BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe Unveiled
BMW’s first team-up with Italian styling house Pininfarina, was revealed in full at the 2013 Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy in the form of the Gran Lusso coupe. The full-bodied V12-powered coupe is a one-off styling concept for now, but shows the direction BMW could take for a new 8-series coupe, to compete with the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Bentley Continental GT.
The imposing Gran Lusso is a beautiful concoction of the past, present and future of BMW. It maintains the kidney grille and the Hofmeister kink in the rear pillar, but the strong forward rake of the front end resembles the sharknose BMWs of the 70s and 80s. However the fastback shape is very rarely seen in the BMW lineup and is reminiscent of the BMW CS Concept from 2007. The supersized four-door coupe was intended to go into production as the flagship BMW, but BMW were worried about building a high-end model in the wake of the financial crisis. The concept of a four-door coupe lived on as the 6-series Gran Coupe and CS was left as inspiration for new BMWs like the Gran Lusso.
High-quality materials line the interior include black and tobacco brown leather upholstery from Italian company Foglizzo and lots of wooden accents sourced from a single piece of rare kauri wood native to New Zealand.
All in all, the Gran Lusso Coupe is a very bold and handsome design. The long wheelbase, wide stance and short overhangs add to a very well sculpted exterior. What remains to be seen, is whether this could manifest itself into the rumoured return of the BMW 8-series.