BMW resurrects the spirit of the original Z3 Coupe with a striking concept car called the Touring Coupé.
Unveiled at the 2023 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shore of Lake Como in Italy, the 2-seat concept aims to show how a modern-day coupe variant of the third-generation Z4 may have appeared had it been granted production approval by the German automaker.
Drawing on design ideas first explored on the Z3 Coupé launched in 1998 and followed up by the sleeker Z4 Coupe introduced in 2006, the Touring Coupé (pictured, below) retains the familiar styling of the latest Z4 roadster at the front but adopts a 2-door shooting brake (station wagon) silhouette at the rear to extend the impact of its appearance and provide it with added everyday practicality.
Destined to remain a one-off, the new concept was developed by a team at BMW’s Munich-based design studio.
“The BMW Concept Touring Coupé celebrates the original sheer driving pleasure,” says Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW design. “A highly emotional vehicle like this shows that the passion for everything that goes into driving pleasure has been essential through the ages and will be for the future.”
Among the Touring Coupé's key exterior elements is a brushed-aluminum-look kidney grille with vertical louvers (pictured, below) in place of the black plastic honeycomb mesh insert of the production Z4 roadster.
Farther back are a new windshield surround and a hardtop roof with a deep central channel. It runs back to blend seamlessly with new rear three-quarter panels, forming a wide pillar and substantial rear haunches.
Along the sides, there's a distinctively shaped glasshouse. It receives a rising waistline that tapers inward quite appreciably toward the rear, additional rear side windows and a prominent brushed-aluminum surround.
The rear is distinguished by a shallow liftback-style tailgate with a large spoiler element that visually extends the roof.
Inside (pictured, below), BMW has provided the Touring Coupé with a more luxurious cabin than the standard Z4 roadster. Highlights include tan leather seats with baseball mitt-style stitching. The same leather is used within the lower section of the dashboard, the center console and the luggage compartment at the rear.
BMW’s design team worked with the Schedoni leather workshop based in Modena, Italy, to create a custom-made luggage set (pictured, below) consisting of two larger and one small weekend bag, as well as a garment bag for the Touring Coupé.
BMW says it chose the Touring Coupé name for its new concept as a nod to the 328 Touring Coupé that won the Mille Miglia in 1940. It also says the shooting brake design recalls the 2002 Touring – the first modern-day BMW to receive the Touring name as a means of differentiating it from the 2002 sedan.