Compared to the Coupe, the Roadster features a lower-slung rear end and an additional line which, BMW says, “forges a visual connection” between the sill and the rear apron and sets of the car’s rear-end nicely.
Instead of a folding hard top, like the standard Z4, BMW and Zagato have opted for a soft top. Mind you, despite being a roadster, it doesn’t fail to incorporate the “doppia gobba” or twin roof domes that are a Zagato signature mark in the roof cover panel.
This being an open-top car, Zagato has designed a pair of roll bars for additional protection. “The low, dynamic roll-bars, inspired by an airplane wing, are an eye-catcher that makes the BMW Zagato Roadster recognizable from a distance”, says Zagato’s head of design, Norihiko Harada.
According to BMW, the grey paintwork makes the Roadster’s body look like it is wrapped in a cloak of liquid metal, as it changes from dark grey to light silver, depending on how it is lighted.
Unsurprisingly, the cabin is identical to the Coupe’s. The main difference is that instead of the fixed-roof version’s all-black interior, in the Roadster there’s a lot of brown leather starting from the door sills and extending to the top of the dashboard and behind the seats, including the roll-over bars.
As with the previous Coupe study, BMW didn’t say if it has any plans to produce the Roadster model.
The Italian firm’s vision of a Z4 Coupe embodies traditional Zagato styling traits such as the double bubble roof and the classic Kamm Tail. But there is more to the Zagato Coupe as virtually every panel of the Z4 roadster has been redesigned.
Among other highlights that stand out are the countless small matt Zagato “z” letters that make up the double kidney grille, an elongated bonnet with air scoops and more muscular rear fenders.
“For me, the BMW Zagato Coupé holds a very special magic. It exudes a certain spontaneity which, when combined with the type of unconventional solutions typical of Zagato, lend the car a very individual elegance,” says Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada.
The interior was more or less left in stock form aside from model-specific trim and colors.
So is the Zagato Coupe a pure concept or does BMW have a production model in mind? Well, hard to say because BMW avoided using either term in its official press statement.
For starters, BMW does not use the word ‘concept’ simply referring to the car as the Zagato Coupé. Furthermore, BMW and Zagato state that this is not a static study but a fully functional model that is registered for road use and meets all the legal requirements worldwide. The car has even been driven at high speeds during testing on the BMW test track.
“Zagato has always provided its customers with ready-to-drive cars which can be sent into action on the road or race track without further ado – and the BMW Zagato Coupé fits the same template,” says Dr Andrea Zagato.
He continues: “It is relatively easy to build a design study which is not intended for use on the road. Not having to meet any stipulations governing crash safety or pedestrian protection opens up a host of new avenues in terms of design. The challenge lies in injecting the emotional appeal of a concept car into a road-legal machine. And we think we have succeeded in doing just that with the BMW Zagato Coupé.”