BMW Just Unveiled a Stunning New Open-Top Concept Inspired by the Legendary Z8

BMW wasn’t about to let Mercedes have all the fun.

The German luxury marque unveiled the new Concept Skytop this past weekend at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy. And, just like its rival’s new PureSpeed prototype, the handbuilt stunner sounds like it could be headed to production as an ultra-exclusive model.

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Like last year’s Concept Touring Coupe, which was based on the Z4, the Skytop is based on a pre-existing BMW model; in this case, the 8 Series Convertible, with some additional inspiration from the Z8. That two-seater is already an attractive vehicle, but some key changes take it to an entirely new level aesthetically.

The BMW Concept Skytop from behind
BMW Concept Skytop

The main difference is the open top that gives the car its name (the panels that make up the roof can be stored in the trunk). The heavily revised front fascia end features smaller, illuminated kidney grilles and razor-thin LED headlights. The prototype’s lines are more defined, similar to those on the brand’s M cars, and there’s a striking center spine that runs from the sculpted hood to the rear deck lid. Completing the package is a set of light alloy wheels covered in gill-like lamellas.

Inside the vehicle, the rear seats have been done away with a roll-over protection bar, but everything else looks as if it was borrowed wholesale from the 8 Series. The cabin is certainly plush—it is a BMW after all—but lacks any of the stylistic daring of the exterior, which is disappointing.

Inside the BMW Concept Skytop
Inside the Concept Skytop

The most surprising aspect about the Skytop, though, may be what’s under the hood. That’s because the prototype is gas-powered, unlike BMW’s recent Vision Neue Klasse concepts. The company didn’t mention any performance figures but did say that the vehicle will feature the most powerful V-8 powertrain in the company’s portfolio. That suggests it has the same twin-turbocharge 4.4-liter eight-cylinder from the M8 Competition, which produces 617 hp and 553 ft lbs of torque. That coupé can rocket from zero to 60 mph in just three seconds, so it seems safe to say that it will be one fast car.

The Skytop is a concept, but in the days since it made its debut, it’s become increasingly clear that it may also be a preview of a real model. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Car and Driver reports that BMW may build 50 examples. No price has been mentioned, but it is expected to cost significantly more than the range-topping 8 Series Convertible, the M8 Competition, which starts at around $150,000.

Click here for more photos of the BMW Concept Skytop.

The BMW Concept Skytop in Photos
The BMW Concept Skytop in Photos

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