The Aussie designer behind BMW's all-new Z4 roadster

By Paul Gover, August 20 2018

When BMW pulls the wraps off its hot new Z4 roadster this Friday, the stylish drop-top will be packed with Australian DNA courtesy of its Sydney-born designer Calvin Luk.

Luk followed his dream to Germany more than a decade ago and has now been entrusted with shaping the future for the Germany luxury brand.

Sydney-born Calvin Luk is BMW's hottest designer de jour

"There is something about sports cars, (they) have always been a bit more special,” Luk tells Australian Business Traveller ahead of the Z4's highly-anticipated reveal at the California's Pebble Beach Automotive Week. “It’s one of the more extreme emotional products that we have. So it has much more passion in the car.”

That passion took form at Pebble Beach in 2017 as a rakishly muscular concept car which made no apologies for the inherent selfishness of a two-seater.

Calvin Luk's highly-feted 2017 concept design for the BMW Z4

Luk can't share details of the finished product, which will be the hottest new sports car of 2018, but it's expected not to stray too far from the concept model, making it more tightly-wrapped and edgy in its design than today's Z4.

Calvin Luk's highly-feted 2017 concept design for the BMW Z4

The new Z4 is scheduled for Australian roads in the first half of 2019 and will share many of its underpinnings with a born-again Toyota Supra coupe.

Calvin Luk's highly-feted 2017 concept design for the BMW Z4

For Luk, the Z4 is the latest step in a story which began when he visited the Sydney Motor Show as a youngster in the 1990s and asked for advice on becoming a car designer.

Calvin Luk has spent years creating BMW's all-new Z4 roadster

He followed the trail to the Art Centre College of Design in California, then an internship at BMW, and finally a place in the advanced design studio in Munich.

The BMW X1 was Luk's first major design project

Now 32, Luk has been responsible for the design work on BMW’s current X1 and X3 SUVs, and is also secretly plugged into design work on the autonomous and electric cars that are not far down the road.

“I think it’s going to be a huge change,” he enthuses.

The Z4 is the current culmination of his 10 years at BMW, which he says is even better than he had hoped as a kid. Luk is now recognised as one of the most influential young designers in motoring, in a field where Melbournian Mike Simcoe is currently heading all global design for General Motors in Detroit, USA.

“It was always a dream to come to BMW, since I was a little boy. I’m enjoying it here. There is no reason to think about anything else,” Luk smiles.

Paul Gover will be attending Pebble Beach 2018 to file the latest news on the show's hottest releases.

Paul Gover

As Motoring Editor for Executive Traveller, Paul Gover spends less time at his Gold Coast home than he does on the road (literally) test-driving the best of the four-wheel world.



08 Aug 2017

Total posts 36

Awesome. Good on him. Great story.

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