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      01-03-2008, 09:22 PM   #1
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Chris Bangle's influence on BMW design

Do you prefer BMW's styling before Chris Bangle's design influence began in 2002 or after?
I'll start - To me the late 80's to early 90's were the best looking years (with the M1 and the 2002ti being the finest examples of the 70's). But from around 1995, I lost interest in BMW styling, very bland and flat from front to back with only a few monotonous grooves running the length of the car pretending to be a style. At one point I briefly -briefly!- considered a 318i coupe. But starting around 2 years ago I would occasionally see a new car on the road and find myself saying, hmm now there goes a nice looking... BMW?! and I started taking more notice.
Anyway, in light of this, I don't understand the "controversy" over Chris Bangles' changes, sure there may be a flourish here or a detail there you aren't keen on, but I hardly think the 90's were high points for BMW style that should be enshrined (not out to offend anyone, that's just how I see it). Seeing one on the road today (all too often in a poor state) just reinforces that. I won't say I like all the current BMW model styles, but I really love a few.
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      01-03-2008, 09:38 PM   #2
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I think Bangle just infused a whole lot of ENERGY into the model line up, which was severely lacking in the models of the 90's (which excludes all M styling). Although these cars were very good looking, Bangle hit the nail on the head when he said they were all "the same sausage in different lengths."

The first phase of his new direction looks now more like an experiment than anything else (i.e. pre facelift 7 and Z4) but now this vision is getting clearer, stronger and much better looking. Look at the E92, X6 and Concept CS... all the awkwardness of the 7, 6, 5, and Z4 is gone!

The models are looking better and better, and while it seems like BMW will never regain the timeless, simple beauty they had in the 70s and 80s, they're at least creating strong, dramatic cars that look good now and will sell.
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      01-03-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
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You mean his influence on car design as a whole, most manufacturers are taking his design cues and integrating them into theirs.
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      01-03-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5love View Post
I think Bangle just infused a whole lot of ENERGY into the model line up, which was severely lacking in the models of the 90's (which excludes all M styling). Although these cars were very good looking, Bangle hit the nail on the head when he said they were all "the same sausage in different lengths."

The first phase of his new direction looks now more like an experiment than anything else (i.e. pre facelift 7 and Z4) but now this vision is getting clearer, stronger and much better looking. Look at the E92, X6 and Concept CS... all the awkwardness of the 7, 6, 5, and Z4 is gone!

The models are looking better and better, and while it seems like BMW will never regain the timeless, simple beauty they had in the 70s and 80s, they're at least creating strong, dramatic cars that look good now and will sell.
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      01-03-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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Lets not forget who Adrian Van Hooydonk is now, he is right there with chris bangle, if not more then chris, in the BMW design studios. Adrian does A LOT of the designing
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      01-03-2008, 11:42 PM   #6
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i'm an old school BMW fan.. but certainly respect the newer designs... to me personally though they're just not my thing.

IMO here's the order of best looking 3 series'.

1. e30
2. e46
3. e90/92
4. e36

reason.. to me the e30, i own one, a normal e30 3 series. the e30 m3 is my all time favorite car. i love the boxyness. it just looks so badass with 15 inch rims and a ghetto tint. wish i could have one. not to mention its lightweight, pure, and a blast to drive.

e46 is just one of the most classically styled cars of all time IMO. there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the look of the e46.

the e90, while i do like it alot, to me just can't compare to the top 2. that's not to shoot down the styling of the e90. ever since the 2004 e46 they have introduced the "stretched headlight" design which just completely broke away from what made BMW's unique in my opinion. to me it seemed to copy the japanese a little bit in that respect.

but the release of the e92 totally convinced me on the new 3 series, even the regular e90's. they are great looking cars as well.

and finally, the e36, to me the most horrible cheap looking 3 series of all. i'm sure most of us agree on that
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      01-04-2008, 01:24 AM   #7
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i actually think E90 is the worst EVER.. and many will agree with that. E46 is the best 3 series. Bangle started with the current 7 series, which isnt pretty.. but most have gotten used to it and with some minor changes through recent years, it's gotten better than when it first came out.

5 series was also kind of controversial but again, people got used to it.. shoot, many even COPIED some of the 5 series stylings..like the eye brow etc.. again, it's NOT a beautiful car in any way.. but I have gotten used to it.

then came the Z4 - which is also a downer for bmw. Z3 was classic, but z4 just isnt right. from the rear its actually fine, but the front end is just mad ugly. again, somewhat used to it by now but still ugly

6 series.. EWWW ..

finally, there is the E90. i dont care how much "better" it has gotten in regards to performance or driving dynamic.. it looks down right NASTY and even with this many years already, i still find it the worst looking BWM EVER made.

i was sooo glad that E92 couple came out alot better. againt, NOT great looking car but is quite decent. little bit boring on the design compare to many real awsome designs like the first gen G35 coupe, the Audi S5, etc.. however, it's a good looking car and the TT engine just made it all that much better.

X5 = decent ; 1st gen X3 = NASTY!..

All in all, BMW designs has gone down the toilet for awhile now.. its not just me saying it.. many agree to that except for some of the die-heart bmw fans who would buy a bmw and swear by it no matter how terrible it looks.. all they see is "BMW" on it..

what makes it all that much sadder is I love BMW, has always been - dad had a 5 series since i was little and have always loved it. however, i can truely/honestly say i'm very dissapointed with the bmw design. Audi, on the other hand has a line of cars that are MUCH better looking inside and out. and i used to hate Audi/VW. :/

I cant remember the last time bmw actually has a beautifully deisnged car that won everyone's heart. bmw win with their driving dynamic of the cars..NOT the designs.
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      01-04-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
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You say that BMW designs have been going down, yet sales are going up?

