BMW core brand design boss Domagoj Dukec has developed a healthy habit of sharing rarely-seen sketches on his personal Instagram account. After discovering the obscure 1989 E1 Spider study back in March, the former BMW i and M Head of Design is back with several interesting sketches created a few years later. Penned in the early 1990s by Joji Nagashima, these proposals for a roadster were left on the proverbial cutting room floor.
Of the three proposals, it’s easy to see the first one was the closest to what eventually became the Z3 E36/7. It’s always fascinating to observe the evolution of a car’s design from the very first sketch to the moment when the automaker freezes the design for the production car. In the Z3’s case, that happened in 1993, but it wasn’t until September 1995 that BMW kicked off production. The E36/8 coupe followed in January 1998.
We can all (probably) agree its design has aged like fine wine. The Z3 was discontinued in June 2002, so 21 years ago, but it remains as pretty as ever. It also was the foundation for the quirky Clown Shoe, the nickname given to the Z3 M coupe/shooting brake mashup. BMW revived the formula for last month’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where it introduced the Touring Coupe concept based on the Z4 M40i. It’s a one-off for now, but has some chances of entering production, with 50 units at around $250,000 a pop and a manual gearbox.
What other cars were styled by Joji Nagashima? The Tokyo-born designer – who has been with BMW since November 1988 – also worked on the 5 Series E39 as well as the 3 Series E90. In addition, some of you might remember seeing a video (attached below) a couple of years ago from BMW Group Classic during which he talked about the oddball ZBF 7er from the mid-1990s. It was a large sedan bigger than the 7 Series E38 of those days while having a vertical kidney grille, side cameras, and hand-cut Dunlop tires specially made for the concept. Inside, it had a precursor to the iDrive that debuted with the E65 in 2001.
Source: Domagoj Dukec / Instagram