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Friday, November 24, 2023

When Colani Left His Imprint on BMWs: Unveiling Rare and Visionary Designs

Maestro WORKS - Living in a world abundant with creative minds, we're fortunate to witness the brilliance of designers who bring innovative ideas to life. Among them, Luigi Colani a renowned German-born Swiss designer stands out as a charismatic and colorful figure in contemporary industrial organic design. Throughout his works, which spanned from the early 1950s to 2019, Colani not only envisioned future products but also passionately shared his insights with anyone willing to listen.
Colani's BMW 700 prototype, initially a small car, evolved into the world's pioneer road sports car with a load-bearing plastic monocoque body. (Picture from: WeirdWheel)
The realm of Colani's unique creations is vast and extends beyond the automotive world. From aviation and buildings to household furnishings, his influence has been felt across various sectors. Even though he is no longer with us, the legacy of this German designer continues to inspire awe and curiosity, with his works leaving an indelible mark on the modern industrial landscape.
Beyond its revolutionary body architecture, Colani's BMW 700 prototype boasted a streamlined body with an impressive drag coefficient of Cd = 0.22. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
Now, let's delve into the story of 2 rare BMW car models that remains largely less-known to the public, a testament to Colani's ability to push the boundaries of design and captivate our imaginations.
Colani's BMW 700 prototype boasts a distinctive feature—its unconventional entry and exit method, where the car's entire center opens forward, facilitated by a hinge located under the windshield. (Picture from: LuigiColaniDesign)
In 1963, Colani made headlines by unveiling the world's first road sports car featuring a load-bearing plastic monocoque body. This groundbreaking design was implemented on the chassis of the BMW 700, a small car that became the canvas for Colani's revolutionary vision. During an era when similar technology was just emerging in Formula 1, Lotus Racing Team secured championship titles in 1963 using comparable innovations.
1963 Small sportscar Colani BMW 700. Cutaway automotive art drawing by Vladyslav Shapovalenko on FineArtAmerica. (Picture from: LuigiColaniDesign)
Beyond its revolutionary body architecture, Colani's prototype boasted a streamlined body with an impressive drag coefficient (Cd) = 0.22. Despite weighing a mere 440 kilograms and housing a miniature 700 cc engine producing 32 horsepower, the BMW 700 Colani achieved a remarkable top speed of 200 kilometers per hour. While the project garnered attention and surprised BMW, it never transitioned to mass production, remaining a singular and exceptional creation.
In 1981, Luigi Colani envisioned his unique path with the BMW M2 Prototype, offering an alternative proposal to Guigiaro's BMW M1.. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
Fast forward to the 1980s, and Colani's creative alliance with BMW rekindled. The BMW M1, which met its demise in 1981, left enthusiasts eagerly anticipating a successor. Before the Stuttgart-based automaker BMW teased enthusiasts with the M1 Homage Concept, Luigi Colani had already envisioned his own path, drawing inspiration from his GT80 concept car unveiled in 1979.
Colani's BMW M2 prototype primarily a styling exercise that charted a revolutionary course for BMW's flagship model, and debuted at the 1981 Paris Motor Show. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
In 1981, Colani presented his BMW M2 design, primarily a styling exercise that charted a revolutionary course for BMW's flagship model, and also as an alternative proposal for Guigiaro's BMW M1, envisioned for Le Mans race driver Jean Rondeau. Regrettably, this conceptual design offered no possibility for mass production. Colani's emphasis on the car's aerodynamic form was evident, produced as a single unit without a drivetrain, and debuted at the 1981 Paris Motor Show.
Colani's unique and visionary designs provide a glimpse into BMW's evolution with innovative concepts over the years. While some projects remained singular expressions of creativity, they undeniably contributed to the legacy of rare and exceptional BMW models, showcasing the enduring impact of Colani's ingenuity on automotive design. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LUIGICOLANIDESIGN | CLASSICANDSPORTSCAR | STORY-CARS | GIZMODO | BMWCONCEPTSARCHIVE | WEIRDWHELL | FINEARTAMERICA | CARSTYLING.RU ]
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