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BMW Zagato Coupe (pictures)

BMW and Italian coachbuilder Zagato partnered on the stunning Zagato Coupe, a design study based on the BMW Z4. This one-off vehicle, although completely road-legal, is not intended for production.

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Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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With a body designed by Italians and German engineering underneath, the BMW Zagato Coupe embodies a formula for excellent performance and world-crushing style. The Zagato Coupe, built on the bones of a BMW Z4, was made as an exhibition vehicle for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, an exclusive show for automotive coach builders held on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.
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The grille shows an example of how Zagato, a historic Italian coach-builder, worked with BMW. The traditional kidney grille shape remains, a hallmark of BMW, but the actual grille is a pincushion of little Zs.
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BMW previously discontinued the coupe version of the Z4, a model made superfluous by the retractable hard top of the Z4 roadster. Zagato brings back the coupe design for the Z4 and completely restyles the sides. The nose drops down from the level of the hood, more so than on the production Z4.
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Zagato lifted the rear lip of the car and made the rear fenders more prominent. A line comes up from the rear side windows to meet the top of the back glass. Beyond the styling, the engine, transmission, and suspension remain stock for a Z4.
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Zagato did not stop with the exterior. The cabin gets a makeover as well. The BMW instrumentation remains in place, but Zagato replaced most of the cabin materials, using a theme of black with red trim.
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The Zagato Z finds its way into the headrests, stitched into the leather. It would be nice to think that the Zagato Coupe heralds a new partnership between the companies that will find its way into production vehicles, but BMW has made no such announcement.

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