In 2007 BMW unveiled the CS Concept at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Chinese market was hot – and would soon overtake the United States for the lead in new car sales. This visually stunning concept of what could have been a range topper, an 8 Gran Coupe if you will, was very well received. And it was finished as if production were a distinct possibility, unlike other concepts that merely exist to expose design themes. Word has it that this concept was cleared for production.
So what happened? A global economic crisis of epic proportions. With the world economy tanking in 2008, bringing this car to production would have been a mistake. But fortunately, many of the styling features seen on the CS concept live on in other BMW models.
- The fabulous features flow from front to rear on the CS.
- The stand-up grille, in part aesthetic, in part compliance with pedestrian safety standards, has found its way onto most models in the BMW lineup.
- The inverted A pillar line in the front fenders can be found on the 6 series.
- The Zagato like double-bubble roof is now part of the M6 styling.
- The swoopy coupe roofline are copied on the various Gran Coupe models, and the cut line for the back edge of the rear door, which follows the Hofmeister kink, carries over as well.
- The break in the beltline on the rear door finds an echo in the new X3 – with that break being pulled forward to the front fenders.
It’s a shame the CS couldn’t have found its way into production, it’s a pleasure that so many features of the CS have found their way into other BMWs.
The BMW CS Concept pays tribute to the exceptional BMW Design Studio which seven years later can say that the four-door coupe still looks fresh and exciting.