A mixture of glorious sunshine (and a brisk opening of the clouds) greeted the car enthusiasts who gathered on Lake Como for the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. It was the 12th staging of the event under the patronage of the BMW Group.
"Once again the Concorso has borne impressive testimony that cars have lost none of their fascination," commented Karl Baumer, President of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and Director of BMW Group Classic.
The crowds were not only wowed by the amazing display of classic cars, but the concept cars were on hand to satisfy the modern car enthusiasts too. Zagato presented the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa, alongside Touring's Bentley Shooting Brake and the Namir, Italdesigns interpretation to re-animate the brand Frazer-Nash.
Alfa Romeo’s concept is driven by the Alfa 8C Competizione's V8, the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa is very much in keeping with its 60s-era predecessors, the TZ1 and TZ2, sporting similar detail elements and the same near-bread van profile. Like the originals, this is a legit racing car – however the new machine wears aluminium bodywork stretched over a tube frame and carbon-fibre chassis.
Zagato says the TZ3 was commissioned as a special celebration of 100 years of racing from Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Corse, Autodelta, and Scuderia Zagato.
The Bentley shooting brake built from the Bentley Continental GTC was another treat. Underneath the new skin sits a Bentley Continental GTC, complete with its 560-horsepower, 479-pound-feet-of-torque twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12. A support structure between the rear shocks that acts as both a hard structure for the new roofline and an integrated roll bar another addition.
Perfect for the keen golfer, you can fit four golf bags in the rear. You may ask yourself why a two seat vehicle needs to carry four golf bags? Touring’s Bentley Shooting Brake has two additional seats in the back, which of course fold down, allowing the Flying Star to carry yet more golf bags!
Other nice features include the woven leather "boot carpet," a stunning material that covers the rear cargo area, the back of the rear seats and the rear floor mats.
Alongside the Alfa and Bentley was the Namir, a concept car born of the collaboration between Italdesign Giugiaro and Frazer-Nash. A company specialised in the design, construction, and marketing of hybrid systems deeply rooted in the historical automotive manufacturing company founded in England by Archie Frazer-Nash in 1923.
The Arabian name Namir, translated “tiger”, sums up the main features of the concept car: elegance, power and aggressiveness. Without any doubt the Namir is a sports car: a coupé with two bucket seats and an accurate equilibrium between style and mechanics, aesthetics and contents. The sophisticated mechanics as well as the avant-garde electric and electronics systems are wrapped up into an aggressive package with an exquisitely balanced proportion of volumes and a stunning contrast between the sharp accents of the rear end and the sinuous front lines that emphasise this supercar's performance: over 300 km/h (187 mph) at maximum speed and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and from 0 to 200km/h in 10.4 seconds, making this the fastest hybrid car in the world.
Namir is also an ecological vehicle. The hybrid system developed together with Frazer-Nash combines an 814 cc endothermic rotary engine with four electric motors, guaranteeing autonomy of 39 km with one litre of fuel CO2 emissions of less than 60 grams per km travelled.
With three such beauties exhibited on the beautiful Italian lake it’s safe to say the concept class was not to be missed.