BMW Concept Touring Coupe revives the breadvan for Villa d'Este 2023 | CAR Magazine

BMW Concept Touring Coupe revives the breadvan for Villa d'Este 2023

Published: 19 May 2023 Updated: 22 May 2023

► New BMW Concept Touring Coupe revealed
► Shooting brake study stars at Villa d’Este
Shades of breadvan, updated for 2023

The new BMW Concept Touring Coupe has been unveiled at the 2023 Villa d’Este concours d’elegance – reviving a special type of BMW that harks back to a time before oversized kidney grilles and electrification: the stylish bustleback coupe, or breadvan.

Described as a one-off, Munich product types are said to be watching reaction closely, as the Z4-based shooting brake may be considered for low-volume production if it receives a warm reception.

The Z4 lifecycle continues until 2026 and word at Villa d’Este is that this shooting brake could become a swansong for the Supra-twinned sports car.

Don’t miss our BMW Concept Touring Coupe review, as our European editor Georg Kacher drives the one-off concept car.

BMW Concept Touring Coupe: the lowdown

Villa d’Este is Italy’s answer to Goodwood: a high-end celebration of the finest luxury cars from yesteryear – and this ethos percolates the Concept Touring Coupe’s design.

Said to be inspired by the 1940s BMW 328 Touring Coupe, the modern-day equivalent has more than a hint of Z3 and Z4 Coupe about it, with a shooting brake aesthetic highlighted by a delightful set of bespoke Schedoni leather luggage made in Modena (below).

Tellingly, there’s not a hint of electrification at play here: rather, the 2023 BMW Concept Touring Coupe is powered by an unassisted petrol straight six. It’s cause to celebrate: BMW has hit the rewind button for this greatest hits package!

The design story

This concept car presents a simple and emotional silhouette: a two-box shooting brake with a profile not dissimilar to a Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo or Ferrari Purosangue.

The elongated nostrils of many current BMWs are dropped in favour of a more horizontal grille treatment while the brand’s traditional ‘Hofmeister kink’ in the C-pillar is given a modest flick at the rear for an athletically taut rump.

Note also the multi-spoke alloy wheels, which to these eyes bring a shade of Alpina stance. The rims measure 20in up front and 21in at the rear axle, contributing to the car’s athletic poise.

The new 2023 BMW Concept Touring Coupe

The paint colour is called Sparkling Lario and is embedded with flakes of blue glass, giving a lustrous depth to the gloss. We’ve seen it and it does indeed have an indecent depth and glow. Accent colours on the grille and brightwork are finished in silver and bronze, for the full Olympic podium experience.

How fast is the new Concept Touring Coupe?

Sadly, no tech specs have been issued to explain the performance on offer in the 2023 concept car. The only straight six in the line-up today is the 3.0-litre in the Z4 M40i; in that application it’s tuned to deliver 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque.

While BMW is treating this as a styling exercise (hence the lack of engineering details), the Concept Touring Coupe does have a working interior.

BMW Concept Touring Coupe interior

It’s a remarkably stock Z4-based production cabin – again, in keeping with the vibe of Villa d’Este and the requirement for old-school simplicity. Does this suggest there is merit in the concept having a potential for production? We can but live in hope…

Note the traditional ZF automatic gearlever, the established iDrive rotary controller and a reliance on physical switchgear over endless touchscreen histrionics.

BMW prefers to focus on the materials and colour scheme: the dash is angled heavily towards the driver (the press material even references the back-to-the-future Sheer Driving Pleasure tagline) and quality Italian Poltrona Frau leather is used to upholster the cabin.

BMW Concept Touring Coupe dead rear

It’s two-tone, with dark tan up high and a light saddle brown lower down the dash and door cards, while braided leather straps are used on the seats.

‘The BMW Concept Touring Coupe celebrates the original Sheer Driving Pleasure,’ said Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW Design. ‘A highly emotional vehicle like this shows that the passion for everything that goes into driving pleasure has been essential through the ages and will be for the future.’

A sidenote: BMW contracts out build of the Z4 to Magna in its Graz facility in Austria; could that boost the chances of a Z4 coupe entering production, as a limited-edition special? Word is that Munich might sanction a limited production run of 50-100 shooting brakes, selling at somewhere around €150,000 (£130k) apiece.

What a way to go!

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words