Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 Corriere d’Eleganza XIII
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 – Corriere d’Eleganza XII

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 Corriere d’Eleganza XIII

Dear Friends of the Concorso,

The wait was worth it and the anticipation has now been transformed into a very concrete sense of enjoyment. Today, Friday, sees the start of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, as one of the most exquisite events in the world featuring automobile jewels. On its 90th birthday, the beauty pageant is being held under the promising motto of “The Symphony of Engines”.

In keeping with a memorable tradition spanning many years, the host BMW will surprise an invited audience on the Friday evening with two studies created exclusively for the Concorso d’Eleganza – an automobile and a motorcycle. We are certain that they will receive an exceptional round of applause – join together with us and have a first look at the BMW Garmisch created in the context of an exciting new project, and the Concept R18, a motorcycle which projects the quintessential aura of a great BMW classic.

Guests have travelled to Cernobbio on the shores of Lake Como from Italy, from Europe and from many other countries in order to spend the weekend appraising and admiring the field of participants. This comprises some 50 automobiles curated with great care. The Concorso di Motociclette has become established as a second impressive attraction. This year, it is taking place for the ninth time and once again celebrates exceptional two-wheeled rarities. We extend a warm welcome to you on your visit. You will find all the important information below.

Your Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Team

The BMW Garmisch : BMW pays homage to design visionary Marcello Gandini

The BMW Group is taking the occasion of this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to unveil the recreation of the BMW Garmisch, a classic concept car that was designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone and vanished after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970. With the newly created car, BMW pays respect to one of Italy’s most influential car designers and adds an exciting chapter to the company’s history.

Read more

A design milestone returns: The recreation of the BMW Garmisch

“Marcello Gandini to me is one of the grandmasters of car design and his cars always have been an important source of inspiration for my work”, says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, who has been intrigued by the BMW Garmisch since he first discovered a faded period picture of the car some years ago. “Building the BMW Garmisch for a second time gave us the opportunity to pay tribute to Mr. Gandini, recall one of his lesser-known cars and highlight Bertone’s stylistic influence on the evolution of BMW design. For me, that alone was reason enough to do this project – filling in the gaps and completing BMW’s history.”

Since the early days of the brand, BMW has been inspired and influenced by Italian design and coachbuilding culture. From the lightweight aluminium BMW 328 Mille Miglia created at Carrozzeria Touring in the late 1930s to the wedge-shaped BMW M1 designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, there has always been a vital exchange of concepts and ideas across the Alps. And just like many other Italian show cars of the 1960s and 1970s, the original BMW Garmisch was developed by Bertone as an independent design proposal intended to demonstrate the studio’s creativity. “The original idea came from Nuccio Bertone himself who wanted to consolidate our existing relationship with BMW by designing a surprise show car for the Geneva Motor Show”, remembers Marcello Gandini, who was in charge of Bertone’s design department at the time.

“We wanted to create a modern mid-sized coupe that was faithful to BMW’s design language, but that was also more dynamic and even a bit provocative.” While the side profile of the car was very sleek and clean, the most distinctive design feature of the BMW Garmisch was its bold, vertical and almost angular variation of BMW’s kidney-shaped radiator grill, which was flanked by square glass-covered headlights. Other unusual details included sports car-like louvres on the C-pillars and the honeycomb-patterned mesh cover for the rear window – a trademark element of Marcello Gandini’s style.

Although the car was created in just a couple of months, the design team did not let the opportunity pass to give the interior their special treatment as well. With its rather unusual vertical radio on the center console, a lavish fold-out mirror for the passenger and a flamboyant mix of colours and materials, the BMW Garmisch added an elegant Piemontese twist to the rather functional interior design habits of the time. According to Marcello Gandini, even the car’s name was chosen to impress: “We picked the name Garmisch because skiing was very popular in Italy at that time. It evoked dreams of winter sports and alpine elegance.”

Being faithful to the original car, the new BMW Garmisch is also a stunning showcase of BMW’s expertise in design research and prototype building. As original documents of the BMW Garmisch were sparse, the interdisciplinary team convoked from the BMW Group Design and BMW Classic departments had to retrace every detail of the car’s exterior and interior from a small selection of period images, most of them only available in black and white.

Marcello Gandini himself contributed to the research process with memories from the creation of the car, allowing the design team to refabricate key details such as the exterior colour – a light champagne metallic in line with Italian fashion trends of the time – and the interior materials and trim. And while the BMW Design team used the latest 3D modeling technologies to revive and specify the original structures and shapes, the BMW Garmisch was coach-built by skilled craftsmen in Turin – just like the original car almost 50 years ago.

