Dueling Open-Top Concepts from Germany

BMW and Mercedes show off amazing Skytop and PureSpeed roadster concept cars.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

May 24, 2024

2 Min Read
The Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed concept and BMW Concept Skytop.
The Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed concept (top) and BMW Concept Skytop (bottom).Mercedes-AMG, BMW

At a Glance

  • The BMW debuted at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como
  • The Mercedes debuted at the Monaco Grand Prix

Germany’s premier luxury carmakers have squared off again, with the release of open-top concept cars from both BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Both the BMW Concept Skytop and the Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed concept are styled to evoke some classics from the brands’ pasts.

In the case of the BMW, the influences are the modern classic Z8 and the ‘50s 503. Mercedes-AMG designers took inspiration from Formula 1, the Mercedes-AMG ONE hypercar, the 1955 300 SLR, and the Mercedes 2-liter race car that won the 1925 Targa Florio race in Sicily.

That last car wore crimson paint traditionally reserved for Italian cars to discourage roadside fans from impeding its progress during the race and the PureSpeed’s red finish and number 10 are nods to that winner from a century ago.


The BMW Concept Skytop has a two-part leather-wrapped roof, that fits inside the car’s trunk. The power-retractable rear window adds to the open-air experience in the Skytop’s cockpit.

Housings for the BMW’s squinty LED headlights are milled from solid aluminum to produce the slimmest profile possible, with all lighting functions consolidated into a single device.

BMW Concept Skytop

The door release is similarly minimized, with winglets integrated into the door shoulders that incorporate capacitive touch release switches in the manner of the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s door release buttons.

Related:GM’s Classic Concept Cars Displayed in the Petersen Museum’s Motorama Exhibit

For power, the Concept Skytop team put in a call to BMW’s M performance division, which provided the twin-turbocharged 617-horsepower 4.4-liter V8 engine that is used in the M8 Competition.


The Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed concept takes its open-top assignment so seriously that the car doesn’t even have a roof to remove. It also lacks a windshield and side windows. Instead, it follows the template of open-cockpit Formula 1 racers, with a T-shaped halo head protection system in place and a pair of supplied custom helmets for the car’s two occupants.

This concept is no flight of fancy; Mercedes says that it is indicative of the upcoming limited-production Mythos series of specialty cars. Mercedes will offer just 250 production Mythos cars to its very top customers.


“The Concept Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed offers a glimpse of what is probably the most direct way to experience performance and driving pleasure,” boasted Michael Schiebe, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH and head of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Mercedes Maybach divisions. “Radically open, neither a roof nor the windscreen separate the two passengers from the elements,” he said. “You can experience light, air, and passion unfiltered with all your senses.”

Related:Nissan Teases Four New Concept Cars at the Beijing Motor Show

Despite the concept’s planned path to production, Mercedes has not released details on the car’s planned powertrain or other specifications.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like