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This electric BMW restomod is pure fashion

This electric BMW restomod is pure fashion thumbnail

Retro

By which we mean all style… and substance abuse

This gorgeous little thing is an electric restomod BMW. And unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot about it.

No details on the powertrain (aside from its energy source), no performance figures… not even which famed composer did its electric soundtrack. We do know that it’s green, showing you the kind of insight that you can only find at Top Gear. It’s apparently a unique green, mixed for and named after Kith, who’s collaborated – in some fashion or other (ah, sartorial puns) – with BMW to bring this car into the world and before your eyeballs.

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But what, you may well ask, is Kith? Well, through studious examination, we’ve found that it’s apparently how Mike Tyson pronounces ‘kiss’. We’ve also determined that, in this case, it refers to a fashion brand/retailer founded a bit over a decade ago by a bridge-and-tunnel New Yorker named Ronnie Fieg.

Kith as a brand is pretty much as you’d expect – cotton hoodies that cost £185, chore jackets for those who haven’t done a day of choring in their lives, and trainers that even 1990s Jerry Seinfeld would be embarrassed to wear with a pair of jeans. Oh, and more collaborations than you can poke a rolled-up Esquire at.

As for Kith’s input on the customised BMW 1602… well. The caramel-coloured, full-grain (i.e. best) leather is certainly a winner in our books, but then green-over-tan is hardly revolutionary. What is rather more revolutionary is the use of ‘merino leather’, given that a merino is a breed of sheep known for producing the world’s best sheep’s wool. So to make leather from that particular ovine is rather like killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

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And if we had to guess what the murder weapon was, it’d be overdone branding. Seriously, replacing the ‘BMW’ on a Beemer’s roundel with ‘KITH’? That’s like putting your name on someone else’s homework. Which, apparently, is something that works better if it’s done hundreds of times – look closely at the sheep leather and you’ll notice the Kith logo repeated often enough that even Versace would call it grasping.

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What’s worse is that this particular factoid rather exhausts what we know about this customised BMW. Which rather feels on brand for fashion, in that whole ‘style over substance’ aphorism that’s been run into the ground harder than a 10-stone rugby player. At this point, we’d settle for being able to tell you what brought this particular collaboration into existence, apart from the old chestnut, ‘because they could’. Unfortunately, the best we can do is something of a history lesson. A brief one, promise.

Apparently, at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a pair of 1602s were converted to electric for use as camera cars for ‘long-distance events’, which likely means the marathon more than, say, the 1500m freestyle. And in case that little piece of EV history had passed you by, don’t fret – the Munich games had one or two other things going on that rather overshadowed a camera car’s drivetrain.

What it does mean is that BMW’s now been in the electric car game for 50 years – even if everything up to the i3 was a bit on the lean side… in much the same way a fashion model is ‘a bit on the lean side’. And that’s about as much reason as we could find as to why BMW’s half-century milestone is being celebrated by an American fashion brand founded in 2011. But then that’s fashion, we guess. And unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot about it.

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