The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé represents the interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina.
The development of the one-off was carried out with a creative exchange and a close consultation between the two design teams.
The car has the typical BMW proportions, with a long wheelbase, a stretched hood and a set-back greenhouse. The large 21-inch wheels contribute to the dynamic, low stance of the car.
These elements are combined with a clean, elegant surface treatment and high-quality details, both core values of Pininfarina’s creations.
The front end features a reinterpretation of BMW’s typical face, with the three-dimensional kidney grille angled towards the road – resulting into a “shark nose” look – and the headlights with LED units that recall the trademark twin circular lamps.
The side view is characterized by the tight, slightly arched shoulder line and by the smooth roofline that gently flows into the small tail.
The side panels have a clean surface treatment, with crease lines underlining the wheel-arches contours and a dynamic character line runs from Air Breather behind the front wheel, visually balancing the roofline and contributing to the dynamic look.
The rear end has a distinctive look, defined by horizontal elements that give a broad, flat impression.
The tail lights extend from the sides, embracing the rear end in a single sweeping element.
A distinctive detail is the transition from the roof to the rear lid: two elaborately shaped struts extend the roof pillar towards the rear, resulting in a fluid transition of the roof line into the tail section.
The interior is characterized by the typical BMW layout, with a dashboard defined by horizontal lines and all the controls slightly angled towards the driver.
The exclusive and warm ambience is is achieved thought the use of premium materials: in particular the fine leather is combined with kauri wood from New Zealand.
All the wood elements in the cabin are sourced from a single piece of kauri wood aged more than 48,000 years and selected by the Italian timber experts of Riva 1920.
Below we report the official design story and statements. Also check the full gallery of photos and design sketches.
Design Directors’ Statement
“The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity,” notes Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design.
“The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept.”
“The result of this cooperative venture is far greater than the sum of its parts,” says Fabio Filippini, Head of Design at Pininfarina.
“When two such tradition-rich and experienced brands join forces to turn a vision into reality, something utterly new and exciting emerges. From start to finish, this project was defined by a mutual respect for the identity of the other company.”
“The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé has an extraordinary impact. It expresses hallmark BMW values such as luxury and sheer presence in a highly elegant form,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
“I admire the reductive clarity and precision in Pininfarina’s design. Their expectations for the end result have been just as high as ours, and their understanding of design perfectly complements the BMW design DNA for a vehicle of this kind.”
With its broad, wheel-focused stance, the front of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé radiates sheer presence and dynamics. The hallmark double- kidney grille and the road-focused headlights with their suggested twin circular look reveal at a glance the family bond with BMW. At the same time the distinctive Pininfarina elements have been interpreted with Italian finesse to lend the front end a special flair.
The trademark BMW kidney grille forms the central element of the front-end design, and all surfaces and lines take their bearings from it. It symbolically points to the engine at the heart of the vehicle, its size reflecting the power of the V12 unit nestling behind it.
The “kidneys” are angled towards the road, citing the typical BMW “shark nose” and lending the front end an even more dynamic look, particularly when seen from the side.
Viewed up close it discloses highly accomplished detail work: the front part of the bipartite kidney grille is made of matt-sheen aluminium, while behind it an identically shaped part in high-gloss black adds visual depth and makes for an exciting contrast of materials.
Above the kidney grille the bonnet stretches across the front of the car, its subtle contours appearing to emanate from the BMW emblem and lending the bonnet a dynamic elegance. The flat headlights underline the road-focused look associated with a BMW and round off the “face”.
Their dynamic contours are in perfect harmony with the classic BMW twin circular look in an interpretation that leaves them open at the top. The use of LED technology creates a technically premium impression while adding a striking depth to the headlights.
The eye-catchingly sporty front apron concludes the front end of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé as it dips towards the road. The flat, one- piece air intake accentuates the breadth of the front, an impression reinforced by chrome trim that adds a classy touch. The air intake is larger at the wheels and draws attention to the car’s wide, sporty track. Just above the road surface, discreet Pininfarina lettering points to the contributing partner from Italy, like a signature on a work of art.
The designers at BMW and Pininfarina set particular store by creating the right proportions.
The car’s surfaces display the elaborate form language of BMW while being sculpted with a clarity that is hallmark Pininfarina.
Within a powerfully present silhouette, convex taperings on the side add a dynamic elegance and give the body a tautly athletic shape.
At the same time the reduced, precise contours stretch the vehicle and underline its exclusivity with a contemporary touch. The high shoulder line extends almost horizontally along the entire side of the car, imbuing the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with stature and presence.
Above it the long roof line flows elegantly into the rear to define the short tail end. Below the shoulder line, a striking countersweep to the roof line emanates from the Air Breather behind the front wheel.
Ascending towards the rear, it lends the back section of the car a light and dynamic appearance.
All the lines have been designed with keen sensitivity: as they trace their course they become stronger or weaker and, through the changing play of light and shadow, show off the surrounding surfaces to their best effect.
