What's Wrong With This Picture: BMW's Carbon-Fiber Steampunk Roadster Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Has Jack’s carping about the empty symbolism of the latest Aston-Zagato project got you down? Looking for some retro-inspired unobtainium that you can feel good about? As Jack himself pointed out just yesterday, TTAC’s all about diversity…so allow us to suggest BMW’s 328 Hommage concept, which was just revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este. Of course TTAC wasn’t invited to that august event, but CarDesignNews was kind enough to tweet these cell phone images of the retro roadster (so be sure to go check out their fantastic site, and pick up a subscription while you’re there). Based around the Vision ConnectedDrive concept, this all-carbon roadster is described as the analog analog (so to speak) of that high-tech concept (which itself previewed the forthcoming Z2 Roadster). Like the Zagato, it’s got the whole pedigree reference thing down too, as its name refers to BMW’s 75 year-old 328 nameplate (check out a great history of the 328 at bmwblog.com). Plus, bare carbon fiber with leather straps. If this thing doesn’t make you feel at least a little tingly in the naughty bits, well, it might just be time for some medical attention.

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4 of 10 comments
  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on May 20, 2011

    Those headlights look like photoshop. http://www.cliffcramp.com/images/SteampunkMiniSm.jpg Dang I always thought that was what a steam punk car would look like.

  • Slow kills Slow kills on May 20, 2011

    I certainly hope Mr. Lieberman shows up to do a discourse on how cheap and ugly bare carbon fiber looks. Because he was right. The wheels look like manhole covers or a shower drain, and the uh, spot where the doors would go(?) is an inelegant line but otherwise pretty decent.

  • Wcpfour Wcpfour on May 20, 2011

    An hommage is a tribute, not a copy. I'm glad they didn't try to make a carbon (fiber) copy of the 328. It bears some similar styling cues (low cut doors, leather straps, grille) but could easily stand on its own merits. It is a rolling work of art, and I find it achingly beautiful. Having said that, I wouldn't buy it if it were a production car (assuming I could even afford it). I agree that the M1 hommage was a more realistic concept and would have translated well into a production version. Kudos to BMW for building concepts like this. Without this type of thinking, the future of the auto industry would be very bleak. Love or hate the look, but imagine some of these elements finding their ways into next generation BMW production cars...

  • JJ JJ on May 21, 2011

    I like some parts of it a lot; I think the front shows that BMW can drop the double headlights for small roadsters and the smaller cars and still make the car look like a BMW (the kidneys are a bit too chromed though in this case). The rear could be on the new Z4. I like the rearlights and the less bulbous clean cut lines. Otherwise I agree that bare carbon rarely looks good, the lack of doors is silly etc, but as a concept it looks pretty sweet nonetheless. And yes, it could be an Alfa, but I don't mind that at all. In fact I view Alfa as the Italian BMW or BMW as the German Alfa. The brands are in a lot of ways about the same things, which is why it's a big shame Alfa lost it's RWD and a lot of the character over the years. If you look at a Giulia Sprint and a BMW 2002 or CSi for instance they're pretty similar looking.