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One big tidbit gleaned from this Q&A with BMW's Chris Bangle is the fact that he says BMW is ready to "start again from scratch" in the design department. Oh boy. After constant dissent over the current state of BMW design, folks were finally settling down with the new 3 Series. Now we have to prepare for something totally new?



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  • 11 Comments
      • 10 Years Ago
      They left out the part where Bangle told Luca Ciferri to go out back and play hide and go F himself. Poor journalism.
      • 10 Years Ago
      While the journalist had an unprofessional chip on his/her shoulder, that's no excuse for being an arrogant jacka**. His refusal to take responsibility for the design direction of BMW is appalling. Sure, the board of BMW votes and guides, but he's the one who did the designs. Can't you just hear him selling these designs to the board? Regardless, the designs HAVE taken a lot of heat, and BMW refreshed the 7-series significantly earlier in the cycle than on past models. Further, the statements by other BMW execs that the 3-Series design had to appeal to a broader audience is practically an admission that the 7-Series design is, to be polite, a bit out there. Not to mention the fact that Bangle even says that they are starting from scratch with new designs, which says to me that this 'theme' isn't working for them. I also recognize that you can't just go out there and say "sure, we f'ed it up, but we'll fix it next time around." Of course, he's right about the sales figures, but I don't think that speaks to the design issue. I, for one, don't find the 7-Series design particularly attractive. I also don't think Bangle is evil - in fact I think the designs are interesting, incorporating some great concepts and functionality. The 5, 3 and 1 Series are all mostly fine looking. Agreed, that I-Drive is most certainly a fiasco.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I agree tr... Staff Reporter Luca Ciferri actually says (about the 7) "But the car is anything but attractive." They actually pay this Luca person to do these interviews? If I was an exec at AutoWeek I would seriously look into this.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I laugh and cringe every time I see another interview with Chris Bungle. Another name to remember is von Hooydork. It is actually von Hooydork who pens many of the most hideous design pretentions at BMW. Von Hooydork and Bungle belong in the museum of automotive disasters right next to iDrive. With these three losing propositions at BMW, the company is neither a driver's company nor a true car company. It is a style and marketing firm.
      • 10 Years Ago
      The guy's an arrogant jerk. His new design paradigm fails because while individual details work--the way in which a particular lamp edge interacts with a side panel, for instance--the overall shape and theme of each car is incoherent or ill-conceived. The 7 looks heavy, leaden, and anything but dynamic. The front and rear suffer poor proportions and unnecessary tackiness in the shapes of the lamps and grill housing. They look like afterthoughts. The 5 looks like a jumble. The front end is even worse than the 7--it looks tacky. The back looks like it could fall off just aft of the C-pillar and the shapes are just not pleasing to the eye and bottom-heavy. The 3 looks like they chickened out, instead of finding a way to make the design language work. I'm all for aggressive, ground-breaking styling, and in fact year for it, but it should sell the car's capabilities, and look handsome doing it. These cars are all UGLY and that's Bangle's fault.
      • 10 Years Ago
      Get ready for the newest clothes of the Emperor!!
      • 10 Years Ago
      I would rather have a reporter throwing some high heat and missing sometimes than someone lobbing softballs to car execs all the time. Sure not everyone will agree about a car's stylings (some people even liked the Aztek!), but those decrying Bangle's designs are not an insignificant minority. Bravo to Ciferri for asking the tough questions.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I agree with both of you, tr and Josiah.. In fact, I still don't understand why everyone thinks Chris Bangle horrible destroyed the design style of BMW. In fact, I think his cars looks just as BMW as they used to be, except now they've been given a refreshed look with a bolder style. I don't see anything wrong with that. I enjoy the new BMWs, and I can't wait to see the new 3-series in person. Now, regarding iDrive... that's completely another story. : )
      • 10 Years Ago
      i kinda feel badly for bangle; everyone is always quick to blame him. but he does have a point in the interview, that there's no way he singlehandedly changed BMW design. there's a lot of people in that corporation. sure, he may have presented a design initiative, but there are a lot of higher ups that could've shot his ideas down if they wanted to. and what's with that reporter stating that the 7-series is completely unattractive, as fact? it's kinda like interviewing someone, and saying "well, everyone in the world knows that you're ugly. what do you have to say about that?" ahh...don't mind me, just ramblin' on here...:)
      • 10 Years Ago
      I agree with Joe. This whole BS about the " design paradigm shift" is a prime example of BMW's arrogance. A “design paradigm shift” should be more significant than slapping some tricky surfaces, fussy details on a classic BMW proportioned package. A REAL paradigm shift should be inspired by technology breakthrough, not by the desire to shock nor just to be different.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I think Bangle's arrogance is the real problem. Deign snobbery leads to a lack of appreciation of what these cars are supposed to be all about: THE DRIVER! Unfortunately, Mr. Bangle believes it is all about elegance and "bold design statements." Design has become the goal instead of the means to meet the driver's needs and desires, and that's a shame.