These days, new retro-looking electric cars like the VW ID. Buzz and the next Renault 5 emerge. But in decades past, brands were already fond of delving into their own past. This is the case of BMW, which made various “tributes” between 2008 and 2016. M1 Tribute was followed in 2011 by the 328 Tribute for the 75th anniversary of the original.
The BMW 328 is considered the most successful and beautiful sports car of the 1930s. Even today, the winning car, the BMW 328 Touring Coupé, still holds the record for the highest average speed on the Mille Miglia circuit.
To bring the lightweight construction idea of the BMW 328 to our times, large parts of the exterior and interior of the 328 Hommage are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). While aluminum and magnesium were still the materials of choice back then, CFRP was used for the new edition: the heavy-duty fiber fabric is lighter than aluminum and even stronger. Wherever this material was used on the 328 Hommage, it is also visible.
The choice of other materials inside and outside the vehicle also reflects the contemporary transposition of the car’s original character. The noble leather, matt and high-gloss black aluminum as well as the CFRP interior are intended to visualize the pure roadster character of the sports car of yesteryear in the BMW 328 Hommage.
The car also features many motor racing details alluding to the BMW 328’s highly successful career in motorsport. So, the presentation of the car in 1936 did not take place at a motor show, but on a racing circuit. In its first race, the 328 outclassed all the much more powerful competition and dominated the circuits of Europe in the following years.
The strong wedge shape accelerates the vehicle from a standstill, the bosses behind the seats echo the lines of the bonnet and extend them dynamically to the rear. The structure of the CFRP mats gives the vehicle optical depth, while the diagonal lines of the CFRP weave further underline the dynamic design language of the roadster. The carbon structure is clearly visible through the striking weave and visually underlines the idea of lightweight construction.
Just like the first tests of the BMW 328, which allowed the model to make its successful debut on the circuits in 1936 and to achieve many other successes, the 328 Homage does not have doors. Then as now, deep notches provide access to the interior of the vehicle.
The very wide and flat front is strongly three-dimensional. Seen from the front, the bonnet appears to stretch around the vehicle from above. Other surfaces originate under the hood, they surround the grille and form the air intakes.
The openings and the large air intakes create a visual lightness at the front and at the same time show the great need for air of the powerful three-liter six-cylinder engine. Three-dimensional grilles in the openings of the front connect the headlights and the bean, the three-dimensional structure of the grille adds a dynamic accent.
On the BMW 328 Hommage, the vertical bean is dynamically integrated into the flat silhouette. At the rear, parts of the side wall form a frame for design elements that appear to protrude. In between, very clear, reduced rear lights are placed far outside in the typical BMW L-shape.
The exterior design of the BMW 328 Hommage features many details that recall the successful racing history of the BMW 328. For example, the slightly asymmetrical windshield features a central recess that recalls the design of racing car windows of the era. At the same time, it also indicates the zones for the pilot and the co-pilot. In addition, four wide leather straps cross the hood, appearing to dip below the lateral surface of the shoulders and extending to the side.
On the cap behind the driver, a large silver “75” as well as a small inscription below indicate the raison d’être of the BMW 328 Hommage. The only round instrument, the prominent tachometer dominates the Spartan instrumentation. Inspired by the cockpit of the BMW 328, the instrument cluster only displays oil temperature, oil pressure and water temperature, in addition to the number of revolutions, as in a sports car. To the right of the tachometer, indicator lamps and a gearshift indicator complete the instrument cluster.
In addition to the instrumentation, the interior of the BMW 328 Hommage features other motorsport themes. In addition to the reduction to the bare minimum to save weight, the BMW 328 Hommage also has four-point seat belts, ergonomic seat shells as well as the “bone”, a kind of stop button. emergency for vehicle electronics located between the two seats.