BMW Zagato Roadster

Concept Cars 20 Aug 2012
BMW Zagato Roadster

At the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance BMW and Zagato have presented the result of their second collaboration, a dynamic Roadster based on the recent Coupé Concept.

Compared to the Coupé, the Roadster retains the whole front section, while featuring distinctive solutions in the rear end.

BMW Zagato Roadster

The integrated roll-bars are characterized by a forward-leaning shape and full leather finish, the soft top cover recalls the double-bubble roof of the Coupé and the tail features a reinterpreted version of the horizontalm, black tinted glass fascia.

The BMW Zagato Roadster was created in just six weeks starting from the production Z4.

Below we report some details selected from the official release.

Exterior Design

BMW Zagato Roadster - Design Sketch

“This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible, but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car which evokes a powerful driving experience” says Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada, describing the design philosophy behind the BMW Zagato Roadster.

The Roadster retains the Coupé’s main proportions – with the long wheelbase, sweeping hood and pushed-back cabin – and surface treatment.

BMW Zagato Roadster

The front-end is the same of the Coupé, and is characterized by a three-dimensional surfacing, with a low-set kidney grille, intricate z-design grating, and twin circular headlights complemented by the “razorlight” LED light strip.

The nose surges forward dynamically, dipping down close to the road, and allows the BMW Zagato Roadster to cut an agile figure.

The contoured hood extends this aura of dynamism with its sweeping lines and taut surfaces, while a pair of air intakes carved into the hood supply the engine compartment with extra air and

In side view, the black coloring of the A-pillars allows them to fade into the background and set off the sculpturing of the car’s body more effectively.

BMW Zagato Roadster

The basic lines and surfaces are similar to that of the BMW Zagato Coupé, but subtle differences are noticeable at the rear. The tail end as a whole places a greater emphasis on elegance than that of the Coupé, which shows a sharper sporting edge.

The Roadster’s lines are smoother here and the rear is lower-slung. Plus, a fine additional line forges a visual connection between the sill and the rear apron to round off the rear end design in style.

BMW Zagato Roadster


For the distinctive roll-bars designers took inspiration from an aircraft wing and experimented with their mass before settling on a dynamic forward-leaning focus and powerful structure.

“The low, dynamic roll-bars, inspired by an airplane wing, are an eye-catcher that make the BMW Zagato Roadster recognizable from a distance” says Norihiko Harada.

Their brown color gives the roll-bars an even more prominent profile, allowing the eye to wander further back.

The air outlets on the Roadster’s flanks mirror the form of the hood vents and reproduce their dynamic theme.

The hallmark Zagato double-bubble (“doppia gobba”) roof is referenced in top view on the soft-top cover, which uses this design element to extend the lines of the hood all the way to the rear, accentuating the muscular proportions of the rear-wheel-drive Roadster.

BMW Zagato Roadster

The sharply chiseled tail has a very broad, low-slung appearance, giving the car a wide stance and planted muscularity on the road.

Like those of its Coupé counterpart, the BMW Zagato Roadster’s rear lights are arranged behind black tinted glass.

BMW Zagato Roadster and CoupeThe glass area extends in a shallow black band around the whole of the rear end, underlining its horizontal geometry. Beneath it, the dark diffuser gives the BMW Zagato Roadster a powerful stance.

The body-colored surfaces between the matt-finished tailpipes draw the final lines in the distinctive, low-to-the-road and broad-set looks of the rear end.

The exclusive exterior paint finish is a brilliant grey with impressive depth, and appears to wrap the car’s body in a cloak of liquid metal. Depending on how the light hits the body, the color spectrum ranges from dark grey to a light silver, bringing the surfaces and forms of the BMW Zagato Roadster to life.

Interior Design

The open-top nature of a roadster means it is often the interior that catches the eye first. Only later does your attention move on to the exterior and the interplay between the ex- terior and interior.

BMW Zagato Roadster Interior BMW Zagato Roadster Interior

With the BMW Zagato Roadster designers aimed at blurring the boundaries between the inside and the outside, using a strip of brown leather which wraps around the interior like a rail to create a visual connection.

BMW Zagato Roadster Interior The brown leather extends from the instrument panel over the door sill and around behind the seats, and even incorporates the roll-over bars.

Embracing the driver and passenger like a large protective arm, this element provides a distinctive transition into the otherwise predominantly black interior.

The warm shade of brown reappears in various areas of the interior, including the contrast stitching of the seats, the steering wheel and doors, and the centre console.

The interior itself has a driver-focused, sporty layout, with sweeping horizontal lines along the inside of the doors and a full-length centre console.

(Source: BMW/Zagato)

Image Gallery

BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 7
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 8
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 11
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 2
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 22
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 6
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 14
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 12
BMW Zagato Roadster - Image 19

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Leave a Comment

  1. glyphics1943

    This car looks a LOT better than the coupe version despite the same design elements. The front facia is still too close to the current BMW design language to warrant the Zagato signature but as a roadster, unlike the coupe, the rest of the car is worth the effort.

  2. SSeb

    it has some interesting ideas but overall it is a mess with too many elements contradicting each other. The surfacing around the headlight is a disaster. Think some design students could have done a better job…

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