BMW’s current design language can be described as polarizing, but the German automaker certainly has a lot of legacy from its past that it could build on if it wanted to. Inspired by the aerodynamic lines of the classic BMW 327 introduced in 1937, automotive designers Geoffrey Decembry (exterior) and Pierre Senelet (interior) came together to create a modern version of the touring coupe.
According to the designers, the aim of this project was to “revisit the BMW of the 1930s-1950s” and not to criticize or offer an alternative to what BMW Design is doing today.
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The end result is a four-seater grand tourer represented in coupe and convertible bodywork, like a luxurious and sporty model that could be positioned between a Porsche 911 and a Bentley Continental GT. The BMW 327-2 Hommage measures 4,475mm in length, 1,900mm in width and 1,330mm in height. This makes it 43 mm (1.7 inches) longer than the current BMW 2 Series Coupe, although its proportions are dynamic thanks to the large diameter wheels, the very short front overhang and a “coachbuilding” scent. “.
Up front, the tall, narrow grille is joined by large air intakes and slim, raised LED headlights that are visually extended to the profile in a nod to the closed lines of the original. The license plate is moved to the side of the bumper as on Alfa Romeo models, in order to leave the grille clear. The A-pillar is also a retro touch while the coupe profile features the famous Hofmeister fold and a front fender graphic similar to modern BMWs.
The rear part is quite interesting since it has a completely different design on the coupe and convertible models. The fixed-roof variant includes slim LED taillights mounted on the sides of the tailgate and additional units on the beautiful “Coda Tronca” tail. The topless model incorporates horizontally arranged tail lights, similar to those found in the current BMW Z4 and earlier roadster concepts from the Bavarian automaker.
For the interior, the designers wanted to “build a bridge between heritage and daring as a transition between the past and the future of the brand”. A digital cockpit behind the futuristic steering wheel is clearly driver-focused without large screens or fancy graphics. The central tunnel seems to float thanks to a transparent shell, while the front passenger section is more minimal.
The four-seater cabin is packed with leather-style upholstery with brushed aluminum and carbon fiber accents, while the ambient lighting changes depending on the driving style. The lightweight seats are designed after 20th century furniture, but incorporate sporty details and have movable headrests.
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The BMW 327-2 Hommage is of course nothing more than a design study in the digital world, but it shows how car designers are infusing retro elements into future vehicles inspired by the past but not copying it. It also incorporates another example of BMW’s vertical grille that sparked controversy when it reappeared on the latest generation M3 / M4.
We thank Geoffrey Decembry and Pierre Senelet for sharing their work with us.