that pursued the magic 300 kph." Since Villa d'Este is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a luxury hotel, it gets a class, too, with "Celebrating 150 seasons at Villa d'Este: how grand entrances were once made." That one fetes vehicles that have won the Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este,, the event's Best of Show trophy, since 1929.
The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este takes place May 20-22. Circle that weekend on your calendar.