Surprise, surprise! BMW has just unveiled their Concept Touring Coupé, and for those who enjoy RADwood-era BMWs, you may have thought “They’ve done it! The Clown Shoe is back!” only to be disappointed that the word “Concept” is part of the model’s name. Well, you aren’t alone and you’d be right—it does look like the latest iteration of BMW’s Z-bodied coupe.
The Z3 M Coupe (E36/8) was the first Z coupe on the scene in 1998, earning the enthusiast-given title of “Clown Shoe.” When production ended in 2002, the Z3’s successor, the Z4, followed suit having its own offerings of roadster (E85) and coupe (E86), with the coupes only available from 2006 to 2008. These weren’t high volume cars and sales weren’t great from the start, but they have earned a place in many enthusiasts’ hearts for their unique styling and great performance. Plus, who doesn’t love a shooting brake or two-door hatchback?
The new Concept Touring Coupé is being showcased in Cernobbio, Italy at the opening of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2023, which happens to be this weekend. BMW describes this rolling piece of functional art, saying, “The hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind BMW Concept Touring Coupé unites a body concept steeped in tradition with the technology of a purist modern-day sports car. Its proportions and name are reminiscent of the BMW 328 Touring Coupé that won the Mille Miglia endurance race back in 1940. The functionality of the shooting-brake concept is a nod to the BMW 02 Series model variants of the early 1970s, which featured ‘Touring’ in their name to distinguish them from sedans.” Wait—no mention of the Clown Shoe? The front end screams G29 Z4!
The Concept Touring Coupé’s interior is quite nice, with “exclusive bi-color option from Italian leather workshop Poltrona Frau.” The dark brown upper on light saddle brown lower just plain works. The craftsmanship of the leatherwork can be seen even in the smallest details, such as the leather perforations and braided leather straps for the seat valances.
Another nice interior touch is the custom luggage set designed by the Schedoni leather workshop in Modena. BMW says, “The custom-made set consists of two large and one small weekender bags, plus a garment bag, all of which are perfectly coordinated with the vehicle.”
The engine specs haven’t been fully disclosed yet, but you can probably guess what’s under the hood. BMW says the Concept Touring Coupé “is powered by the brand’s hallmark six-cylinder in-line engine, with performance characteristics and refinement that confirm its status as a symbol of pure, unadulterated Sheer Driving Pleasure.” If we look to the G29 Z4, the engine is likely a B58B30 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six making 382 horsepower and 369 pound feet.
BMW, you have our attention. I just have one question for you: When’s it going to production? —Mike Bevels
[Photos by BMW and as credited.]Tags: BMW Concept Touring Coupe Clown Shoe M Coupe Z3 M Coupe