BMW's retro roadster

BMW dips into its open-seater history for a new concept car.

BMW has unveiled its second roadster concept in three months – though the German brand's latest show car points to the past rather than the future.

The 328 Hommage has been unveiled at Italy's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este as a 75th-anniversary tribute to one of the most famous open-air cars in the German brand's long history of roadsters, the pre-war 328.

The conceptual descendent to the 328 sports car (it was built in coupe form as well) shares a similar shape with March's Vision ConnectedDrive show car , though features a number of anachronistic aesthetics such as leather bonnet straps, wing-nut wheels, and a vertical, slimline version of the company's signature double-kidney grille.

BMW says the Hommage "offers a possible interpretation of how the designers of the [1930s] might have built the 328 in the present day using current technology".

High-tech touches include carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), an expensive weave that BMW describes as the material of the future and is used in the construction of the Hommage's door-less body.

The material will be seen on future BMWs, due in the next few years, such as the i3 electric city car and i8 hybrid supercar.

CFRP is found again extensively in the minimalist cabin, joined by leather for both seats and the driver cockpit surround, and black polished aluminium.

The dash is another example of new fusing with old, where two iPhone holders are styled like classic stopwatches.

The individual and cross-taped headlights, backlit by LEDs, are a nod to the 328's motor racing outings, which included a class win in the 1938 Mille Miglia and outright victory (in coupe form) two years later.

Details for the engine accessed via quick-release bonnet fasteners are limited to its size and cylinder count: a 3.0-litre six-cylinder (in a straight configuration, presumably).

As with BMW's 2008 M1 Hommage concept, which marked 30 years of the company's famous supercar, and the 2006 Mille Miglia concept that acknowledged the 328 Touring Coupe's aforementioned success, the 328 Hommage is not destined for production.

Courtesy: Drive