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BMW M at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2024.

The most beautiful and spectacular cars of all time will again be presented this spring against the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Como. The BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este are once again jointly hosting the legendary Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. BMW M will be present again with a large selection of M vehicles.

24 May 2024


When the latest edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este takes place, as usual, on the last spring weekend in May, BMW will also be celebrating an anniversary. The Bavarians have been the main partner of the classic car event since 1999. This event undeniably ranks amongst the most important classic car events in the world. BMW M traditionally flanks the lineup with a spectacular array of classic and new models. The BMW Group will once again present a diverse and entertaining programme for this 25th anniversary. In 2024, the Concorso d'Eleganza will feature eight competition classses, in which around 50 of the most spectacular vehicles of their time will be presented to the jury. Once again, spectacular concept cars from various manufacturers will also be awarded in their own category. Furthermore, Jonas Kaufmann, the star tenor and brand ambassador of the BMW Group Classic, will once again present the “Trofeo Il Canto del Motore” on behalf of the jury for the best engine sound. But even art enthusiasts have something to look forward to: The US painter Julie Mehretu will present the 20th BMW Art Car designed by her at Lake Como, before the BMW M Hybird V8 competes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans a few weeks later. 


At this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, BMW M will once again showcase numerous vehicles against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Como. There, M GmbH has been able to consistently deliver true highlights at past events. Those who have followed or attended the classic car competition in the past may remember the presentation of the BMW 3.0 CSL at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2022. The following year saw the equally sensational presentation of the limited-edition BMW 3.0 CSL model, limited to just 50 units, paying homage to the “Batmobile”, whose racing version made history in 1973 with its victory in the European Touring Car Championship. In 2022, both the 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL and the BMW 320 Group 5 in the category “50 Years of Mean Machines – BMW Cars and Their Ancestors”. 


Surprisingly, the new models are the greatest tradition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Since 2002, concept cars, prototypes, and studies—not historical cars—have been awarded in the category “Concept Cars & Prototypes”. They reflect the latest visions in design and technology – precisely adhering to the demands that were in place at the first Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 1929. Ever since then, the M GmbH and its parent company have consistently showcased stunning concept vehicles at Lake Como. The BMW M1 Hommage proved to be a real eye-catcher at the 2008 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. And another Hommage vehicle was showcased alongside its predecessor from 1931: the BMW 328 Hommage. The absolute highlight was undoubtedly the appearance of all the BMW Hommage vehicles in 2016 in the garden of Villa Erba.  

We remain focused on turning the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este into an exceptional automotive festival accessible to everyone.
Helmut Käs,

Head of BMW Group Classic


Today, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is more popular than ever. The diverse and fascinating programme inspires more and more visitors every year. On the last Thursday this May once again all participating classic cars can be seen and admired by the public at the harbor of Cernobbio on Lake Como. On Saturday, as usual, the Concorso d’Eleganza parade will take place on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este where the “Best of Show” main prize will be awarded with the Trofeo BMW Group. 


On the same day, the community event “Amici & Automobili – Wheels & Weisswürscht” will also take place on the grounds of the Villa Erba nearby. Around 150 fascinating vehicles and 6,000 visitors will take part in this gathering, where everyone can enjoy the automative exhibits and Weißwürste (white sausages) from Munich. Sunday is the big Public Day at which 10,000 visitors are also expected this year. The event “Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Public Day – Il Festival” – much to the delight of the audience – showcases the complete vehicle parade of the competition in the beautiful garden of Villa Erba. In addition, a diverse musical and cultural programme is open to the public. A highlight of this year’s programme is the display of all BMW Art Cars that ever participated at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With such a wide-ranging event programme, it should be easy to achieve the goal of the BMW Group Classic of reaching as many people as possible with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. 


The history of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este dates back to 1929, when the first automobile gathering took place at Villa d’Este. The history of Villa d’Este itself goes all the way back to the 16th century. In 1568, the villa was built on the shore of Lake Como as a summer residence for a cardinal. Over the centuries, not only the magnificent building underwent many impressive expansions but also the greenery surrounding it. The land was designed with creative sophistication and, over the years, arguably became one of the most beautiful gardens and parks in the world. In 1873, after the villa had passed through the hands of various historically significant owners, it was turned into a luxury hotel. The Grand Hotel Villa d’Este became the premier destination in Europe for the bourgeoisie and nobility, and it has even served as a Hollywood backdrop. It is no surprise, then, that in the early 20th century, with the rise of the automobile, a group of car enthusiasts discovered this grand location for themselves: In 1929, the first Concorso d’Eleganza took place in the gardens of Villa d’Este. 


The first Concorso d’Eleganza had very little in common with today’s event. In 1929, the founding year, automobile history was still in its infancy. A sense for automobile engineering traditions or appreciation for classic vehicle designs had yet to take shape. The first Concorsos at Lake Como, which initially took place sporadically, were therefore dedicated to automotive novelties. Vehicle manufacturers from around the world, including numerous family-owned businesses, presented their boldly designed new vehicles and prototypes in the gardens of Villa d’Este. The top contender was then awarded the “Coppa d’Oro”. Historical upheavals, however, caused the star of the show to decline. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Second World War, and the subsequent post-war order with its rapid industrial modernization, which led to the demise of many small vehicle manufacturers, all contributed to the temporary end of the Concorso d’Eleganza in 1949. In 1995, the revival took place, reimagined as an event for classic automobiles. Since 1999, BMW has been a partner of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the main sponsor of the Concorso d’Eleganza in the form that is known and valued today. The unique beauty of the architectural and landscape design, combined with the enviable lakeside location, continues to exert great fascination and, therefore, provides the perfect stage to celebrate the highlights of automotive tradition.    



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