It’s been barely 24 hours since the wraps came off the BMW Concept Touring Coupe, and BMW Group Design Director Adrian van Hooydonk has already had “at least two to three people” at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza express interest in his company’s newest creation. But speaking at a media roundtable on May 20, van Hooydonk signaled some not-so-great news for folks hoping to park a modern-day clownshoe in their garage.
“[The Concept Touring Coupe] is a one-off at the moment,” van Hooydonk said. “Right? And there's no concrete plans to put it in production. But, we made the agreement before we set sail for Lake Como that, if there's enough interest, we will take a look at it. That could be a very low-volume version, like 50 cars or so.”
A classic good news, bad news situation, then. But will it actually play out that way? Van Hooydonk made very careful comments, although it’s clear based on Motor1.com’s chat with him that he’s given a production run for the Concept Touring Coupe quite a lot of thought. For a start, this wouldn’t be the first time BMW has shifted a Villa d’Este project from concept to production, although the other occasion took more than a little while to do.
“You know, so many years ago we showed the Hommage 3.0 CSL. A lot of people told me right there and then, ‘Build it, I want one.’” van Hooydonk said. “And I think they would've put their money down right away. It took us a bit longer. That was 2015, and now we delivered the cars this year. 50 units with this, I don't know, maybe we can do it a bit quicker [with the Concept Touring Coupe].”
To be sure, BMW’s latest concept is less of a full-scale project, with van Hooydonk understatedly saying “we had a headstart with the underpinnings.” Based on the current Z4, BMW partnered with Superstile in Turin to build its latest concept, with the design boss claiming he turned up on the company’s front step with a sketch in November.
“Within two days they said, ‘Okay, I think we can do this.’ Then I had to ask for permission,” van Hooydonk said, laughing.
Partnerships like the one with Superstile will be integral to any production plans for the Concept Touring Coupe, according to van Hooydonk.
“Typically, when you do a low volume, and we did that with the 3.0 CSL Hommage, you have to be smart about how you do it. You cannot cycle it through the factory. That's impossible. They cannot deal with that low volume,” van Hooydonk said. “So, you have to do it outside of your production structures, and you have to have several companies that help you with various pieces and then final assembly and quality control you do in-house. So that's how we did it with the 3.0 CSL.”
It seems that if the Concept Touring Coupe does see production then, it’s both going to take some time to happen and will be in very limited volumes. Still, van Hooydonk seemed upbeat and confident about the car’s production chances.
“We have done this cycle once before. We now know how to do it.”