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The Showstopping BMW Concept Skytop & R20 Concept Bike

The German manufacturer unveiled two impressive concept vehicles during thjs year's Concorse d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

Every year, a very select group of vintage cars and their owners are invited to the shored of Lake Como, for one of the most prestigious events on the calendar. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which we were lucky enough to attend several times before, is one of the highlights of the classic car world. And every year BMW, one of the organizing partners, brings along some of its most prized historical cars, as well as an exciting special project vehicle. Or vehicles for this year, as it not only unveiled the Concept Skytop but also the R20 Concept motorbike!

The concorso d’eleganza villa d’este

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In the classic car world, a few events stand out as being the best, the absolute creme-de-la-creme. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is certainly one of the most prestigious, alongside the Amelia Island Concours and of course Pebble Beach. The event on the shores of Lake Como in Italy brings together 50 of the most unique and special cars built between 1920 and 1980, spread across multiple categories. Out of all of the entrants, a group of finalists is selected, out of which the Best in Show is voted. This year the winner was the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider which has been owned by the same man for 77 years and is in an amazingly original, unrestored condition!

While most of the attention goes to the vintage cars, joining them is an eclectic mix of more modern road- and racing cars, as well as several of the best and most exciting one-offs and concept vehicles. This blend of the past, present and future is a rare sight to behold and if you’re really into cars, attending the Villa d’Este event is a must!

The gorgeous Villa d’Este estate, on the shore of Lake Como, Italy.

The BMW Concept Skytop

As one of the organizing partners of the event, BMW always showcases some of its best modern and historic cars. Virtually every year they also release an exciting new concept vehicle, and this time around it’s the Concept Skytop.

This open-top grand tourer is quite something! It’s a surprising mix of classical lines and contemporary styling elements, almost in the vein of a coachbuilt one-off car. And in a sense, that’s exactly what it is. Inspiration for the design study comes from cars like the BMW 503 and BMW Z8, to name just two. A particularly pleasing element is the centre spline that runs from the nose, through the interior, to the rear deck, finished with aluminium trim.

The shark nose up front thankfully has a pair of horizontal BMW kidneys instead of the verticle ones you see on some of the brand’s recent cars. From the front to the back, several creases and lines accentuate the Concept Skytop’s profile, ending in a sleek but stout rear end with LED lights and a pair of oval exhaust tips. The interior is a luxurious haven finished with leather, aluminium trim and a centre console angled towards the driver. The roof panels, also finished in leather, can be stored in the trunk.

Such a car deserved a fitting drivetrain, and BMW opted for their most powerful V8 engine to date. BMW hasn’t released performance details, but considering the fact the Concept Skytop is based on the M8 Convertible, it should pack at least 625bhp. BMW is allegedly considering a small production run of this impressive concept car, which will undoubtedly be sold in record time and for quite some money.

The BMW R20 Concept

On the other end of the spectrum, sits the BMW R20 Concept. This bold café racer-type concept motorcycle looks absolutely amazing from end to end. There’s a lot less you can do to a bike than to a car, visually at least, but BMW has incorporated a ton of details everywhere you look.

The R20 is built around BMW’s famous boxer engine, with the cylinders protruding on either side. The rather bright pink tank on top of the black frame immediately catches your attention. The engine, for instance, has black cylinders and machined bare metal heads with a plaque carrying the bike’s name. The BMW logo is seen on either side of the tank but also below the radiator, a nice finishing touch.

Things get even more interesting towards the rear, as the R20 Concept has an exposed and polished driveshaft and coupling link. Such things are usually hidden behind some protective sheet or even completely encased, so it’s cool to see them exposed like this.

Again, BMW is quiet about performance, but I expect this machine to be a blast to drive! There’s also no word of it entering production, but I can already see myself planting my backside on that seat and ripping through the hills surrounding Lake Como!

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Editorial NoteThe information and images for this article are sourced from the BMW Group unless stated otherwise.

4 responses

  1. The R20 Concept will make it into production soon. BMW use the “Concept” name to indicate this. If it were not aimed at production it would be called a “Vision”.

  2. Car, yes that’s one for me, look rather nice on the chateaux’s drive way (if only).

    Bike, nah it’s nothing special I’ll stick to my current model, at least I can ride mine in the wet, not sure I’d want to ride this is any conditions.

    Thumbs up on the car but down on the bike.

  3. That bike has nothing on my Moto Guzzi Griso I’ll run circles around it

  4. Nice Car.
    Foolish motorcycle approach. Desperate BMW Motorrad needs another succes, R9T aged, GS1250 is the best money maker, R12T doesn’t pick up, far less so the R18. The S and M 1000 do sell, though, but the R20 won’t be going any better than the R18.

    Bring the Car, it’ll work fine, the pockets are full, even though they claim the opposite.
    BMW-motorrad shall focus on fixing the R1300GS and stun the customer base with a sporty, comfy, light, GSA.

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