For those who have been wondering when and where lightning-rod designer Chris Bangle will surface again, Automotive News has some scuttlebutt for you. According to the industry publication, the controversial BMW stylist has some plans of his own – for a new design studio.

While Bangle has not yet gone on record as saying anything, BMW's development head, Klaus Draeger has reportedly spilled the flame-surfaced beans, saying: "He's going to make his own dream come true. He's going to open his own design studio."

It isn't yet clear whether Bangle's next project will have an automotive focus or take his talents to other disciplines, but early reports (and a likely non-compete clause in his Bavarian contract) would probably indicate that he will move on to other things. If Bangle does make room for automotive consulting at some point, his design influence could well spread beyond BMW.

[Automotive News - subs req.]