We always prefer looking at real images of a car instead of those carefully supplied by the automaker. BMWBLOG had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Skytop ahead of its world premiere at the 2024 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Even these detailed shots don’t tell the whole story since the concept looks better in the metal.

Featuring a supremely clean design, Skytop is a vast departure from BMW’s current busy styling. If it weren’t for the familiar dashboard, you’d be hard-pressed to believe there’s an 8 Series Convertible hiding underneath. It’s still a cabrio, but with a two-piece targa top and no rear seats. Those Z8-esque slim taillights have a correspondent at the front where slender headlights flank a wide kidney grille.

While every other BMW these days seems to be electric, Skytop has an honest-to-God combustion engine. The large air intakes with horizontal slats denote there’s a big ICE in need of extra cooling. Tucked underneath the hood is the brand’s most potent V8 to date, making well over 600 horsepower. It breathes through those dual oval exhausts rather than M’s signature quad-pipe setup.

We hope to see those rad wheels and tiny door handles on future production BMWs. We weren’t able to find a bad angle of this car, although more changes inside would’ve been nice. Last year’s Concept Touring Coupe also had a different body but largely the same cabin as the Z4 M40i donor car. The automotive world could certainly use more targa-topped cars, albeit these tend to be quite expensive.

We were allowed to shoot the Skytop in both configurations – with the top up and down. The two upper panels are covered in leather and stay in the trunk when you want unlimited headroom. Having removed the rear seats, BMW had room for a much larger cargo area, big enough to carry the targa roof. However, practicality is likely severely hindered by those removable panels. First-world problems, I guess.

Skytop now belongs to a select club of one-offs introduced at Villa d’Este over the years. On the shores of Lake Como in Italy, we’ve seen some stunning BMWs in the past. The 2008 M1 Hommage probably takes the cake, although the 2015 CSL Hommage was also a real beauty as well. We’re imagining Skytop in a garage next to the 2013 Pininfarina Gran Lusso since that one too had immaculate lines.

All these cars we mentioned were sadly never sold to customers. Will Skytop be the exception?

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