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BMW Better Make This Stunning M8 Skytop Targa Concept, Or Else

BMW's contribution to this year's Villa d’Este is, once again, a one-off prettier than anything it's willing to sell you.

BMW always brings its A-game to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este (which isn’t surprising, given that the event is hosted by BMW Classic), and this year will be no different. The Bavarians are bringing the prettiest thing they’ve designed in years to the shores of Lake Como, Italy this weekend—the BMW Concept Skytop, a beautiful drop-top throwback to some of the brand’s most elegant classic roadsters.

Over the past few years, BMW’s concepts have been radical looking EVs, with shockingly large grilles and roughly a million horsepower. But the Skytop is different. Instead of big hulking batteries and electric motors, the Skytop rocks a good, old-fashioned V8. Specifically, it’s a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged “S68” that makes 617 horsepower, plucked from the M division. As with all V8-powered M cars, it’s paired with an eight-speed auto, but BMW doesn’t say whether it’s rear or all-wheel drive. Probably because it will never reach production, like most of BMW’s concepts, so it doesn’t matter either way.

It’s a real shame that the Skytop will likely never be built, as it’s a stunning piece of design. According to BMW Group’s head of design, Adrian van Hooydonk, the Skytop was inspired by the BMW 503 and Z8, though I’m not so sure I see either in it.

The front end is low and pointy, like that of an E24 M6, but the rest is unique for BMW. It has a stunning silhouette, with its targa-style roof, aggressively raked B-pillar, muscular rear wheel arches, and even a cool Hofmeister kink built into the side window cutout. There are stunning details, too, like the massive hood vent that leads into a spine, which continues to the trunk lid. Speaking of trunk lid, the aforementioned spine, along with its roof cross bar, give off nautical vibes that remind me of the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail concept.

Peep inside, though, and you’ll quickly see the Skytop’s true DNA—a BMW M8. The waterfall-ish center stack, shift lever, and BMW’s last-gen digital gauge cluster give it away. Although, for Skytop-duty, BMW did at least bestow uniquely brown leather seats with some “brogue-style” accents.

Will the BMW Concept Skytop ever become a reality? It’s doubtful. BMW revealed an awesome and almost universally loved concept at last year’s Villa d’Este, the Z4 Concept Touring Coupe. Rumors swirled that it might actually see production, until the company squashed those rumors in February. If BMW refused to build the concept that the world begged it for, regrettably, the same would seem to hold true for this. Shame, though, because the Skytop is beautiful.

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