20 Aug 2012

BMW Zagato Roadster - official pictures

In our opinion the last truly handsome BMW was the E24 6 series which existed from 1976 to 1989.  Through the 90s BMWs were renowned for their power, handling, no-nonsense interiors and Germanic but functional bodywork.

And then in 1992 BMW employed Chris Bangle.  Bangle designed the hideous Z9 whose stylistic concept started filtering through to the entire range and, despite the fact Bangle left in 2009, BMW still seems to utilise his designs and ideas in it's current range.

For us the worst of these are seen in the Z4.  The once proud kidney grille has been transformed into a widened, nostril-flared, gormless snout.  The bonnets are curvy swoopy affairs who's lines are in all the wrong places.  The diagonal line from front wheel arch to A pillar is just wrong.  The droopy line, evident in most BMW's, that sits along the lower portion of the flanks of the car looks like someone has trodden on a small running board whilst the metal is still partially malleable.  The rear end is the only part of the Z4 bodywork that doesn't look silly.

And these cues run across the entire BMW range with the only exceptions being the X3 and X5 SUVs who manage to look like proper BMWs rather than something put together by a Californian on acid.

So it is with joy that we survey these pictures of the latest collaboration between Zagato and BMW.

The BMW Zagato Roadster follows on from the coupe that was also designed by Zagato for BMW.  It just looks right.  The droopy flank line has been straightened, the bonnet completely redesigned, the diagonal line gone to be replaced with a lovely cutaway, the grille has been reshaped and the rear end is of almost Aston Martin elegance.  The whole car has been rendered muscular - and pretty.

This is only a concept put together in six weeks for the Pebble Beach Concourse D'Elegance but we hope BMW takes note that it is possible to create a BMW can have power, handling and look sensational.

Hopefully this will represent a turning point for a company who make fantastic, yet poorly designed cars.

Come on BMW - put it into production and start to utilise these styling cues in the rest of your range.  Please.