This year for the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, BMW will present a new concept vehicle, the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. The concept, a collaboration between the German carmaker and the famed Italian automotive design house of Pininfarina, is described by BMW as “the exclusive interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina.”
Pininfarina was selected for this project, said notes Karim Habib, head of BMW Design, because “you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity.”
As for Pininfarina, head of design Fabio Filippini said, “The result of this cooperative venture is far greater than the sum of its parts. When two such tradition-rich and experienced brands join forces to turn a vision into reality, something utterly new and exciting emerges. From start to finish, this project was defined by a mutual respect for the identity of the other company.”
The 2013 BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé is the most modern of a series of concepts to be displayed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, an elegant affair that makes the words “car show” sound like something you’d hold between thumb and forefinger and gingerly drop overboard…except that you wouldn’t want to spoil the waters of Lake Como off the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, where the event has been held since 1929 and for the past decade in coordination with the BMW Group.
For 2010, BMW brought its 2006 Mille Miglia debutante, the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupe, a Chris Bangle take on the 1940 Mille-winning coupe. For 2011, BMW followed with the BMW 328 Hommage, a radical roadster concept inspired by the BMW 328 roadsters and celebrating the 75th anniversary of the 1936 BMW 328 that dominated its class in sports car racing in the late 1930s. Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW v.p. of design, describes the BMW 328 Hommage here.
Last year, BMW unveiled its first Villa d’Este debutante collaboration with an Italian design firm. The 2012 BMW Zagato Coupe, an Italian interpretation of the BMW Z4 in a road-legal configuration, in a collaboration BMW and the storied Zagato carrozzeria.
For 2012, Pininfarina designed a larger four-place coupe, reportedly large enough inside for four adults. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, considering the name, roughly resembles the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe. The Pininfarina design brings only two doors to the table. The front end, though retaining the BMW twin kidney grille, has sharper elements, the grille canted noticeably forward, the headlights hooded, and a wide lower edge opening across the bottom that leads to large cheek scoops on either end.
The front fenders are marked with a long Corvette-like vent and cove treatment highlighting a “V12” badge. The rear surface is deeply creased with taillights linked by a band across the rear.
According to BMW, “Liberal surface areas and taut contours are the distinguishing elements of an elegant car body. Typical BMW proportions – a long wheelbase, stretched bonnet and set-back greenhouse – imbue the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with imposing dynamics even when stationary. At the same time the car exudes balance and harmony: BMW values such as technology, dynamics and precision are complemented by the skilled craftsmanship of Pininfarina to create a very special holistic experience.”
Undoubtedly, the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé is a hole—istic or not—that we’d like to find ourselves in, or even sharing the lawn at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Well, maybe next year, for whatever BMW brings in 2014.