Editorial: Will the Real Mille Miglia Please Stand Up?

Featured Posts, Interesting | May 8th, 2010 by 26
06bmw328rmmonaco1 750x500 Editorial: Will the Real Mille Miglia Please Stand Up?

Today we brought news that the soon-to-be-see Z4  sDrive35is will soon debut a special edition called the Z4 sDrive35is: Limited Edition Mille Miglia. The car certainly …

Today we brought news that the soon-to-be-see Z4  sDrive35is will soon debut a special edition called the Z4 sDrive35is: Limited Edition Mille Miglia. The car certainly will not disappoint either – with 340HP, Dual-clutch transmission, custom 19 inch wheels and a revised M-designed body kit – in addition to a number of other sporting aspects both inside an out to distinguish the standard “iS” Z4 over the Limited Edition.

For those unaware, the Mille Miglia(meaning One Thousand Miles) was a famous, world-renown race focused around sports car racing not unlike an older version of the WRC combined with GT racing across the open Italian countryside. While it was an excelerating testament to man and machine it was also an often deadly, unecessarily risky venture resulting in the death of drivers and bystanders alike.

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However, despite the danger, there was a long line of drivers and manufacturers lining up to prove themselves against the clock and each other – storming across the idyllic countryside, juxtaposed to the brutal racing that would be carried out on the narrow Italian roads. The “MM” as the race was known saw the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz  and many others entering to demonstrate what their best engineering could do over a 1,000 mile endurance race. It was the kind of race that drivers of today would never consider entering just due to the potential dangers that lay at every turn.

BMW generated quite a name for themselves in the pre-World War II era with the iconic 328 winning its class for the 1938 Mille Miglia and then going on to an overall victory in 1940 as the tides of war began to sweep across Europe. Needless to say, BMW developed a reputation as a world-class competitor for major sportscar events ( this isn’t including the BMW 328’s victory first in class/fifth overall victory at the 1940 Le Mans). So if you think about it – the Mille Miglia name should stand for quite a lot to BMW as a defining racer early on in the company’s legacy as a manufacturer of sporting cars.

06bmw328rmmonaco1 655x434 Editorial: Will the Real Mille Miglia Please Stand Up?

So why is it that the “Mille Miglia” name, with such a presence in the history of the brand, is being attached to the special edition of the hotted-up Z4? I have no doubt that the Z4 sDrive35is will be an incredible car( I’m itching to get my hands on it) but that being said, why couldn’t we just have a “streetable” verison of the 328 Mille Miglia Concept Coupe that debuted at the decadent Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2006?

In looking at BMW’s existing line-up, there is  no flagship vehicle that could tie in the principles of the company to an elegant yet sexy design – especially a coupe. In the 1990’s the 8 Series ( an incredible car hampered in sales due to poor economic timing) and in the early 2000’s we had the Z8 – a veritable throwback to the legendary 507. Retro is a played out theme in the automotive world right now thanks to Ford, GM and Chrysler cashing in on their respective styling heritage of the late 1960’s but the 328 MM Coupe Concept just oozes with panache and style that manage to set it apart from anything else out there right now – retro or not  – with a strong mix of avant garde cues such as the striking slash across the body denoting the brake lamps.

The 328 MM Coupe Concept(based on the previous E85 platform, first generation Z4) debuted at the 2006 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este – Lake Como, Italy to us common folk  –  and widely received acclaim for its near-timeless design as a throwback to the legacy of the 1930’s and ’40’s but with a modern styling flair from the era of Banglian design that has forever altered the path of BMW’s exterior renderings. The underpinnings of the car (drivetrain, platform, etc.) came straight from a E85 Z4 M Coupe – a suitable donor if ever one – to motivate the 328 MM Coupe Concept.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MOcTPVsejs[/youtube]

With that said, why attach the Mille Miglia name to a “Limited Edition” of a car that has barely been released in the United States and Europe?

I suppose I understand the correlation between the drop-dead gorgeous drophead that is the E89 Z4 and the historic 328 Coupe open-top( it was success as both the coupe and open racer) but why cash in historic relevance on a successful name on such an early model that will surely be successful like the Z4 sDrive35is?

Why not just give the world what it wants and provide a flagship or one-off model?

Something unique, brilliant, elegant and high performance. With the Z8, it was a Heidi Klum of early 2000’s sportscars when it came out – many would directly compare it to the Mercedes-Benz SL Class but the Z8 was truly a class of its own with its rugged, masculine looks but with a penchant for history in its cues – a car for both past and present and one that lives on as a special car denoted through its near-new grey market pricing.. Bring back this magic with the 328 Mille Miglia Coupe Concept in the form of a production car to lead at the head of the pack of an already impressive line of brooding Bavarians.

Give us the avante garde styling and sculpted, deeply creased lines of the coupe with its GINA-Concept-influenced body with the guts of a champion sports car – perhaps something like a Z4 sDrive35is?

Call it a suggestion, but either give us our flagship or reserve the name deep-rooted in a motoring history for a true soul successor to the original 328 Mille Miglia of pre-war legend!

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