BMW previews shapely Villa d'Este-bound concept

BMW has a longstanding tradition of traveling to the annual Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance — which it sponsors — to unveil a one-off concept. This year's edition of the event is around the corner, and the brand gave us an early look at what it's bringing to Lake Como.

Posting on Instagram, BMW design boss Domagoj Dukec published a preview image that he captioned "the sky is the limit." It shows a sharp crease that seemingly runs down the model's passenger-side quarter panel. His caption suggests that we're looking at a convertible, but we'll need to be patient to learn more. What's seemingly certain is that nothing in BMW's current range of models looks like the concept.

Most of the design studies that BMW has brought to Villa d'Este in recent memory trace their roots to historic cars. In 2023, the company showed the Z4-based Concept Touring Coupé created as a modern take on the Z3-based Clown Shoe coupe. We've also seen concepts inspired by the original Mini, the 2002, the 3.0 CSL, and the M1, among several others. On one hand, this trend might point us in the right direction; BMW has several emblematic convertibles to revisit on its résumé. On the other hand, there's nothing that looks quite like this one.

While this is pure speculation, one option is a modern take on a Z car. The first Z was the Z1, which made its debut in 1987 but didn't enter production until 1989. It had funky doors that slid down into the rocker panels. Or, how about the Z8? This gorgeous, 507-inspired limited-edition roadster made its debut in the 1999 James Bond film "The World is Not Enough," so it's turning 25 this year (although deliveries didn't start until later). Of course, we're not discounting the possibility that we're looking at something else entirely. As Dukec put it: Stay tuned.

The 2024 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance opens its doors on May 24, and more details about BMW's concept will emerge soon.

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