BMW Zagato Roadster: BMW’s Italian art project lets the sun shine in

BMW Zagato Roadster rear profile viewA few months ago, BMW dazzled the world with the Zagato Coupé, a sexy take on the Z4 created with the help of Italian styling house Zagato. Just in time for the end of summer, BMW and Zagato decided to drop the Coupé’s top to create the BMW Zagato Roadster.

The Zagato Roadster is a follow-up to the Zagato Coupé, which debuted at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy this past May. According to BMW, reaction to the Coupé was positive enough to warrant a second team-up with Zagato.

After seeing both cars, the Roadster project seems like the proverbial no-brainer. What is really remarkable about the Roadster is that it was developed over a much shorter time span than the Coupé; it went from concept to completion in roughly six weeks.

Luckily for the designers and coachbuilders, turning the Zagato Coupé into a roadster didn’t involve any drastic changes. The Coupé is based on the BMW Z4, so its chassis was stiff enough to work without a roof.

The Zagato Roadster retains the Coupé’s classic long-hood, short rear deck proportions, as well as styling details like scalloping around the side vents and grille mesh made of tiny interlaced “Zs.” From the A-pillars forward, the two cars are nearly identical.

Still, BMW said, “There is more to designing a roadster than just slicing the roof off.” The Zagato Coupé had a fastback roof and Honda CRX-like double rear window, all of which had to be replaced with something equally stylish.

From the rear wheels back, the Zagato Roadster is entirely different from the Coupé. The Roadster gains a conventional trunk and rear decklid which, along with some tweaked character lines, make the drop-top Zagato appear longer and leaner.BMW Zagato Roadster front overhead view

Helping to further streamline the Zagato Roadster, fairings for the seats match the creases on the hood. They also make the Roadster look like a vintage racecar.

Both the Zagato Roadster and Coupé share most of their parts with the Z4; owners of that car will recognize the Roadster’s interior. It has the same steering wheel and controls, as well as the same asymmetrical dashboard. The Roadster does get its own saddle and charcoal two-tone leather, which carries over to the car’s external roll hoops.

The Z4 connection also means that the Zagato Roadster is fully drivable. That’s an exciting prospect not just for potential owners, but for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to catch a glimpse of this beauty driving by?

So far, the Zagato Roadster and Coupé are just styling exercises; BMW has no plans to put either into production. That is a shame.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla given go-ahead to start deliveries of Model 3 to Europe

Tesla has been given the green light to start deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedan to Europe, giving it the chance to compete more effectively with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in the region's premium car market.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Cars

Royal fans bid big money as Prince Philip ‘car crash parts’ hit eBay

A couple of days after a car crash that involved the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, debris apparently from the scene of the accident showed up on eBay. And people wanted to buy it.
Cars

If Batman became a race car driver, he’d hit the track in the Vuhl 05RR

Mexican sports car Vuhl revealed the hardcore 05RR, a roadster that blurs the line between a track car and a street-legal car. The 05RR stands out with a design that looks right out of a video game and a 385-horsepower engine.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk offers to help dig CERN’s new particle collider tunnel

CERN plans to put the Large Hadron Collider to shame with its proposed much larger Future Circular Collider -- and Elon Musk wants to help. Because, you know, he's not busy enough.