Between its eclectic art cars and the polarizing work of Chris Bangle, BMW has proven itself no stranger to avant-garde design. Now it’s tapped another eclectic talent to remake two of its EVs.
That designer is Lapo Elkann – who, aside from being brother to Fiat chairman John Elkann, has his own Garage Italia Customs studio. And not for the first time, he’s been contracted to rework on the BMW i8.
Following the previous Futurism edition, Garage Italia’s latest take on the i8 (and an accompanying i3) draws its inspiration from the so-called Memphis Design Group – a collective of European designers who embraced bright colors and unusual shapes in the 1980s.
BMW and Elkann even got Michele De Lucchi – one of the original members of the Memphis group – on board for the project. And the results are anything but conventional, characterized by loud patterns, bright colors, intersecting lines, and sharp contrasts. Garage Italia also refitted the interiors to match in leather, Alcantara, and technical fabrics in bright colors to epitomize the vibrant Eighties style.
They pair will be displayed at the UniCredit Pavilion during the Salone del Mobile in Milan this week – the same event where the movement made its big splash 36 years ago. The i8 will then head Stateside for the Frieze New York art festival next month, but if your plans don’t have you traveling to either location, you can check out the images in the gallery below. Just be prepared for the unusual.