Beautiful BMW Concept Skytop Finally Brings Back The Bangle Butt

For years now BMW has used the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to unveil its latest fantastical design concept, and this year is no different as BMW just revealed the Concept Skytop, a two-seat grand tourer that seems perfectly suited to driving around Lake Como. While there’s a lot to like with the Skytop, as someone who has always been obsessed with Chris Bangle and his time at BMW, I’m most excited by the Skytop bringing back the Bangle Butt.

Now, the butt isn’t exactly the same as it was when Bangle was actually at the helm of BMW design, but you can’t tell me the Skytop doesn’t give you total E63 6 Series vibes. I’m actually quite a big fan of a lot of BMW’s current designs — as you can probably tell for my love for the Bangle era, my favorite BMWs are the weirdest ones — but there’s no denying the Skytop is beautiful and a big improvement over the company’s current big coupes. The Skytop is based on the current M8 Competition, and it’s not hard to imagine that it previews what the next-generation 8 Series could look like.

Photo: BMW

Current head of design Adrian van Hooydonk (who actually penned the E63 6er based on Bangle’s prior Z9 concept) says the Skytop is meant to evoke the 503 of the 1950s, one of BMW’s most wonderful cars, as well as the retro Z8 roadster from 1998. The Skytop is one of BMW’s best modern interpretations of the shark nose front end, with angled kidneys almost meeting where the front end comes to a point and super thin LED headlights. The front bumper has large intakes but is blissfully fully body color and simpler than current BMW M cars. The rear end is similarly clean, with prominent round exhaust tips and Z8-like taillights.

The haunches are fantastically surfaced, and aside from a deep side skirt there’s not much messing up the clean lines. The Skytop has sharp flying buttresses connected by a leather rollbar that create the B-pillar and are reminiscent of the E63 cabrio’s roof design, and the rear deck has a subtle spear running down it, continuing the spear in the hood. I also really love the wheels, which BMW describes as having gill-like features, and the “silver with chrome shadow” paintwork that looks gorgeously gold.

Front seats of the BMW Concept Skytop

Photo: BMW

Not as exciting is the interior, which is basically the same as an 8 Series in overall design. Everything is finished in terracotta-colored leather with brogue accents, which looks lovely, and there are additional crystal components like the steering wheel spoke. The Skytop’s two leather roof panels are removable and can be stored in the trunk, and the rear window can be retracted, too.

BMW isn’t saying anything about whether a car like the Skytop will be produced or if it does in fact preview the next-gen 8 Series, but at the very least it’s proof for y’all that BMW can still design beautiful cars and proof for me that BMW can still design weird and interesting ones.

Side view of the BMW Concept Skytop

Photo: BMW

Rear of the BMW Concept Skytop

Photo: BMW

Front end of the BMW Concept Skytop

Photo: BMW

Interior of the BMW Concept Skytop

Photo: BMW

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