You Could Get the Chance to Buy the New BMW Z4 Clownshoe
BMW might be willing to sell 50 examples of the Concept Touring Coupé—the modern Clownshoe—at $250,000 each, a spokesperson told Road & Track.
The idea for a Z4 coupé has been in the drawer since the current-generation roadster’s inception. Design chief Adrian van Hooydonk told Road & Track that the L.A.-based Designworks’ hardtop sketch had been filed under the “to be looked at at a later date'' folder for years, but was never forgotten by him. In fact, BMW even produced a full-size model of the coupé variant.
Following the previous Concorso d’Eleganza’s limited production 3.0 CSL, a car offered to a selected few despite BMW’s somewhat limited large-scale production setup, 2023’s Villa d’Este seemed like the perfect place to present a reworked shooting brake concept, a fast BMW promising pleasant long weekend road trips.
"I would like to sometimes do this sort of a special, more niche-type of a car," van Hooydonk said. "I think that's also good for our brand. To have some products that are a little bit lower volume, because what we would like to do of course is to cater to the direct individual taste of people all over the world."
With its seamless rear bodywork and completely stock Z4 Roadster underpinnings, this one-off was created by Superstile, the same Turin-based prototype coachbuilder who helped BMW with the recreation of Marcello Gandini's lost Bertone Garmisch concept, the genesis of the 5 Series. Once the Italians agreed the shooting brake was possible, a fully working prototype was scheduled to be finished for this May.
"I showed up on their doorstep in November, last year with a sketch," van Hooydonk said. "I didn't know if that would go over well but it did. They said that looks cool, that looks feasible. Give us two days to see if we can do this. And then, of course, I have to ask permission, but then, we went off."
With still no confirmed retail price in sight, the 50-unit production run of M4-based 3.0 CSLs was outsourced to smaller specialized workshops, with paint and assembly done by 30 experts before BMW’s quality control and sign-off were completed in-house. Like with the 3.0 CSL, there are a number of people who would like to put their money down for a Touring Coupé immediately as well. That is why production remains an open question for now. Just keep in mind that the Z4 Roadster has already been in production for four years, while van Hooydonk’s studios are also busy with a new concept for the Frankfurt Motor Show. Add the astronomical estimated cost and problematic scheduling to the picture, and it’s starting to look more and more unlikely for this stunning Z4 coupé concept to cut through the board members.
"We were fully booked with visionary concepts, so then, when we were thinking of Villa d'Este, the people who'd meet here, the event, we thought okay, it's too good of an opportunity to miss," van Hooydonk said. "But we had to do something that was easier to do, perhaps. And we didn't want to use every platform, every meeting to talk about the next ten years. We felt that the crowd, the public at Villa d'Este completely understands cars. They understand car design, so we don't have to explain too much. We just wanted to have that dream continue. We felt that this car could fulfill that dream."
What’s for sure is that van Hooydonk would like to see at least the color, the brown-grey Sparkling Lario making it into the options lists. The designer also points out that from a crash protection perspective, the Concept Touring Coupé is fine, since it kept all the structural elements of the roadster in place. That means this six-cylinder rear-drive shooting brake works, and it’s legal to drive. You just need a quarter of a million dollars and the ability to convince BMW to build you one.
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