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Does Zagato Coupe Reveal a New Design Direction for BMW?

The end of the Bangle-Butt?

by on May.30, 2012

The BMW Zagato Coupe concept takes a tour of the Alps on its way to Villa d'Este.

Is this the end of the Bangle-Butt?

Since the re-launch of the flagship 7-Series sedan, a decade ago, BMW has adopted a very distinctive styling language perhaps best defined by the high rear deck critics quickly labeled the “Bangle-Butt,” a reference to the maker’s then-design chief Chris Bangle.

But is the Bavarian maker about to migrate to a distinctly different look?  That’s the question it has provoked with the unveiling of the new Zagato Coupe, a 2-seat concept that made its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

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The annual event, staged along Italy’s exclusive Lake Como, is normally reserved for classic cars but BMW gets a little leeway as the events principal sponsor and used the opportunity to gauge reaction to what is clearly not just another German roadster.  The concept was designed by what is now the only surviving independent coachbuilder it Italy, a firm more traditionally associated with the likes of Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo.

But perhaps, a few industry observers are suggesting, BMW needed to reach outside to help it envision such a dramatic shift in styling strategy.

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