Modern influences dominate the appearance of the Concept Coupé
at other points also; the latest series technology is used under the timeless sheath of the study: the drive components in the BMW Z4
M Coupé, the most powerful version of the purist-sporty two-seater. The engine and suspension in the uncompromising sports car are given a totally new calling in the BMW Concept Coupé. They create the ideal basis for outstanding dynamics, for which the Concept Coupé must distinguish itself, as if it were conceived for driving on the road – or a racetrack. And, even though this idea remains purely theoretical, the relationship of traditional heritage and modern technology in this form makes complete sense. The BMW Z4 M Coupé
is standing at the temporary end of a long family history of sports cars from BMW. Powerful engines
, high efficiency, intelligent lightweight construction, aerodynamic shaping and enthusiastic design lend it its individual character.
The BMW Concept Coupé surmounts the BMW Z4 M Coupé by 23 centimetres length. Furthermore, it is 14 centimetres wider but 4 centimetres flatter than its counterpart approved for road traffic. The extremely short front body overhang is especially noticeable. On the other hand, the tail section is markedly gentle and stretched wide for aerodynamic reasons.
The BMW Concept Coupé is seeking company with the BMW 328 and BMW Z4 M Coupé. And is exhibiting the common ground between the classic role model and its modern heir at the same time. Initially, the BMW 328 was conceived as an open two-seater. Only when the regulations of the 24-hour race in Le Mans also permitted closed vehicles was the order for the BMW 328 awarded: to design a suitable, light-as-possible and aerodynamic body. The modern development process for the BMW Z4 Coupé had a similar character. The BMW Z4 Roadster had already been established and was already successful when the body for the closed-in sister model was completely revamped.
On top of that, the BMW Concept Coupé
provokes one to intensively delve into the history of engine construction. The study used a six-cylinder in-line powerplant as the power source. That was already the case in the BMW 328; that’s the case in the BMW Z4 M Coupé also. Six cylinders arranged in line
were and are the ideal pattern for successful propulsion. More than 70 years of the history
of the development of the six-cylinder in-line engine are reflected in the Concept Coupé – a slice of history where the opening chapter is just as fascinating as the certainly only temporary ending.
That they let the 1971 cubic centimetre BMW 328 engine be strengthened from originally 80 to up to 136 PS is something that is still seen as proof of the excellent skills of the BMW engineers of yore. Both the cylinder capacity as well as the power-to-weight-ratio in the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé marked best values and provided an impressive proof of BMW’s engine competence. Nowadays, much higher demands are made on the efficiency and effectiveness of engines. But BMW continues to set the landmarks for that which is technically feasible. The exceptionally high performance of the six-cylinder in-line engine in the BMW Z4 M Coupé now draws its power from a displacement of 3, 246 cubic centimetres; its power is rated at 252 kW/343 PS. When compared to its forefathers, the fuel consumption for the 2.0 litres of displacement is meanwhile actually lower. Regardless how much the requirements and technical opportunities have transformed, the six-cylinder in-line engine from BMW and BMW M has remained the benchmark of its time.
The modern power unit in the BMW Concept Coupé displays its advantage very impressively; also acoustically. Modifications made to the intake and exhaust system give the concept vehicle an engine sound uncompromisingly attuned to racing sports tonality. A muffled rumble in idle already signals that kind of expectant impatience that the BMW Concept Coupé would also radiate optically at the starting line of a racetrack. At 4,900 rpm, exactly the engine speed where the maximum torque of 365 Newton metres is reached, the powerful-raw timbre of the six-cylinder has already intensified to a fanfare-like sound experience.
The driver’s and his co-pilot’s surroundings are also much different from everything that sports car enthusiasts were used to up to now. Completely free of the conventions that arise during series-ripe concept studies, the designers helped the BMW Concept Coupé
to an incomparable interior. Limits on the functionality, the material selection and both the optical and haptic impression valid until now were consciously burst through; customary design and fabrication techniques were replaced by completely new methods. Thus an interior was born in which the structure of the surfaces and forms achieve totally new effects. At the same time, gaps and contours have their own functionality; metal plied by hand impressively accentuates the characteristics of the material. All surfaces are brought out uninterrupted and unadorned. Neither decorating trim nor rings or frames impair their purist impression.
Even letterings, logos and symbols are not, for instance, additionally attached but are embossed into the respective metal component using laser technology.Using extra-flat rolled stainless steel, untreated cowhides and Lycra fabric, a total of exactly three materials are deployed in the interior of the BMW Concept Coupé. The processing methods were also reduced to a minimum selection. All components were either stitched together or clamped to each other using a special technique. The impression of surfaces and controls resulting from this imparts the occupants an impression of ambience that is just as futuristic as exclusive.
While designing the interior elements, the designers combined the use of traditional materials and the application of innovative processing methods with each other. While doing so, they achieved a result that is unique in automobile construction and loaded with incredible effects. Especially conspicuous: the implementation of V2a stainless-steel processing in the cockpit and the centre console area. More than just the purist unpretentious material itself, that kind of shaping sets a fascinating accent. The metal sheets, rolled to a thickness of only one millimetre, are multi-folded to take up the final surface structure of the respective component. Beforehand, the metal sheets are given a precisely cut fold on the intended edges. This is carried out using a laser technology developed especially for this purpose. This facilitates extremely exact remodelling, which leads to exceptional stability of the completed component on top of that.
Everywhere where two metal components meet, they are clamped together absolutely flush using laser cut castellations. Gaps are only present where they could and above all should take on a function at the same time; for instance, the transition between the dashboard support and the centre console is used as additional storage space. That transforms the gap from an undesirable side effect accruing when two components are connected into a consciously inserted design element. That is another way in which the interior of the BMW Concept Coupé opens up entirely new perspectives in automobile engineering.
While working the metal, the interior designers let themselves be inspired by traditional paper folding techniques. There also, forms and structures are created without artificial connections, which despite their light weights offer impressive stability. By the way, this is not the first time the art of Origami, originating in Japan, has inspired automobile construction. The folding technique used to accommodate airbags in the smallest possible space is also essentially influenced by this method. But for designing entire interior landscapes, this solution represents something of a revolutionary accent.
Connecting tradition with innovation also led to a new aesthetic when processing the leather in the BMW Concept Coupé interior. Several layers of the merely tanned, but other than that natural cowhides are pressed into each other. Thus a three dimensional leather-mould part emerges that, among other things, imparts a new haptic feeling in the seating and middle console sections. Furthermore, the undyed leather underlies a natural maturing process, leading to attractive patina effects over the years.
The leather and Lycra elements are connected among and with one another using especially subdued stitches. Even metal and leather is stitched together wherever they meet. The three materials dominating the interior of the concept vehicle consist of highly varying characters: one is a metal created for infinite solidity, one an untreated and therewith living natural material and one made of modern, hardwearing plastic fibres. Despite all these contrasts, they create an extremely attractive combination in which the aesthetic effect arises from unadulterated functionality.
That is the continuation of the interior that the BMW Concept Coupé already expresses with its body design. Classical values gain a fascinating attraction when they are interpreted in new ways. Pioneering concepts do not emerge just from up to date expertise but also require an awareness of historic roots. The BMW Concept Coupé shows what opportunities arise from that. This unique vehicle could only have been built by automobile developers who groom traditions based on their convictions, purposefully use their competence and who are open to new visions in all areas.