My Car Quest

June 21, 2024

Design Critique: BMW Skytop Concept

by Wallace Wyss –

Not long after pondering whether I liked the droptail Rolls Royces–special cars made on order from wealthy customers–I was shocked to see roughly the same styling being pro-offered on a two seater BMW concept. The idea is–if Rolls can make one off cars, at least we can make limited editions that would sell for a hefty price increase over our top of the line convertible, the 8 Series Convertible it’s based on. Then I consulted all-knowing Google and re-learned BMW had bought Rolls in 2003.

BMW Skytop Concept

It not only steals from the Rolls boattails but the Z8 and 503. It made its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy’s most prestigious Concours.

Here’s my critique.

FRONT Illuminated kidney grille–apparently BMW owners like it. At least it’s smaller than the one on BMWs now.

BMW Skytop Concept

REAR The down swept rear deck is at least free of all the white grooved wood on the rear deck of the boat-tails that makes those Rolls look like partly Riva speedboats. I do like the horizontal taillights though Firebird had them in ’68.

BMW Skytop Concept

SIDE That roofline looks like some American two door hardtop from the Sixties, maybe a Ford Torino.

BMW Skytop Concept

BMW envisioned this as a muscle car, installing the M8 Competition’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. They would make only 26 of them (the first figure we heard though now we read 50) and charge something like $100,000 more than the M8 convertible. I figure they looked at how much profit Ferrari makes on their SP (special project) cars for special customers and thought “Hey, we can do the same thing.” And it’s much less than Rolls’ custom ragtops—those are in the millions.

BMW Skytop Concept

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss has been retained as a car marketer by several automakers when they had an extra special model. He is still a consultant, in between making fine art paintings of exotic cars.


BMW Logo

Photos compliments of BMW.

Design Critique: BMW Skytop Concept
Article Name
Design Critique: BMW Skytop Concept
BMW envisioned the Skytop Concept as a muscle car, installing the M8 Competition’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.


  1. Good: No frivolous surface articulation.
    Bad: It’s heavy-looking with ungainly proportions. Probably huge. Environmentally irresponsible.
    Overall: I don’t find this attractive.

  2. Very nice departure from typical BMW styling, mind you that said much of it is just fine but this is a more refined clean and elegant look not generally associated with the marque… The softening of the grills is particularly welcome to my eyes… not sure the lower bumper grills that are on just about everything at this point are necessary. and the lower rocker panel quasi aero lip is a bit heavy handed as well. I do agree with E55 it is over all a bit heavy looking but the general look is quite a good starting point…

Speak Your Mind