Carlex’s steampunk BMW Z4 is straight out of a Bioshock game

Steampunk and German sports cars: two things that go together about as often as Nascar and tuxedos.

This unlikely marriage works, though. There are countless special edition cars on the road today, but Polish designer Carlex’s steampunk BMW Z4 is clearly something you surely won’t see often.

With its copper-highlighted dashboard, exposed rivets, and sprocket-shaped accents, the Z4 looks like something out of 1999’s Wild Wild West. Is that too old of a reference?

Even the roll bars are made copper (or brass), as are the door handles, shift knob, and iDrive control knob. Even the seat belts and interior stitches are color-matched.

Carlex calls the H.G. Wells-inspired reimagining ‘Punk Z,’ and it offsets the interior’s dulled metals with deep, rich leathers and fabrics. Basically, it has the same color scheme as a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.

Carlex is known for its high attention to small details, and this approach continues on the heavily stylized exterior also. The car is wrapped in matte black vinyl, and the retractable roof has, you guess it, a penny-colored finish. The wheels, of course, are custom.

There’s a reason you don’t see too many steampunk-flavored cars on the road today, and that’s because the sci-fi subgenre is pretty new to being with. The term was officially coined in 1987, which is oddly enough the same year the BMW Z1 Roadster debuted. However, the retro-futuristic characterization can describe many works of fiction going back to the 1950s.

Carlex isn’t all about steam valves and neo-Victorianism, though. The automotive designer has creating everything from a futuristic, Tron-esque BMW Alpina to a velvety, sorbet-colored Ferrari Italia. If you’re a fan of yellow, check out Carlex’s Bumblee-styled Mercedes AMG Black Series.

According to Carlex, its main aim is “to develop the most unique car interiors, starting from a draft [and] ending on complete project realization.”

“In our designs,” the company continues, “we always want to the show individual character of the car owner and his car, far beyond the offer of car manufacturers.”

Slam dunk, wouldn’t you say?


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