• Feb 1st 2007 at 2:04PM
  • 11
The current BMW 7-series is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing designs out there. Its stubby shape and bustle trunk are in sharp contrast to the low-beltline, classically proportioned 7-series that preceeded it. The intrepid shutter-snappers at Priddy & Co. have caught a 2008 7-series prototype near the Arctic Circle. The car is heavily camouflaged, but it appears that the front end will be coming more in line with the brand's other cars. Banishing the fugly from the 7 is always welcome, and it looks like that means a lower, sleeker nose. We can't really tell what's up with the rear, but there's some weirdness at the base of the C-pillar and into the trunk. We're dreaming that it's camouflage pieces intended to throw us off, and that the rear of the car no longer looks like an afterthought.
We hope the 2008 7-Series brings some more flair to the table. Looking like the big brother of the 3-series coupe would be a good thing. You have to give BMW credit for trying; and really, what else could have followed the E38? Many are certainly displeased with the E65/66's look, but its predecessor was such a perfect, classic big euro-sedan shape, there wasn't anywhere else to go with that type of style. It could be argued they went a little too far avant-garde, but just like Picasso, some will get it, some will not. There's nothing inherently wrong with paying boatloads of money in return for lots of ugly, right?

[Source: TCC]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nothing against the fine people at Design Works, but the problem with BMW's styling, is that they emphasize the avant garde just a bit too much. They design for their own present, and they age faster than any other car. Typical design life for BMW:

      introduction (0 years):
      .....What is that?!

      maturation (1 year):
      .....That's a nice looking machine!

      decline (1.5 years):
      ......What is that?!
      • 8 Years Ago
      To BOB:

      First of all, perhaps you need to learn when not to use the caps lock key.

      Secondly, if people don't like the styling of the current 7 it does not mean they "have no understanding of design". I don't need to "understand it". I have to like it.

      BMW screwed up by letting Bangle run wild, and most people know this.

      Sure, they keep selling the ugly 7 series because it is still a well-engineered car and lots of people are going to buy it since it has a BMW badge on the hood.

      They hobbled it with iDrive (which is run by embedded Windows - poor decision) and pissed off many customer who would try to put their car in Drive and were greeted with a software crash.

      The back end of the car looks unfinished and pedestrian, at best.

      The previous design was, and still is, one of the most gorgeous designs in sedan history, period.

      There is not point in changing something for the sake of change if you are going to Bangle it.

      Stop being a Bangle apologist while cirticizing the tastes of the rest of us unwashed masses.

      The sad thing about today's lineup from BMW is the fact that the new X5 is about the only attractive model!
      • 8 Years Ago
      DAN -- I had a bellyfull, years ago of the BMW styling bashing from auto writers. You not only bring up old news (your opinion), but go on about it.

      This complete lack of design understanding by auto
      writers makes me want to say:
      1-- It reminds me of when I was first a store buyer, a zillion years ago: I was having trouble understanding why some of the merchandise in the high-end, snooty stores seemed ugly to me. There is such a thing as snob appeal ("I have it, it is
      different, you members of the rabble dont understand it"). The expensive shoppers want something different -- why does that have to mean that their choice is pretty to others?

      2-- BMW stayed a touch too long with the previous design themes -- would you like them to become
      Jaguar? Sometimes in design it is better to strike out and stay ahead: the goal of making the car distinctive to its target market is more important than the goal of pleasing you guys. The last 7 that was so sleek and classic to you was an also ran in sales and in status to Mercedes.

      3-- THE PRESENT CAR SOLD WELL AND BEAT MERCEDES! I cannot imagine how the auto writers dont find that to be the main measure of the car! Now it is looking tired and needs replacing. (No doubt: controversial designs can have shorter lives.)

      4-- Now that the design theme has had time to evolve, BMW has found how to make prettier versions. Have you ever noticed that some of the Paris fashions look harsh, but you see women wearing an evolved version next season? That is how it works.

      PERHAPS the auto writers might notice it is
      TERRIBLY RUDE to the readers who either like the cars or have bought one, to keep using the cheap gimmick of "it's an ugly Bangle design"as a hook on which to base their articles.
      Sorry Dan -- you get the wrath I have been feeling for most of you guys on this subject.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I think that this current 7 Series has been one of the most successful in its history. It was really forward thinking for a large Euro-lux sedan. It created tons of controversy. Other auto designers were influenced by its design. You could see small design cues taken and applied to other non-BMW models. BMW got carried away with the Bangle Butt and couldn't figure it out completely. They tried to correct it with the current restyled version. I think that the profile is beautiful! It made several people rethink a large sedan. MB and Lexus came out with somewhat more exciting and/or competing designs. Personally, Lexus' new LS is a beautiful car. I just look at it and still see Toyota. That's not a bad thing. I just think new MB's S Class is butt f'ugly!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hope it is as beautiful as the rendering. I look forward to replacing my not-so-beautiful, and problematic 2002.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree that the previous 7 was as perfect as a big sport sedan could get. Visions of an '01 740i swb, shadowline trim, 18 inch M-Technik wheels, in the deep grey metallic...as sweet a ride as could be expected. BMW tried to do too many new things at once, and they went too far, and not just on the 7. Styling, where could you go from the last 7? Introducing a new design language is fine, but to leap from something so smooth and sleek to something so oddly controversial looking, especially in a conservative segment, was just asking for trouble. Combine that with some questionable technological "additions", such as the SMG (never driven one, but never read a good review, either), the electro-hydraulic (or whatever it was) power steering (it felt way too artificial, and was always trying to anticipate what was going to be needed in the way of assist, and ususally guessed wrong), and i-Drive (nifty idea, horrible execution, way too complicated to do simple things like listen to the stereo or play with the AC). Admittedly, sales don't seem to have dropped off, but that's because the cars are still BMWs. And the styling as it's evolved thru the models has definitely improved (oh bring me a 335 coupe!). Here's hoping that the updated 7 channels more 3 coupe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The current 7 series is an ugly car. Bangle botched it. The cheap cars are emulating it. Let's all hope BMW can get back on course. The new 3 series coupe shows they're headed there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I honestly liked the current design and didn't understand what the out cry was that made some people hate it.

      Germans do a good job evolving their designs, check Porsche Audi Merc BMW. Even Jag understood this until they were bought by Ford.

      I agree with BOB but the only thing I would change would be to square up the rear of these cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The current 7 series was not as good as the previous non-bangle version (not trying to knock Mr. bangle, but the current gen 7 series looks suck).

      Of course the 3 series and 5 series are an exception to this rule, as they are on of the most beautiful cars on the road today.

      I hope they do keep to there guns in this spy pic, as the new 7 series definately needs an overhaul.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I feel that the current 7 is a beautiful auto. When you see that thing on factory sport 19's, there is nothing else like it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Finally somebody with a different point of view, and a very interesting one. Excellent argumentation! Congratulations BOB!
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