Shown at this weekends Villa D’Este concourse on the banks of Lake Como in Italy to a bunch of polo wearing toffs was the stunning BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Concept. Is it the next 8 Series?
Erm, not entirely. This is the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Concept. It has quite a strange name, ‘Gran’ for starters doesn’t sound especially sporting or enticing. No, it sounds precisely like knitting needles clanging together and confusion over what to eat for breakfast. Secondly, ‘Lusso’ isn’t really a word and sounds like a nickname given to an Australian bogan or chav – everyone’s nickname ends in ‘o’ over there.
But never mind that, because this concept car is a big, pillar-less, stately, V12 powered coupe. Everything about it is simply epic with a mild aroma of the 1980’s mixed in.
Allow me to explain. During the late 1980’s, if you were a playboy with a leopard print rug, a massive motor yacht and an unhealthy tobacco addiction, you drove a Lamborghini Countach and something else that was a bit more grown up, something that was big, stately, and pillar-less coupe shaped. And probably filled with nasal mucus, feces, and a white powdery substance, but lets not get bogged down in that issue. That car was the BMW 8 Series. It had pop-up headlamps, it was fast, it looked beautiful, it was brilliant.
But in 1999 BMW stopped building them, and they haven’t made another since. But now BMW have unveiled this beauty, it’s a concept car for now, but we all know how BMWs concepts work. Remember the ‘M5 Concept’ and ‘4 Series Concept’ and ‘Gran Coupe Concept’ and, ok you get the idea. You could very well be staring, with saliva running down your face, at the next BMW 8 Series, people of the Interweb. And once you’re aboard this beast, it’s like sitting inside a er, leather filled cigar… It’s very brown.
The Gran Lusso’s innards are pretty incredible; it’s filled mostly with warm pieces of old tree and cow. The tree’s used to make up this lovely interior come from the land of sheep’s and delicious kiwi fruits, New Zealand, and they’re probably older than you at more than 48,000 years old. Depending on the light, the color of the wood changes from brown to red, too – it’s witchcraft, probably.
Behind the frankly enormous BMW kidney grille lives the 6.0liter twin turbo V12 from the 7 Series producing some horsepower’s, which we’ll assume is enough to send the Gran Lusso to 62mph in not many seconds – BMW haven’t announced power or performance figures yet.
The striking front end has been designed to hint at the Gran Lusso’s hunger for raw speed. The flat headlights are supposed to give a “road-focused” look, which is good, because quite frankly, if the headlights fitted to my very expensive land yacht weren’t focusing on the road I’d want my money back. The sheer size of the kidney grille reflects the power of the V12 lurking behind it, and the slats are angled down to give the typically BMW “shark nose” look. The bonnet is long, the greenhouse is set far back in the wheelbase and the lines are taut. These styling cues all give car a dynamically purposeful appearance, apparently – just nod.
So, if you’re a rich playboy from the 1980’s and you’d like something big, beautiful and capable of ferrying you, some pretty passengers, and some designer branded luggage to your ocean going yacht, then do get in touch with BMW, somehow, and beg them to build this. Actually, if you’re quick, you might be able to catch them at Lake Como in Italy where this car was originally shown at the Villa D’Este concourse. Probably best if you take the jet….
By Aiden Taylor (@AidenT_RD)