“With our Hommage vehicles we’re showing how proud we are of our roots,” explains BMW’s design boss, Adrian van Hooydonk. “The historical reference points for these vehicles employed pioneering innovations, stand-out design and extraordinary feats of engineering to cast a significant influence over their times.”
2016 marked BMW’s 100th as a carmaker; on 7 March 1916, ‘Bayerische Flugzeugwerke’ (BFW) is founded, incorporating Otto-Werke. BMW aquired the BFW plant six years later, but traces its foundation back to this date.
And over the course of a century, it has created - whisper it - some proper Icons (yup, with a capital ‘I’). So much so, that since 2006, BMW has honoured its past heroes with a series of extravagantly designed concept cars. Concept cars that might see the light of day. Might.
You will remember them. First up - and before they were actually suffixed ‘Hommage’ - came the 2006 Mille Miglia Concept, which referenced the original 328 racer: a car that helped Ernst Henne win gold at the Nürburgring, and one that went on to win more than 120 races between 1936 and 1940. It was this latter feat in 1940 at the famous Mille Miglia, where the 328 Touring Coupe was victorious.
Then came the rather delightful 2008 M1 Hommage revealed at that year’s Villa D’Este concours show, paying its dues to BMW’s one and only mid-engined supercar. In 2011, we saw the roofless 328 Hommage (easily one of the most stunning BMW concepts we’ve ever seen), then the wide-bodied, flared-arch BMW CSL monster, and of course, 2016’s homage to one of the company’s most important saloon cars (the 2002 Turbo).
“The Hommage vehicles bring their unique character into the present day – both technically and in terms of design,” explains van Hooydonk.
A couple of years back, BMW brought them all together for the very first time in public, along with a couple of BMW Motorrad and Mini Hommage concept to showcase just what it has achieved in the last 100 years. Outside, there was a mini celebration of BMW’s more recent road car icons, taking in the likes of the E30, classic 6 and 8 Series, and some M Coupes.
They’re all here in this gallery. Stop what you’re doing then, and have a click through. Which other BMW icon should get the Hommage treatment next? Perhaps an E36 318i Compact with fake M badging all around? No? Just us then.
Wings. Handy for accentuating a racing car’s profile, or indeed a safe space for vast quantities of tea cups.
One day, somebody really needs to drill into just why 1970s BMW racers were so jaw-slackeningly cool. Until that day arrives, slacken that jaw. New CSL Hommage ain’t too bad either.
One for all you bike nuts out there.
Classic M1 marked the very early beginnings of BMW’s M Division. Still looks… amazing.
Classic BMW 328 Touring Coupe that won the Mille Miglia in 1940. Yep, a BMW ‘Superleggera’. In turn, it inspired…
…2006’s Mille Miglia concept. Underneath sat a Z4 M Coupe’s straight six. This is a good straight six.
Don’t spill the concept car’s drink, mind. Talk about angry.
Old 328’s face is a friendly, welcoming visage.
Concept MM’s face is, well, not very pleased with your behaviour.
The 328 Hommage concept proves - just like the original Z1 did - that doors are soo overrated.
There it is up against the car it pays reverence to. Concept wears a CFRP body housing a straight-six underneath and oh god just make it already.
What’s that? You want another shot of the Batmobile? Fine.
But which one wore it best? Concept CSL’s lines are the the gifts that keep giving.
Classic CSL wears a determined face, we’d argue. Useful for clearing the snow, at least.
Um, let’s move on shall we?
Something good is happening to our collective brain cells at the moment and we’re not quite sure why.
The new 8 Series is finally here - only the second generation - and we’re not sure it beats the original 90s SuperCoupe.
A 6 Series for every season.
Oh dear, that brain cell thing has happened again.
Alongside the 3 Series stalwarts, the Z3 M Coupe: odd body, belter of a chassis/drivetrain. 14/10 would daily.
What’s the collective noun for a group of E30s?
Some have suggested the E36 is one of BMW’s best ever offerings. Yes, they said it. Maybe not in purple, mind.
A thought: how about a Dakar-spec Z3 M Coupe? Jacked up suspension, some spotlights, strip out the cabin… anyone? Bueller?
Quick, somebody get the Shark Repellent Bat Spray!
Typical. You invite your friends around for and they park all over the ruddy lawn. Louts.