Browse over 9,000 car reviews

BMW Zagato Roadster unveiled

Based on the BMW Z4 sDrive35is, the Roadster has been created by Italian design house Zagato – and carries as one of its cues their signature 'doppio gobba' double-bubble in the soft-top roof cover.

Unveiled at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on the weekend, the Roadster echoes the Zagato Coupe's aggressive nose, long bonnet and the sharp cut-off of an aerodynamic Kamm tail, but with subtly smoother lines towards the rear to suggest style rather than hardcore sportiness.

“The tail end as a whole places a greater emphasis on elegance than that of the Coupé, which shows a sharper sporting edge. The Roadster’s lines are smoother here and the rear is lower-slung,” BMW says.

For the prominent roll-bars, the designers were inspired by the shape of an aircraft wing and experimented with the mass of the components before deciding in the forward-leaning final design. There's also an intentional hint of propeller to the five-spoke 19-in light-alloy wheels, making reference to the aircraft production in both BMW and Zagato history.

BMW says the positive response to the Zagato Coupe prompted a swift decision to produce the Roadster – with just six weeks of build time after the design was finalised.

“We set ourselves the challenge of preparing the car in time for the renowned Pebble Beach Concours,” BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk says. “It was only with the expertise of both companies in the manufacture of high-end one-off cars and another display of outstanding teamwork that we were able to finish the car on schedule.”

The BMW Zagato Roadster has been finished in a special grey that changes from dark charcoal to light silver depending on how the light hits it.

BMW has not given any detailed technical, weight or performance figures, but in the standard Z4 sDrive35is is powered by a 250kW/450Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine that gets to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds and to a top speed of 250km/h (electronically-limited).