We’ve all seen it before. A Manufacturer brings out a stunning concept car at an auto show, becomes the adoration of the press and public and then either 1) kills it or 2) kills it. Now there are two ways a company can kill a concept car. They can decide to simply not build it. Infiniti is well known for releasing lavish concepts as part of a ‘design study’ that say, “Oh yes, this is what we could build, but we won’t.” Then why bother?
The second way of killing a concept is to completely and utterly destroy the original design language of the concept. In short, ruin and make ugly. Or worst, boring. So when I first saw the Concept Z4 (Will it actually be called Z4? Or maybe Z5? or the Zupra?) in person at the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance in August, I was wonderfully excited to see a BMW that really didn’t look like a BMW. Gone is the they-all-look-alike stigma of recent BMWs. Here is something fresh. If it didn’t have a kidney grille on it, I wouldn’t know it was a BMW.
I will admit, the proportions are pretty eerily close to a Corvette, but that’s no such bad thing. This is a good looking car. Extravagant yet also restrained, meaning there’s no excess amount of vents and spoilers, yet it just looks expensive. Though, looking at the pictures again, it almost has an element of ‘flame surfacing’ to it along the doors…in no bad way though.
I love the new lower front fascia, a new interpretation on the now classic BMW M tri-intake arrangement. I love how that one line flows uninterrupted from the front fender vent all the way to the tail lights, and then becomes part of the tail lights. As Jonny Lieberman told me, and I must agree with him, it is a bit “Bitey” with its pronounced, oversized kidney grilles. They do give it some presence indubitably.
And my favorite part: The interior. How has a production car not had an asymmetrical interior? That is, half the interior is an orangey tan, the other is black and using different materials. Seeing it with the naked eye, it is freaking cool, all professionalism aside. Please! Please, please, please make it to production with an optional interior of this nature. I’m just imagining it now, optional blue for driver and white for passenger. Or Black and red. The possibilities are endless! As Shia LaBeouf would say to BMW: “Just do it!”
I have my worries though. I feel BMW might take away those deliciously thin rear lights, the interior, and put a corporate front fascia on it. Recently, there was a leak on the internet of a production 8 Series. There were two small photos, but if they are accurate, then BMW has indeed tamed the also daring 8 Series Concept into something all too pedestrian and without any original flair. I hope it was fake, because if it’s real, i know the same treatment will befall this new Z4. Please, BMW liven it up a bit, make something crazy. Make something a little less German.