BMW has some awesome concept cars. This is beyond a doubt.
Even if they seem totally bonkers when they are revealed - cars like the ~2001 X-Coupe - the logic behind their creation and display often makes sense in the decade that follows.
So what to make of the 2013 BMW 328 Hommage? A car created with an overt nod to the BMW 328 roadster and coupe racecar in the 1930s -- but with a decidedly unusual and future-looking appearance.
After preparing articles about both the 328 Hommage and the 2011 BMW Vision ConnectedDrive -- much new information has come to the surface.
Here is the bottom line: these two are the same car in almost every critical way. One takes a future-leaning look at tech and connectivity and aesthetics, while one looks back.
The 328 Hommage is obviously the retro-inspired of the pair.
It is hard to love either of the two, frankly. But this one is much, much better than the futuristic VCD.
The fact that two nearly identical concept cars have been paraded around the globe tells us one this: BMW does not want the next Z4 to be a dud.
The current model is, by sales measurements, a total failure. Sales are down 90-percent versus the early 2000s. There are other factors at play, including relocating its assembly back to Germany -- but the core message is: this car is not popular. The design is almost a dead ringer for the BMW GINA light visionary roadster - but minus the flexible fabric skin.
GINA is hot.
Z4 is not.
My theory is that the Z4's nose is the problem, designed like it is like the equally smug and unattractive 6-series.
For a style-led machine, the Z4 does not immediately make your mouth salivate. This is a problem for BMW as it straddles the SLK350 posh roadster side of the market as well as the Porsche Boxster pure sportscar side. Which is it? Which should it be?
The answer is: neither, really. It should be the BMW of small cabrio's. But with 2014 pricing that tops $70,000 in top trims, the Z4 needs to become much, much sexier and crave-able for its next generation.
2011 BMW 328 Hommage - Lady in the Desert
2011 BMW 328 Hommage - Man on Track
2011 BMW 328 Hommage - Studio
2011 BMW 328 Hommage - Villa d'Este with Original 328