The BMW Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006 pays homage to the skills, successes and the visions of the motor sports pioneers of the past, created by its modern successors.
The Concept Coupé Mille Miglia 2006 is neither a copy of a successful racing car nor is it being used as a herald for future series models.
According to BMW, the Concept Coupé’s design "provides hints of design and function opportunities, which can be made practical for series production vehicles used only in the far future."
The bodywork design is oriented on the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé, that legendary two-seater with which Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer drove home the victory during the Mille Miglia in 1940.
The BMW Concept Coupé is based on the BMW Z4 M Coupé. Compared with it, the Concept is longer (23 centimetres), wider (14 centimetres wider) and lower (4 centimetres). On the other hand, the tail section is markedly gentle and stretched wide for aerodynamic reasons.
Inspired by the 1940 Bmw 328, the basic design of the Concept Coupé was interpreted in a modern manner.
The front of the Concept Coupé ensures a striking appearance in a completely new manner, but especially guarantees better vision.
At first glance the “face” of the study appears familiar, its “eyes” remind one of the circular headlamp used in the BMW 328. But they are not integrated into the chassis – rather they have been attached as flat elements.
Modern LED technology facilitates accommodating powerful light sources in comparatively small units. This progress provides the designs with new possibilities. The forms and linework from the engine hood to the wheelhouses in the Concept Coupé can be continued up through the front apron without being interrupted by the headlight units.
The optically dominating role on the front end is taken over by the BMW kidney. More than ever, it characterises the typical BMW “face” by letting the headlights take over the role of the “eye”, despite the innovative execution.
The aerodynamics, already distinctive in the 1940 Mille Miglia winner, took advantage of modern technology: five each optically impressive air intakes near the A-pillars control the flow movements in the front end.
In the BMW Concept Coupé, these ports, arranged in a very slim Z-line, fulfil a two-fold function. On the one hand, they lead off the air used for engine cooling back out through the BMW kidney.
In addition, underpressure is generated in the front wheelhouses at the same time. This effect reduces the turbulences at the wheel housings and simultaneously amplifies the vehicle’s contact pressure with the road.
A reverse V-form thus arises as the sum total, minimising undesired turbulences and concentrating the flow separation to a tightly restricted area.
Trimmings placed on the underbody and diffusers made of carbon on the front and rear aprons also ensure defined air conductance in those parts of the body that are not openly seen.
In the body design, the functions needed for positioning the engine, drive units and passenger sections are combined into an aesthetic whole together with the aerodynamic requirements.
The 20-inch alloy wheels, specifically developed for the BMW Concept Coupé, fit into the image of its powerful proportions. Tyres dimensioned 245/40 R 20 are mounted on them.
Instead of doors, the study bears permanently integrated sidewalls, contributing to weight reduction on the one hand and to increasing torsional stiffness on the other. To let the pilot access the interior, the entire cockpit swings up. The rear section of the concept study is also distinguished through design elements in which the aesthetics
are tightly connected with their function.
The headlight panel, made from LED elements is likewise conducted in a gentle Z-curve horizontally over the
tail. The combination of the most modern illumination engineering and their unusual design unites two functional advantages: due to the extremely
fast response time of the LED’s and through the increased conspicuousness of their asymmetrical layout, the brake lights can be perceived earlier than
with conventional lighting.
The BMW Concept Coupé’s body form "is not dictated by nostalgia, but rather by the endeavour for forward-looking interpretations for typical BMW design themes.
is proof that the vehicle designers at BMW have a grip on the art of accepting traditional impulses and letting them flow into new designs with the help of modern expertise. That is the only way that concepts can mature – by combining the power of history with the fascination of visions and letting emotions be awakened at the same time."
Whereas the nearly unlimited possibilities of high-tech designing on a computer always involve the danger of randomness, in traditional body
design only consequent implementation of an idea leads to the desired goal.
That is also a reason that the design models for all BMW Group models emerge made-by-hand even today.
During series development, this is done with clay models – a malleable Plasticine mass. For the Concept Coupé,
the designers fell back on even more traditional methods: modelling with plaster.
This material entails fixed work rhythms during the application, shaping and hardening of the material. Each and every step demands a high degree of concentration. During both of these optically and haptically tangible processes of evolution, the designers form an especially tight relationship to their design object.
During the material selection, developers choose an extremely light chassis: at Touring in Milan, an aluminium shell was stretched over a lattice frame.
Nowadays plastics developed especially for chassis construction set the standard for lightness, load ratings and design freedom. Accordingly, that kind of material was chosen for the Concept Coupé.
The entire body of the concept vehicle is made out of a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The shell is painted fine silver, a full-gloss paint colour with extremely fine pigments. In this way, the finish awakens
the memory of traditional colourings, but when inspected more closely it is
clearly the result of the most modern surface-aesthetics engineering.
Limits on the functionality, the material selection and both the optical and haptic impression valid until now were consciously burst through; customary design and fabrication techniques were replaced by completely new methods.
Thus an interior was born in which the structure of the surfaces and forms achieve totally new effects. At the same time, gaps and contours have their own functionality; metal plied by hand impressively accentuates the characteristics of the material. All surfaces are brought out uninterrupted and unadorned. Neither decorating trim nor rings or frames impair their purist impression.
Even letterings, logos and symbols are not, for instance, additionally attached but are embossed into the respective metal component using laser technology.
Using extra-flat rolled stainless steel, untreated cowhides and Lycra fabric,
a total of exactly three materials are deployed in the interior of the
BMW Concept Coupé. The processing methods were also reduced to a minimum selection. All components were either stitched together or
clamped to each other using a special technique. The impression of surfaces and controls resulting from this imparts the occupants an impression of ambience that is just as futuristic as exclusive.