Chris Bangle, who left BMW earlier this week to move "beyond the automobile," did not create the butt that bears his name – Adrian van Hooydonk did. But most importantly, Bangle did not stand behind that butt; he stood in front of it. It was Bangle's vision for not just BMW, but for automobiles entirely, that allowed that bustle butt to come into existence. Two new essays that look at BMW design before Bangle and the scope of automotive design after Bangle are well worth reading, even if you aren't a fan of the man or his machines.
So while this particular blogger is unmoved by the current 3 Series and 7 Series, bristles at the X3 and X6, and thinks the 6 Series looks like some rare species of giant clam, this same blogger can readily assert that Bangle's vision did something lasting, influential, and important. The exact measures of those three feats will be determined by history's refining hand, but they will not be erased.

If nothing else, providence provided a man named Bangle to hang our epithets on, saving us from having to say "Hooydonk Butt" which just sounds dirty. Follow the links for the stories and see if you think that far from destroying BMW design, the man not only helped rescue the company but perhaps car design itself.

[Source: Speed Sport Life and Motor Trend]

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