New BMW Concept Touring Coupe unveiled as reinvented Z3 M ‘clown shoe’ Coupe

Evoking the Z3 M Coupe’s unmistakable body shape, the Z4-based Concept Touring Coupe debuts at this year’s Villa d’Este concours

BMW has been forging ahead with forward-looking (if controversial) designs of late, but at this month's Villa d’Este concours, the firm will look back to 1997 with a new concept inspired by the iconic Z3 M Coupe. Called the Concept Touring Coupe, the hand-built one-off is based on the current Z4, albeit with a specially designed shooting brake body and a bespoke cabin. 

Although the concept appears to be production-ready in some respects, BMW won’t be carving out another niche with a compact shooting brake version of the Z4, and has confirmed the Touring Coupe won’t be making production. Still, it’s a radical interpretation of what is possible with the Z4’s platform, sharing the base car’s low bonnet and sculptural front end. Flashes of satin gold appear on the grilles, exhaust tips and alloy wheels, which measure 20 and 21-inches at the front and rear respectively. 

The rising kink along the flanks is also familiar, but the Concept Touring Coupe replaces the Z4’s soft top with a solid high roofline that tapers to a hatchback boot opening. With bulging rear haunches and a narrow rear window, the result is a squat, cab-rear silhouette in the mould of the Z3 M Coupe, a car often dubbed the ‘clown shoe’ as a result of proportions evoking the comical footwear.

Inside, the Concept Touring Coupe has retained the Z4’s two-seat layout and general cabin architecture – if you’re looking forwards, at least. BMW has crafted a large luggage area behind seats to make use of the Touring’s more versatile shape, which is trimmed in the same tan-coloured Poltrona Frau leather as the rest of the interior. 

Aside from the elaborate stitching and custom luggage set, it’s not miles away from what you’d expect from something showroom-ready, and the Concept Touring Coupe isn’t just a static show car – it’s said to be powered by one of BMW’s straight sixes, although its state of tune and other mechanical details haven’t been announced.

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