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BMW showcases one-off Concept Skytop grand tourer. Image by BMW.

BMW showcases one-off Concept Skytop grand tourer
The new show car is being presented at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, and could preview the next 8 Series.
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What's all this about?

BMW has revealed a new one-off design study called the Concept Skytop to celebrate the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in Italy. With bodywork inspired by the Z8 of the 1990s, the convertible grand tourer is thought to hint at the future of the 8 Series, which will be ready for replacement in a few years’ time.

Concorso d’ what now?

Ah, yes. It’s a big Italian show that primarily celebrates the beauty of mint classics, but manufacturers use it to showcase their new products and their design language, too. Held on the shores of Lake Como, in the north of Italy, it’s one of the big events that punctuates the automotive calendar.

Ok, so what about the car?

Oh, of course. There isn’t all that much to say, really, except for a few comments on the design. Most notable is the targa shape, with a two-part leather-trimmed roof that can be removed and stowed in a special compartment in the boot. That means there’s a roll hoop at the back, into which BMW has integrated its classic ‘Hofmeister kink’ design.

Roof aside, the shape is not that dissimilar to that of the current 8 Series, with a low, wide stance and muscular haunches. But BMW has given it cleaner bodywork for a more modern aesthetic, even though the details hark back to the Z8. The shark nose, narrow grille and slim tail lights are all Z8 throwbacks, while the headlights follow the clean and modern aesthetic with the narrowest LED profile available.

What about the interior?

We have a sneaking suspicion the Concept Skytop is just a current 8 Series underneath, although we expect the production car to be a mechanical improvement, as well as an aesthetic one. But the concept still has a two-display cabin similar to that of the existing car, and the style doesn’t seem to have moved on all that much.

That said, the company has trimmed the cabin with brogue-style leather in a lovely shade of reddish-brown, and there are crystal accents dotted around for an allegedly more premium feel.

And the engine?

BMW has said very little about the powertrain, save for the fact it will be “the most powerful V8 in the BMW range,” which fuels the suspicion about this being an 8 Series underneath. We’re guessing it has the 4.4-litre, 625hp engine from an M8 Competition.

So when is the production car coming?

We don’t know — and BMW hasn’t even said there will be one — but we reckon this could be a design study for the next 8 Series, which is due some time after 2025. We probably won’t hear much more about it for a while yet.

James Fossdyke - 25 May 2024

2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.

2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.2024 BMW Concept Skytop. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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