Faces of the future: the concept cars at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2012
Number of entrants up +++ BMW sends BMW Turbo to Lake Como +++ Jury offers seal of quality.
Munich/Milan. The participants in this year’s Concept Cars & Prototypes competition have been announced at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este press conference in Milan. “We’re delighted to see a steady rise in the number of entrants for the Concept Cars & Prototypes concours,” said Karl Baumer, President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and Director of BMW Group Classic.
“The contrast between the historical façade of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the automotive design of the future holds a very special fascination for our visitors,” observed Dr Jean-Marc Droulers, member of the Supervisory Board at Villa d’Este S.p.A and Honorary Chairman of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The winner of the competition is chosen not by a jury, but by the visitors to the concours at Villa Erba on the Sunday of the event. This year will bring together the following candidates:
- The Ford Evos, with which Ford showcased the central elements of its global product strategy to the public at last year’s Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA).
- Rimac Concept One, which represents a key step by the Croat carmaker towards its aim of building the world’s best electrically-driven sports car.
- Rinspeed Dock+Go, whose modular design and powertrain once again demonstrate the creativity of company founder Frank M. Rinderknecht.
- Stile Bertone Jaguar B99, which projects the classic style of Jaguar into the future – complete with a touch of Bertone elegance – as the Italian coachbuilder celebrates its centenary.
- Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido, which showcases Giorgetto Giugiaro’s vision of an extraordinary sports car with environment-friendly technology.
- Pininfarina Cambiano, a luxurious sports limousine whose materials and environmental compatibility meet the highest standards.
- Toyota Lexus LF-LC, the award-winning 2+2-seater coupé conceived at Toyota’s Calty studio in California, which already caused quite a stir at its premiere in Detroit.
- Alfa Romeo 4 C Concept, whose rear-wheel drive and 4-cylinder engine promise a full dose of driving pleasure and the roadholding for which Alfa Romeo is renowned.
In addition to the cars previewed above, visitors can also expect one or two surprises – as has become customary at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
The first ever BMW concept car comes to Lake Como.
The BMW Group traditionally enters models out of competition in the Concept Cars & Prototypes concours. This year the company dipped back into its illustrious history for inspiration and will bring the first concept car ever built by the brand to Lake Como. The BMW Turbo turned heads when it was first unveiled in 1972, with hopes raised that here was a preview of the out-and-out sports car many customers had long desired. The gullwing doors so indicative of that era, an innovative paint scheme and an interior whose cockpit previewed that of future BMW models ensured the Turbo would go down as an icon of BMW design. Ultimately, the Turbo – designed by Paul Bracq – never did enter series production. It was left to the BMW M1, launched six years later, to fulfil the dream that Bracq’s car had so tantalisingly sown.
Premiere event with a first-class jury.
One of the main reasons why the Concorso d’Eleganza has become one of the premiere events on the international classic car calendar is the quality of the jury and the credentials of its members. The aim has always been to assemble a group of people offering a deep and diverse pool of knowledge, combined with an international profile and extensive experience. And these were the criteria used to select the members of the Concorso jury once again this year. Chairing the jury is Lorenzo Ramaciotti, currently head of design at the Fiat Group and former Pininfarina design chief. “The jury evaluates the cars by examining and comparing certain elements,” he explains. “We then get together to discuss our objective and subjective impressions in depth during an often very lively meeting.” The jury is assisted by its secretary, Carlo Otto Brambilla. The members of this year’s jury are:
- Charles Lord March (host of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival events)
- Patrick le Quément (former head of design at Renault)
- Harm Lagaay (former head of design at Ford, BMW and Porsche)
- Winston Goodfellow (journalist and automotive historian)
- Hideo Kodama (designer and illustrator)
- Stefano Pasini (eye specialist, freelance journalist and author of several automotive books)
- Nick Mason (founding member and drummer of rock band Pink Floyd and passionate racing driver)
- Ian Cameron (Design Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars).
- Martin Roth (Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London) will join the jury this year as an Honorary Judge.