“When I first heard that BMW wanted to recreate the BMW Garmisch, I was a bit surprised”, Marcello Gandini recalls of his first meeting with Adrian van Hooydonk, who visited him in Turin in the summer of 2018 to ask for the his approval. “Now I am very pleased that I was able to be part of this project and happy that BMW chose to recall this enjoyable past. Having seen the final car, it is hard for me to even distinguish it from the original.”

With its clean, reduced design language and precise use of lines and geometrical shapes, the BMW Garmisch is an archetype of the radical new style that was pioneered by Italian studios such as Bertone, Italdesign and Pininfarina in the late 1960s and early 1970s – and that is still an important reference point for car designers today. As an ambassador of avant-garde design thinking, the BMW Garmisch is also meant to inspire contemporary designers to keep on reimagining the shape of the automobile. “At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, we should reflect on the past, but we should also think about where we are going”, says Adrian van Hooydonk. “Marcello Gandini’s designs have always been very clear and very clean, but also very dramatic. This is why I find his work so inspiring. He was always able to create something spectacular using very few design elements. This approach of trying to accomplish a lot with less is quite modern still today.”

Born in 1938, Marcello Gandini is one of the most influential car designers of the 20th century. During his 14 years as Design Director of the Bertone design studios in Turin, he created some of the most daring and revolutionary automobiles of the era, including wedge-shaped concept cars like the Lancia Stratos Zero or the Alfa Romeo Carabo as well as iconic sports cars like the Lamborghini Miura which are sought-after by collectors and celebrated at concours events worldwide. Besides the BMW Garmisch, Marcello Gandini and his team at Bertone have worked on the BMW Spicup showcar and the first generation of the BMW 5 series, which was created under the lead of BMW’s former head of design Paul Bracq.

BMW Motorrad Concept R18: The tradition and future of BMW Motorrad melded into one perfectly shaped Custom Bike

Against the backdrop of a bustling mix of the traditional and the modern on show at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, BMW Motorrad presents an engaging alternative for a time that is being increasingly characterised by rapid technological change.

Read more

You could see it as a return to the brand’s core, but given a modern twist: The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 transports the essence of the big BMW Motorrad classics into the modern age, or in other words, it is taking a historical motorcycle design and giving it a modern, custom attitude. Dr. Markus Schramm, head of BMW Motorrad, describes the design as follows: “With this dream bike, BMW Motorrad presents its own version of an emotional and authentic offer for the large cruiser segment”.

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 shows how a forward projection of a 1960s boxer engine could look like today as a purist custom bike in combination with all the classic design icons of BMW Motorrad design. “With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance.” explains Edgar Heinrich, head of BMW Motorrad Design.

Consistently purist design with timeless proportions

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the essence of motorcycling, a bike in its original, natural form. In true custom style, it celebrates the art of leaving out what you don’t need and then concentrating on what is left. “The biggest challenge in the design is to render everything visible. Every part has a functional purpose. There are not many who would dare to take such an absolutely honest approach.” says Bart Janssen Groesbeek, designer of the concept bike.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is immediately recognisable as a genuine BMW: boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed universal shaft and drop-shaped fuel tank with its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines interpret typical design icons of BMW Motorrad classics, while displaying confidence along with modern-style linearity. The balanced proportions are reminiscent of classics like the BMW R5, and convey – even from a distance – the timeless beauty that comes about whenever things are consistently reduced to their bare essentials. The frame and tank create a common line all the way from the steering head to the rear wheel hub and lend a flowing elegance to the side view. The large spoke wheels (front 21 inch, rear 18 inch) provide a secure stance and perfectly balance the dominant power unit. The tyres are a further reference to history: just as it was in its day, this bike is again fitted with Metzeler tyres.

The BMW boxer tradition brings out new splendour

The heart of the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the large, newly designed, two-cylinder 1800 cc boxer engine. Its outward appearance is consciously reminiscent of the flat twin engines that BMW Motorrad used to build up until the end of the 1960s – but with a considerably bigger displacement and modern air/oil cooling. The big prototype boxer has been designed down to the last detail: the engine block and transmission are made of glass bead-blasted aluminium, providing an ideal stage on which to present the hand-polished aluminium components as well as the belt guard and valve covers. The engine badge bears the name of the concept bike and emphasises the overall quality. In addition, Solex dual carburettors – similar to those in the BMW 2002 – hark back to the brand’s construction history and add the final touch to the bike’s visual authenticity.

