• Jan 15th 2008 at 7:19AM
  • 9
Chris Bangle is now chief of design for the BMW Group. Without his hand directly penning the coming crop of new BMWs, new man on campus Adrian van Hooydonk -- who answers to Bangle -- is slowly erasing some of Bangle's more controversial contributions.
Though you can't really tell from Car magazine's spy shots of the next 5-Series, they've been told that "the new 5-series won't be anywhere near as radical as today's E60." With the redesign of the current 7-Series being talked up as a return to traditional elegance, we can probably expect the same from the 5-Series. The car will get a smidge longer, and up front you'll get traces of Concept CS styling, as well as LED eyebrows over the headlights.

What you might not expect is a much greener 5. It will get the roundel's Efficient Dynamics at no extra cost, which shuts off the engine when the car is stopped and unhooks the alternator when the battery is fully charged. It might also get a high-efficiency gearbox with eight -- that's right, a Lexus-like eight -- forward gears. Beyond that, there will be likely be many high-tech aids and five engine choices ranging from a 245-HP 3-liter diesel to the 5-liter 500-HP V10 in the M5. Thanks for the tip, Dave!

[Source: Car magazine]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      When you say "traditional elegance" I hope you mean 3 series coupe and not 3 series sedan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One great thing about the entire BMW automotive range is you cannot mistake their cars for anyone else's. The 3-series coupe is elegant, yes, but unlike a couple of the opinions posted here, I think the sedan is as well (at least with the sport package).

      The 5-Series is brilliant. It has astonishing operatics and in my opinion, will age very well. The tension in the body is perfect. The only aspect of the car I don't like is the front fascia -- it's too reminiscent of Joe Camel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry, but you've got this wrong. Bangle may be head of design, and as such deserves whatever blame for the recent spate of ugly cars. But van Hooydonk is the one who actually designed the flame-surfaced uglies. Bangle designed the previous crop of cars, you know, the beautiful ones that made everyone so upset when they were replaced w/ van Hooydonk's cars?

      That previous-generation 3er? Bangle. Current 3er? Van Hooydonk.

      Clearly van Hooydonk's getting better at designing cars, but don't think that he's erasing Bangle's errors, they're his own. Bangle designed some of BMW's best looking cars ever. No doubt that's why they made him head of design, at which point he started putting van Hooydonk's designs on the road.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What is flame surfacing? An abundance of random shapes randomly placed in an attempt to conceal a lack of design expertise.

        To give credit where credit is due, my favorite BMW is the E46 3-series, which was actually designed by Chris Bangle. Unfortunately, for every beautiful BMW that Bangle personally designed, he also designed 10 ugly ones. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most car enthusiasts I have talked to hate the flame surfacing spread by Bangle's reign of error. As for Adrian Van Hooydonk, he has been an even bigger catastrophe, and will only perpetuate the sad state of affairs at BMW, as Tucker pointed out. I can only imagine Bangle keeps him around to make his own designs look good in comparison. To the Bangle apologists who point out BMW's sales success, I say: BMW is successful not because of Bangle and his cohorts, but in spite of them.

        For the few people I have met in real life who claimed they liked Bangled BMWs, this is what I have found:
        • They liked BMWs only as status symbols to showcase their disposable income
        • They had little to no real appreciation for automobiles
        • Once I explained to them the basic principles of industrial design, and the farce behind flame surfacing, they generally moved on to other luxury marques
          • 7 Years Ago
          "...Once I explained to them the basic principles of industrial design, and the farce behind flame surfacing, they generally moved on to other luxury marques"

          StupidPerson: Oh man!.. that BMW is so beautiful!!

          Big Rocket: StupipPerson, are you trying to showcase your disposable income?

          StupidPerson: eh...mm.. no.. I just think the car is beautiful..

          Big Rocket: maybe you like that car because you do not have real appreciation for automobiles.

          StupidPerson: why you say that? is a BMW you know.. is a rear wheel drive, very well engineered, excellent suspension for superb cornering, a well-known hallmark of handling. I really like to drive cars.. I like cars.. are cars and automobiles synonyms?

          Big Rocket: well.. let me explain to you the basics principles of industrial design, and the farce behind flame surfacing

          StupidPerson: Flame what?

          Big Rocket: Flame surfacing

          5 minutes later.

          StupidPerson: oh MY GOSH!!!

          Big Rocket: yes, i know..

          StupidPerson: You saved me from ignorance Big Rocket! I was ready to buy that horrible car.. what a horrible company.. I am going to buy a Lexus now, or an Audi!! Thanks Big Rocket! I hope you save many stupid people like me!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd still like to give BMW credit for pushing the envelope on design a bit, rather than Audi, MB, and Lexus continuing with boring designs. BMW and Cadillac are definitely the leaders in stylish design with Cadillac's being even better.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're bringing facts to an argument? On the internets? You must be new at this. Most be people just use the right wing radio tactic of asserting authoritatively whatever opinion they have and thereby making it a Known Truth.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 5-series is one of the only designs I've enjoyed that has come out of this "Bangle design era." I felt that it brought a welcomed amount of masculinity with a touch of arrogance and aggression to separate it from your mundane lexus or some of the other competitors vehicles. I look forward to the possibility of snatching one up on the used market after the new ones come out! Hurry up and sell your 5 series people!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree, but the 5 and 6 series only look spectacular in their M form. Otherwise they just look 'pretty' good. The facelift on both helped loads though.