BMW 328 Hommage
Aston Martin V12 Zagato
25th May, 2011
25th May, 2011
25th May, 2011
The BMW 328 is considered an important sports car of BMW's history. The BMW
328's success was the result of its design parameters - through the use of systematic lightweight construction, aerodynamic
lines, optimum engine types and outstanding suspension technology, it laid the foundation stone for a new vehicle concept,
by which performance only leads to success if combined with perfect harmonisation of all parameters and maximum efficiency.
With these characteristics, the BMW 328 was even then the embodiment of what the BMW brand strives for today - dynamics,
aesthetics and a high level of innovation.
This year, the sports car is celebrating its 75th 'birthday'. The festivities began near Lake Como at the Mille Miglia.
There, the main focus was on the fascination of the BMW 328 racing car. To this day, the award-winning vehicle BMW 328
Touring Coupé still holds the record for the highest average speed on the Mille Miglia circuit and, in 2010 with a replica,
was again able to win the historic revival of the race. A week later at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the
two-seater's functional aesthetics was the focus of attention. In this area of conflict between tradition and modernity, the
BMW Group is paying tribute to the BMW 328 on the occasion of its anniversary with a special model - the BMW 328 Hommage.
"With the BMW 328 Hommage, we wish to pay homage to the passion and inventiveness of the 'fathers' of the BMW 328",
explains Karl Bäumer, CEO of BMW Group Classic. "They created an icon, which is considered a milestone in the history of
the automobile." The new BMW 328 Hommage translates the principles and the 'character' of the vehicle of that time into
present times and offers a possible interpretation of how the designers of that time, Fritz Fiedler and Rudolf Schleicher,
might have built the BMW 328 in the present day using current technology.
The BMW 328 - lightweight construction as a principle.
The BMW 328 was also a special BMW insofar as the lightweight construction principle was systematically implemented on a
BMW automobile for the very first time. Wherever possible, the lightest and at the same time most robust materials were used,
thereby keeping the gross vehicle weight down to just 780 kilogrammes. In order to translate the idea of lightweight
construction into this day and age, major parts of the exterior and interior of the BMW 328 Hommage are made of carbon fibre
reinforced plastic (CFRP). Whilst in the old days they favoured the materials aluminium and magnesium, CFRP is now considered
to offer the best ratio between weight and stability. The high-strength fibre fabric is lighter than aluminium, but also more
stable. Wherever the material has been used on the BMW 328 Hommage, it is also visible. In this way, the BMW 328 Hommage not
only reflects the lightweight construction principle functionally, but also visually. The BMW Group leads the way in the
production and use of CFRP in automotive construction and already possesses many years of experience in the series production
of CFRP roofs and structural components for the BMW M6 as well as CFRP roofs for the BMW M3.
Not only do the exterior and interior CFRP elements of the BMW 328 make an exceptional statement. The up-to-date
implementation of the original vehicle 'character' is also expressed in the choice of other materials used on the inside and
outside of the vehicle. Fine leather, matt and high-gloss black polished aluminium as well as the CFRP interior visualise in
the BMW 328 Hommage the pure and functional roadster character of the sports car of that day. Inside the vehicle there are
also numerous details derived from motor racing, offering a hint of the BMW 328's most successful motor sports career. For
instance, the premiere of the vehicle in 1936 did not take place at a motor show, but on the race-track. In its first race,
the BMW 328 declassified the entire higher-powered competition and dominated the race tracks of Europe during the years that
Dynamics and lightness in the interior.
The expressive exterior design of the BMW 328 Hommage depicts the modern interpretation of a highly emotional and dynamic
two-seater Roadster - just like the BMW 328 75 years ago. "Hommage cars have a long tradition in the BMW Group. Based on
our design philosophy 'Rooted in history, moving forward in design', they demonstrate the significance of history for the
present. Even 75 years ago, the BMW 328 stood for sportiness and agility through light-weight construction. The BMW 328
Hommage Car pays tribute to this past and shows how BMW lightweight construction will develop. Carbon is the material of the
future." (Adrian van Hooydonk).
In keeping with its role model, the BMW 328 Hommage has a streamlined design and is clearly recognisable as a sports car.