Another optical highlight is the exposed, chrome-plated universal shaft that connects the back wheel to the drive. There are no further covers anywhere on the motorcycle, which serves to keep its engineering clearly visible. Similarly, the electronics of the concept bike are reduced to no more than starter and lights, underlining its purist design.

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the third in-house interpretation of the large-capacity boxer engine to come from BMW Motorrad. Last December the model created by the Japanese customisers, CUSTOM WORKS ZON was presented at the Yokohama Hot Rod Show, on the basis of this new prototype engine. The ‘Departed’ won the biggest accolade of the event, the ’Best of Show Motorcycle’ award, thrilling motorcycle fans with its classic forms, modern production techniques and all manner of manual art and craft in the details. The next round was the interpretation by Revival Cycles. The customisers from Austin, Texas created a spectacular bike with their ‘Revival Birdcage’ model, an ideal presentation platform for the Big Boxer. The specially developed titanium frame features an unobstructed view of the engine and drive from all angles. This American design created a furore at last month’s Handbuilt Show in Texas.

High quality details in fine custom work

As for its colour design, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 shows itself to be a classic. The theme is typical BMW: the white, hand-applied lines on the fork and fuel tank in combination with the black base colour represent the classic BMW colour theme. A discreet yellow-gold varnish effect lends the bright twin lines an exclusive touch, and the black effect paintwork on the tank and fork rods similarly reveal, in the best custom style, an unusual depth when the sunlight strikes the large metallic particles in the various layers of the paintwork.

The visual design of the imprinted single leather seat is borrowed from the classics of the 1950s. Reinterpreted and somewhat more comfortable, its quality embossing sits perfectly within the overall purist and high-class design. The cantilever spring strut is integrated beneath the seat. The graphics of the headlamp design are also reminiscent of the 1950s. The classic U shape of the original glass cover components are now interpreted as LED lamp elements.
Every one of these details contributes to the unique character of the concept bike and underlines its overall statement. The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 merges traditional and historic design language with the current functionalities of BMW Motorrad in a coherent and cohesive whole.

Moreover, an exclusive and suitably themed horse leather jacket, which recreates the aesthetics of those days, has been designed especially for the presentation of the concept bike at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The leather jacket features a very smooth surface with only little grain and the protectors are integrated almost invisibly.

A counterpoint to contemporary times

“For me, motorcycles like the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. We have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. We believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology,” says Edgar Heinrich in conclusion.

Three days of world-class performance in Cernobbio: The gates open for visitors

The Concorso d’Eleganza is welcoming visitors on all three days. You can find all the important facts and information here.

Read more

Three days of world-class performance in Cernobbio: The gates open for visitors

On Friday 24th May, the parkland of Villa Erba in Cernobbio is open between 10.00 and 17.00. On this day, the auction house RM Sotheby’s is presenting around 70 vehicles which will then be auctioned on the Saturday evening. The entry and viewing are free of charge for visitors on Friday.

The Concorso di Motociclette is being held on Saturday 25th May. Visitors are able to experience the rare motorcycles taking part in the contest and the Jury going about their work of assessment. Furthermore, the owners of the motorcycles will be available by their machines for discussions. A number of thematic special exhibitions are also presenting some exceptional vehicles as part of the supporting programme. Entry on Saturday costs 12 euros (concessions pay 8 euros). At 14.00, a very special spectacle awaits you outside the grounds. This is when the Motorcycle Street Run takes place in which many motorcycles participating in the contest travel from Villa Erba to Villa d’Este through the streets of Cernobbio. In the evening, the auction staged by RM Sotheby’s will take place. Starting at 18.00, around 70 high-class and rare collectible vehicles will be auctioned. Entry for two people costs 200 euros. A catalogue and a bidder card are included in the price.

Sunday 26th May is the pinnacle of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. From 9.30 to 17.30, the parkland of Villa Erba is open to the public. This is the day when visitors can experience all the automobiles of the legendary contest. They include great classics and concept vehicles – a unique exhibition of exceptional gems. Up until 14.30, visitors also have an opportunity to cast their vote for the various public awards in the Public Referendum. The Concorso di Motociclette will be held from 11.00 to 12.15, including the award for this year’s winner. The award ceremony for the winners of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is being held starting at 14:30, followed by a glittering parade of all the participating vehicles. You are warmly invited to take your seat in the grandstand for an ideal view of the presentation. The entry price on Sunday is 16 euros (concessions pay 12 euros).

You can find lots more information, reduced online tickets, itineraries showing you how to get here and the available parking options at the venue at www.concorsodeleganzavilladeste.com/visitors