The automotive company known today as BMW has its roots in three different manufacturing companies that merged in the early 20th century. Although BMW spent its time during the two world wars producing motorcycles, aircraft engines and even pots and pans, the company refocused on the automotive industry in the 1940s. Today, the business is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and it is responsible for the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, BMW Motorsport and BMW Motorrad divisions in addition to its main vehicle production lines.
BMW often creates concept cars, vehicles made to showcase new styling or technology, prior to putting the design into production. Many of these concepts pay homage to old BMW designs, but they are created with a twist or a fresh interpretation of the favorite classic features.
5. 2006 BMW Mille Miglia Coupe Concept
Evoking the BMW 328 Touring Coupe that won the Mille Miglia in 1940, this 2006 reincarnation features a modern, aerodynamic aluminum body. Although this vehicle was only ever intended as a concept car, the traditional racing styling paired with the contemporary knowledge about materials and aerodynamic shapes make this vehicle impressive and nostalgic at the same time.
The surprisingly asymmetric shape of the body, along with the missing rear lamps and shifted LED headlights, make this coupe innovative. Perhaps most unique of all, the 2006 Mille Miglia interior designers shaped the inner structures from artificial connections inspired by the ancient art of Japanese Origami, a vision unlike other racecar designs.
4. 2008 BMW M1 Hommage
The mid-engine 2008 M1 Hommage is a sports car with a wide, aggressive stance mixed with some elements of both the original BMW Turbo concept and the first M1 design.
The classic M1 body shape and the lowered rear window are the clearest nods to this car’s predecessor, but the face is a noticeable departure. Gone is the typical BMW double-kidney grille. Instead, this car features a trapezoidal lower opening with its four round headlights tucked behind almost sinister-looking slits.
As a concept car, the M1 Hommage does not even feature a completed interior; it is merely a glimpse into what such a concept car would be.
3. 2011 BMW 328 Hommage
In another tribute to the classic 1940-race-winning BMW 328, this 2011 iteration strives to match the lightweight design with modern carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. Likewise, this updated version features the now-familiar kidney-shaped grille, and the taillights are widely set in the rear of the vehicle.
The concept car is to be powered by a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine, and it aims to reach speeds of 103 miles per hour, much like its predecessor. Built as a company celebration for the 75th anniversary of BMW, the 328 Hommage is impressive and dynamic.
2. 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
The original BMW 3.0 CSL was more affectionately known as the Batmobile for its appearance and racing endurance between 1972 and 1975. With very few of the original models produced, this concept car looks to tap into the nostalgic feelings for that classic vehicle. This updated Hommage incorporates the retro wraparound front wings and the top aero blades that earned the Batmobile its name.
This aerodynamic form and lightweight skeleton ensure that the new 3.0 CSL would be fiery on the racetrack but with a futuristic form. BMW indicates that the interior cockpit is minimal with a central display on the steering column, a pair of crash helmets in the transmission tunnel, and a fire extinguisher tucked into the backseat area.
1. 2016 BMW 2002 Hommage
Designed specially for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, BMW recently unveiled its 2002 Hommage concept car. This is a new take on one of the most iconic cars in BMW history with its low profile, short overhands and noticeable “shark nose” front features.
The large spoilers placed on both the front and rear ends optimize the airflow around this aerodynamic design. Although not a lot has been released about the interior of this vehicle, it is most likely a modified version of the BMW M2. Covered in Space Race Metal paint, this tribute to the 2002 Turbo looks like liquid metal as it zips along. This appearance is only fitting given that the original was the first vehicle produced anywhere in Europe with turbo technology.
Since BMW began its Hommage series in 2008 with the M1, this group of concept cars has caused excitement and anticipation every year as fans wait to see what the company will design and release next.
BMW is proud of its roots in car design, and it creates each of these vehicles to demonstrate its extraordinary innovations with historical reference points. Fans of these unique and impressive concept cars can look forward to many more options in the coming years as BMW continues to explore and to improve on its rich car-design tradition.
About The Author
David Moss is a Detroit based automotive freelance writer. When he is not writing about the latest car technology, he spends his time hiking. You can follow him via Twitter @davidcmoss