Precise lines run across all of the car body's taut surfaces. As a result, a subtle contrast between the tense surfaces and
the sharp edges is provided within the flat, dynamic silhouette. The strong wedge shape accelerates the vehicle even when it
is at a standstill, the scoops behind the seats take up the lines coming from the bonnet, guiding them dynamically into the
rear end. The structure of the CFRP mats gives the vehicle an appearance of depth, the diagonal lines of the woven CFRP
additionally underscoring the dynamic design vocabulary of the roadster. Thanks to concise weaving, the carbon structure is
clearly visible, optically emphasising the lightweight construction principle. Like the first BMW 328 test vehicles, with
which the model celebrated its triumphant debut on the race track in 1938, then going on to gain a number of further
successes, the BMW 328 Hommage has no doors. Then as now, deep recesses allow access to the inside of the car. The extremely
wide and flat front end is strongly three-dimensional, generous surfaces and concise lines give the front end a powerful
appearance. Viewed from the front, the CFRP bonnet appears to encompass the vehicle from above. It embraces the vehicle,
framing the slightly set back front end in a very distinctive downward sweep. Due to the almost vertical, low-reaching
sidewalls, it simultaneously emphasises the BMW 328 Hommage's excellent stability on the road. As a result, the vehicle
appears to be even flatter and more dynamic as a whole. Under the bonnet, further surfaces rise to embed the top and bottom
of the distinctive kidney grille, whilst folding themselves around it to shape the adjacent air intakes. Openings and large
air intakes provide visual lightness at the front, simultaneously demonstrating the high air requirement of the powerful
three-litre, six-cylinder engine. Three-dimensionally designed lattices inside the front vents form a connection between the
headlamps and the 'kidney' grille, with the three-dimensional lattice structure acting as an accentuating feature.
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Characteristic 'kidney' shape.
The vertically positioned double kidney grille imitates the slim, vertical kidney design of the early BMW models. In
those days, the BMW 328 was one of the first BMWs to feature it, after which it became further established with later
BMW models. On the BMW 328 Hommage, the vertically mounted kidney grille is dynamically incorporated into the flat
silhouette. It slants back roughly in the middle, thus blending in with the bonnet and the silhouette when viewed from
the side. On the other hand, from the front it appears to be standing upright. The kidney grille bars are more
prominently curved than the kidney grille surround itself. The vehicle displays the extremely round design of the
original BMW 328 kidney grille when viewed from the side. The kidney grille surround is also distinctively
three-dimensional, appearing to continue in-side the vehicle. Its front surface is finished in polished high-gloss,
whilst the side surfaces have a matt finish. This detail gives the kidney grille a very high-class and up-to-date
appearance. Behind the kidney grille bars, black horizontal fins obstruct the view into the engine compartment - just
like on the 328 of 75 years ago.
The rear end takes on the design vocabulary featured on the front of the vehicle. Similar to the front end, sections
of the sidewall form the framework for the design elements that appear to protrude from the rear end. Between them,
located far to the outside, are two clearly designed taillights sporting the characteristic BMW L shape. Two filigree
luminous elements reflect a curved interpretation of the typical BMW L shape, whilst a concisely
constructed bar fitted to the outside of the lamp is directed vertically downward, separating the lamps towards the
outside. The modern design of the taillights underlines the appeal of the vehicle.
The powerful sculpturing of the rear end also visually conveys the BMW 328 Hommage's lightness. Large vents and
openings characterise the rear end, giving it a light appearance. The distinctively horizontal section below the
taillights forms a counterpoint to the intense sculpturing, emphasising the width of the vehicle. Below that, the rear
of the car is strongly arched, a concise line partitions the surface, thereby providing an air of lightness. This large
sculptural element adopts the form language of the front-end design surrounding the kidney grille. The wing-shaped
element tapers both upward and downward, thus revealing two large latticed air outlets. The circular tailpipes are
located inside these two openings. They protrude prominently out of the lattice and, combined with the distinctively
designed wing shape of the lower air intake edges, underscore the power of the straight six-cylinder engine.
Details derived from motor racing.
The interior design of the BMW 328 Hommage comprises a number of details that are reminiscent of the successful
motor racing history of the original BMW 328. For example, the slightly asymmetrically designed windscreen has a
recess in the middle, similar to the windscreen design of earlier racing cars. Simultaneously, it marks the areas in
which the driver and co-driver sit. Moreover, four wide leather straps run across the bonnet, which appear to dive
under the side shoulder surfaces to be continued on the side. This detail, which used to be considered an extremely
sporty attribute, is also featured on the new BMW 328 Hommage. Combined with the high-gloss aluminium safety buckles,
the leather straps provide a touch of class in contrast to the very technical-looking carbon fibre. The modern
quick-release fasteners for securing the bonnet bring racing of the past into the present. On the driver's scoop a
large silver "75" as well as a small logo below it signify the reason for the BMW 328 Hommage. Next to it, the
integrated tank filler neck protruding from the right-hand side is a striking detail. Whilst it protrudes prominently
from the body of the original BMW 328, the new BMW 328 Hommage features a version that is integrated slightly more
into the bodywork.
The large, prominently designed individual round headlights of the BMW 328 Hommage are reminiscent of the headlamps
featured on the BMW 328, which were integrated into the guards for the first time. The three-dimensional interpretation
of these round headlights is divided into four transparent, cylindrical elements, these being back-lit by LEDs. Between
them, set-back black concave surfaces symbolise the typical tape cross used on headlights in motor racing. Around the
four reflectors an illuminated ring emphasises the circular design of each individual headlamp.