I think the new designs are what BMW needed to put itself as a fierce competitor in the main market. BMW would not even consider Chris Bangle if they weren't concerned for their future. Which is looking brighter then ever considering the new X5 (already a Camry here) and new X6 on the way.
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      01-04-2008, 04:06 PM   #9
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BMW and Bangle are doing something right. There are a lot of copycats. FWIW, I think BMW did a great job with the E9x. They look gorgeous to me!
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      01-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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7 series looks bad compared to A8 and S-class
6 series does the job but rear end not that nice.
5 series is good looking good, especially with M.styling.
3 series E90 is a disaster because of the rear end especially, E91 not quite as bad but not very good design either, both can be OK with nice wheels and M-styling. Audi and Mercedes is far better designed with A4 and the C-class.
E92 is very good looking, both with and without M-styling, but Audi A5 is a seriously good looking rival.
1 series is cool compared to the competition.
X5 is nice.
X3 is bad.

In general the Bangles did a lousy job on the 7 series and the E90/E91/X3.

The 1,5,6,X5 and E92 are winners in their segments.

Its really not forgivable to miss the way they did with E90/E91, those models are far to important for BMW, but since those machines are the best drivingmachines in their class by far they sell well anyway.
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      01-04-2008, 05:47 PM   #11
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Keep in mind Bangle has been on BMW's designing team since the early 90's.

A lot of people seem to think he only came into the picture with the E65.
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      01-05-2008, 03:24 AM   #12
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Well.. they did the Z4 Coupé right.
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      01-05-2008, 04:33 AM   #13
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I liked the E46 sedans more than the E90s, and the E92 instead of the E46 coupes
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      01-05-2008, 05:16 PM   #14
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I like the newer BMW designs better

the only current designs I don't like are the X3 and the e90 M3



just look at the e92 M3 and show me a better looking bimmer
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      01-05-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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Before the Bangle designs appeared, BMW was pretty much going in the same direction as most other German brands with a form-follows-function look. But as a matter of course, that style trend had gone as far as it could, so creases and chrome and big grilles came back. I prefer clean and smooth. The earlier Audi A6 and TT and BMW E46 I still find as the best designs. But where do you go from there? Back the other way.
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      01-05-2008, 07:18 PM   #16
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      01-05-2008, 07:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Lets not forget who Adrian Van Hooydonk is now, he is right there with chris bangle, if not more then chris, in the BMW design studios. Adrian does A LOT of the designing
+1,000,000

He's the one responsible for the e90's. He also penned the 6er.
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      01-05-2008, 07:32 PM   #18
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The thing is, nearly each generation of successive models in the BMW lineup is great looking in its own way...for the most part (obvious exceptions can be pointed out).

I'll focus my opinion mainly on the generations of the 3 series:

[Gonna skip the e21].

In my eyes, nothing can really match the e30 m3 evo II, what with its boxed out arches, its angry looking blacked out front, and its overall squareness. It's simply a classic design. The rest of the e30 lineup is also attractive in their own simplistic ways. I personally think that the body needs a fat spoiler, but nevertheless, great design. The shark-styled pointy nose is also a cool design element.

The e36 generation is where we could see the effects of weight and safety affecting design. I think this is the ugliest 3 series, especially the stumpy coupe. The front end was a complete mess, and the backend is bland.

The e46 generation holds a place in my heart simply because it was the epitome of BMW's three box design. The M3 CSL was as far as BMW could take that design, and so times had to change. Introduce Bangle.

Bangle is a man worthy of great praise in my eyes. I find his convex/concave surface designs interesting and revolutionary when cars were becoming bland boxes. His influence is undeniable in cars, and what were once outrageous creations back in 2002 have become much more acceptable in modern times. His only seriously flawed creations in my opinion are the pre-facelift 7 series, and the X3 (pre and post-facelift...ghastly).The thing is, he doesn't so much as design the cars as oversee and manage the design process. He applies his philosophies to the designs.

As much as BMW traditionalists will argue, there's no denying that Bangle is a supremely influential character both for BMW's sales success and on the rest of the automotive world.
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      01-06-2008, 12:33 AM   #19
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IMHO...


- The 7 series doesn't hold a candle to the new S class in terms of style

- Z4 was beautiful from the start, and the Z4M is the best looking roadster

- E60 5 series - took some time to get used to, but all in all, I like it...

- 6 series

- X3

- E70 X5

- 1 series

- E90 , E91 , E92 and E93




I think BMW's new styling is for the better. Biggest areas for improvement are the 7, 1, and X3...
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      01-06-2008, 12:41 AM   #20
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I think there was some minor tweaking that needed to take place, but all in all the pre-facelifted models had the basics there, they just took some flak for not being "complete".

Best example is the pre/post facelift 5 and 7. The 7 had major changes, and rightly so. The 5's was more subtle, but it addressed the major problems: headlights and taillights looked more suitably upscale, grille and hood slightly reshaped to make it more aggressive, bumpers fixed to flow with the design, and wheels that don't look as plain as vanilla.
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      01-06-2008, 01:33 AM   #21
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In my humble opinion every current BMW shape looks pretty bad, with the exception of the E92.

The clean lines of the E92 335 are a real work of art and I think the E92 M3 has a very tasteful level of aggression to it.
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      01-06-2008, 02:16 AM   #22
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That's fine too. Looks are a subjective matter. The e92 is a very conservative design, but that's not to say that it can't be good looking. Hell, I also think it's the best looking Bimmer. Thing is, if it wasn't for some of the risky designs like the 6er, I don't think the automotive world would look the same. We might've all ended up driving Camry look-a-likes, you know?
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