BMW Unveils Handbuilt Zagato Coupé

Keeping a longstanding tradition of unveiling stunning, hand-built one-off cars, the 2012 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was the showcase for BMW and coachbuider Zagato to show off the new BMW Zagato Coupé. Uninspired name aside, the new coupé looks amazing, incorporating Zagato trademarks like a subtle double-bubble roof and a long-front/truncated rear profile. The rear has an ample window, divided into an upper and lower section, not unlike the sexiest CRX you could possibly imagine.

The long hood/short rear proportions are a tried and true formula for exciting automotive desire, and the sculpted rear haunches give the car a muscular, athletic feel. There's some interesting details and design inspirations on the car, such as the matte-frame kidney grilles being inspired by the geodesic dome work of Buckminister Fuller, according to BMW's press release. If you look at the angled edges of the traditional kidneys, you can see what they mean. The grille mesh is a pattern of interlocked "Z"s, for, of course, Zagato.

Everything about the car smacks of a blank-check, try-anything-cool design study. Listen to what's said about the paint:

View gallery »

The primer coat – made up of a black application, followed by a layer of shimmering metallic silver – is applied first. Then come six ultra-thin coats of the exclusively developed red shade to deliver this unique effect. Finally, two layers of clear coat seal in the colour.

The result of the unique paint process is a shade of Rosso Vivace that ranges from deep black to vivid red depending on the lighting, and, probably, your mood.

The interior carries the design themes as well, from a strong horizontal linear focus to the overall look to a special hat bag (hat bag?) and travel bad made especially for the car. The travel bag's design echo's the Zagato double-bubble roof as well.

The car is entirely drivable and street legal, so when you daydream about owning it, feel free to daydream about driving it legally. BMW has also produced a short video about the car, showing the two main designers from each firm discussing the car, its design, and wandering artfully through black-and-white European streetscapes.