The two-part light alloy wheels featured on the BMW 328 Hommage are a very special interpretation of the
characteristic hole pattern of the original rims. The extremely concave high-gloss black aluminium rim boasts a
contrasting silver-grey cover made of glass fibre. The insides of the angular milled holes have a high-gloss finish and
are distinctively accentuated by a matt overlay. A black chrome butterfly nut bearing the BMW emblem completes the
contemporary version of the wheel.
Clear and functional - the interior.
The interior of the BMW 328 Hommage visualises the functional passion the BMW 328 exuded already back then. Thus the
design of the interior is also pure and functional today. The entire interior structure is made of CFRP, conveying the
lightweight construction concept of the BMW 328 into the inside of the car both visually and functionally. Due to the
special application of materials, openings and freely suspended elements, the surfaces and different levels provide an
all-embracing feeling of lightness.
Through the use of CFRP inside the BMW 328, the 'layering' design principle, with which shapes take on clear
functions, adopts a completely new form of expression. Due to its exceptional characteristics, CFRP is in itself
robust and can be shaped into self-supporting structures. Hence, only two large surface areas - so-called layers -
define the interior of the BMW 328 Hommage. Both of them start at the bonnet and protrude into the interior. One of
the layers extends towards the driver, reveals the entire driver's workplace comprising steering wheel, control elements
and scoop, thereby separating the driver and co-driver areas from each other. This spatial separation is indicated by a
further material: the elegant, brown leather interior extends from the entrance across the driver's area, over the seats
to the scoop, thus becoming an integral part of the design vocabulary of the first layer. At the same time, the
surrounding graphics comprising material and geometry provide a link with the co-driver. On the driver's scoop, a
silver-coloured logo bearing the number 75 also gives indication inside the car of the festive occasion in honour of
the BMW 328 Hommage.
The second layer begins next to the scoop, making a sweep towards the co-driver, then to float freely in front of
him. This gesture provides a sporty but light sense of spaciousness, opening out a functional area in front of the
co-driver. Between the driver and co-driver a multitude of recesses in the instrument panel and centre console provide
an airy and harmonious spatial experience, bringing the driver and the co-driver slightly closer to each other again
in a sweeping gesture. The lines of the woven carbon fibres complement the interior design vocabulary perfectly.
Viewed from above, a slightly asymmetrical design of the bonnet and windscreen underscores the driver-orientated
construction of the BMW 328 Hommage. The windscreen is larger within the driver's area, so the lines of the
'powerdome' are of different length. Behind the windscreen they continue in the inside of the car, so that at this
point both the interior and the exterior appear to be intertwined.
Apart from CFRP, leather and aluminium, the interior deliberately features very few other materials. But every
material that has been used is also visible. This provides the BMW 328 with a special authenticity. The contrast
between the cool and technical-looking carbon fibre and the high-quality, warm brown of the leather characterises the
interior. The exceptionally soft saddle tan leather has a fine grain and a slightly antique finish. On the seats the
high-quality seam pattern enhances the appearance of the leather-covered seats even further. The seams in the centre
of the sitting area of the seats and the silver-grey double-felled outer seams are a modern interpretation of the
sports seats featured in earlier models, giving the seats additional character and depth. Aluminium is only seldom
featured and, depending on where it is used, has a high-gloss or a matt satin finish.
Instruments and 'tripmaster'.
The instruments featured in the BMW 328 Hommage are both sporty and functional to an equal extent. The sparse
instrument panel is dominated by the only round instrument - the prominently designed rev counter. Like the cockpit
of the BMW 328 and typical of a sports car, the instrument cluster indicates in addition to engine speed only the oil
temperature, oil pressure and water temperature. To the right of the rev counter, control lamps and a gearshift
point indicator complete the instrument cluster. The instrument surrounds are finished in black chrome and made to
the highest standards.
The 'puristic' instrument cluster is complemented by the so-called tripmaster. The instrument panel of the BMW 328
Hommage is a fitted with two iPhones located in special holders and which assume additional display functions for the
driver and co-driver. They are integrated into the self-supporting structure of the co-driver layer and, like the
instrument cluster, are accommodated in a high-grade aluminium housing. The shape of the housing itself imitates the
design of classic stopwatches, the two functions of the tripmaster being accessible through two further openings.
Firstly, the iPhones function as stopwatches for measuring lap times and secondly as GPS roadbooks. Using two
iPhones the driver and front-seat passenger/co-driver respectively can use both functions at the same time. After a
journey, the iPhones can also be taken away in their holders.
Apart from the instruments and the tripmaster, the BMW 328 Hommage is also fitted with further features taken from
motor racing. In addition to being equipped with just the bare essentials in order to save weight, the BMW 328 Hommage
is also fitted with modern 4-point seat belts, ergonomic seats and the "bone", a kind of emergency switch-off for the
vehicle electronics, which is located between the two seats. The brushed aluminium belt retainers located next to the
head restraints ensure optimal guidance of the belts. These high-class, functional details are concealed behind the
head restraints, blending in harmoniously with the overall concept.