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This is a BMW Zagato coupé. It’s very unusual for me to pay attention to, let alone write about cars. Living in London means that I have a car-free existence. So the last time I really paid a great deal of attention to car design was prior to the summer of 1998. As shapes got optimised over the years, car design got less and less interesting, so it was easy for me to not bother paying attention.
© Copyright BMW AG, München, Deutschland.
I found the BMW Zagato design collaboration interesting for a few reasons:
- By Zagato’s standards, the design is quite pedestrian. Just look at the 1980s vintage Aston Martin Vantage Zagato, Autech Zagato Stelvio AZ1 and the Alfa Romeo SZ
- It is a modern car with distinctly ‘classic’ lines. There are hints of pre-1970s Bristols, the Lancia Aurelia coupé (from the mid-1950s) and the Datsun 240Z Fairlady in the layout. This is very different to the BMW M1 sportscar that hung on my wall as a kid and had a much more futuristic feel to its design. The BMW Zagato coupé is looking back to a golden age of motoring. As a society (at least in the western hemisphere) we aren’t looking forwards so much any more, there are no great leaps forward like the space race or the earlier stages of Silicon Valley. This looks as if design is aimed more at its western audience
- Some of the lines in the body work remind me of Jack Telnack’s New Edge design language for Ford that looked to create surface tension by adding creases to smooth aerodynamic shapes. It is interesting to see how ideas ripple across time and sectors of an industry.
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