BMW’s latest vision of the future has a V8 that still runs on petrol

MUNICH: BMW AG unveiled the Concept Skytop on May 24 at the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance on the shore of Italy’s Lake Como.

And in one major way, the car is unlike the ultra-modern models BMW has lately revealed at auto shows in Asia, such as the 100% electric Neue Klasse SUV.

In a bit of nostalgia for internal combustion, the open-top two-seater is equipped with BMW’s most powerful V8 engine, the company says. (A spokesman declined to specify how much power that is, but the BMW M8 Coupe, for instance, achieves 617hp.)

The Skytop follows other concepts the brand has shown at the annual automotive beauty contest in recent years, including a two-seat V6 coupe concept that was introduced in 2023 and the Garmisch, a modern recreation of a 1970s-era Marcello Gandini-designed car it unveiled in 2019.


BMW has been increasingly focused on electric vehicles, which comprised 15% of its deliveries last year and are projected to hit 20% this year, when it expects to sell half a million EVs from 15 different models across its brands.

That growth comes in contrast to cooling EV demand at rivals Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG. Earlier this spring, Tesla reported its first year-over-year global sales drop since 2020, and VW said deliveries of its EVs fell 3% in the first quarter of this year.

Skytop’s combustion engine fits right in at the BMW-sponsored lakeside event, which celebrates classic cars.


It incorporates elements from the company’s designs of the past: A sharklike front and roadster style resemble the plucky Z8 produced from 1998 to 2003; the simplicity of the single line along its sides recalls the tiny rounded 503 of the 1950s, which was BMW’s first postwar sports coupe.

It looks like a car BMW could already produce.

Small tabs integrated into the sides of each door are used in lieu of conventional door handles.


A retracted rear section includes a leather-finished roll-bar behind the seats. And a retractable rear window adds to the sense of wide-open space in the cockpit.

But despite the public fanfare at the glamorous location, it’s unclear whether and how the Concept Skytop would translate into a production model.

The company’s spokesman declined to comment on additional performance figures or specifications.

Autos BMW