Numerous details accentuate the elegance of the side view. The matt-sheen embellishment behind the front wheel adds a stylish accent as it integrates the side indicator.
Another signature BMW detail is the Hofmeister kink – the eye- catching forward bend in the window graphic that is perfectly integrated into the surrounding play of lines. Behind it the V12 logo indicates the powerful engine within the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé.
Pininfarina lettering in the side panel points to the definitive role played by the Italian design company in creating this vehicle, with the Pininfarina logo above it indicating that the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé was also built by Pininfarina.
The exclusively designed 21-inch wheels augment the sporty, elegant statement. Five trios of graceful yet powerfully sculpted spokes display a strong visual depth through the application of matt-sheen aluminium, black and black chrome. As such the wheel design blends an elegant multi-spoke style with the sportiness of five-spoke rims.
The elongated side profile leads to a slender and elegant tail end. Striking horizontal elements imbue the entire rear end with a very broad, flat impression.
At the same time, the generous surface design of the rear lends it a powerful presence. Between the surfaces, precise contours and horizontal lines break up the rear aspect, resulting in a clever interplay of light and shadow that partitions the entire design and brings it alive. An eye-catching detail is the transition from the roof to the rear lid: two elaborately shaped struts extend the roof pillar towards the rear, ensuring an elegantly fluid transition of the roof line into the tail section.
Extending from the sides, the tail lights embrace the rear end in a single sweeping gesture that brings the side and rear together visually. The tail lights reveal elaborately detailed workmanship and lend the BMW L-shape a slender, almost filigree interpretation. They are set – jewel-like – within high-grade trim in matt-sheen aluminium. A particular highlight is their open design, allowing air to flow through them.
The fluid underlying geometry of the interior design by BMW takes on an individual character thanks to the Pininfarina touch.
With a special color concept, choice materials and geometrical details in the doors, centre console and dashboard binnacle, Pininfarina lends further emphasis to signature BMW elements such as the driver focus and layering principle, while accentuating the sporty character of the interior with a fine instinct for cutting-edge and elegant details alike.
The four-seater luxury coupé rolls out an exclusive ambience to welcome driver and passengers. The front and rear seats from the Pininfarina drawing board embrace all occupants with sporty side supports while providing the highest levels of comfort.
From the driver’s seat, a sideward glance will initially reveal the hallmark BMW driver focus: all driving-related functions and controls are slightly angled towards the driver to be within optimal ergonomic reach.
The horizontal alignment of the surfaces and lines of the dashboard create an expansive sense of space. The doors take up the flow of lines and invest them with greater dynamics as they follow their course, while the door handles cite the incisive shape of the tail lights as well as the side-panel embellishments as they bring these styling cues into the interior.
The rear of the cabin likewise boasts spacious design, with legroom in the back seats of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé almost on a par with that of a large luxury sedan.
Materials and craftsmanship
The exclusive color and material concept is one of the stand-out features of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé and eloquently reflects its unique character. Extensive hand-craftsmanship further enhances the interior ambience. Finest leather and kauri wood aged more than 48,000 years lend the cabin of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé a special aura.
The high-grade leather from the Foglizzo leather factory – in black and a light shade of Tobacco Brown – creates a warm, exclusive ambience. Metal highlights in black chrome set a technical counterpoint to the extensive application of natural materials.
All the wood elements in the cabin are sourced from a single piece of kauri wood selected by the Italian timber experts of Riva 1920 exclusively for the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé.
Kauri wood has a unique grain and shifts in colour from gold to red to brown, depending on the incidence of light and angle of view. Simply polished and oiled, it exudes a particular warmth and naturalness in league with the exclusive leather surfaces of the interior.
Native to New Zealand, kauri wood is among the rarest timbers in the world. Its special character derives from the fact that the toppled kauri trees have been preserved in swamps for millennia and can be processed like fresh timber after being retrieved from the fossil swampland.
The roof liner of finest Italian virgin wool features the striking “Principe di Galles” pattern. This grey plaid strikes a bold contrast to the traditional materials used for the doors and dashboard. The brown leather seats also pick up on the pattern in their all-round piping. Allowing extra light into the interior is an oblong aperture in the roof liner which is additionally illuminated by white LEDs.
In the footwell areas, a soft deep-pile carpet in dark grey adds to a subtle sense of wellbeing. Another interior detail are the freestanding B-pillars, whose elegant design when viewed from the outside creates a homogeneous glazed area and frameless doors that appear very light.
Actually, the front end bears as much recent Buick and Lincoln design DNA as it does BMW, lending it a toothy grin not becoming on a luxury car. The headlights resemble the silly, decadent stare of the Ernie Kovacs character, Percy Dovetonsils, rather than the purposeful look of a 12 cylinder predator. Fabio Filipini clearly sliced the front end shot into the water hazard. The rest of the car is stunningly beautiful although I’n not a fan of the too-high character line on the flanks. With a different, more beautiful face, this car would be a worthy 8-series at the top of the non-sportscar model chain.