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  #31  
Old 06-07-2020, 12:26 PM
Vantage Vantage is offline
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Originally Posted by mick78 View Post
The E92 was the one Bangle era BMW (actually not designed by Bangle, btw.) was never criticized, as it had really nice proportions, was applauded for abandoning weird details and returning to BMW greatness outside; The interior still was not too well received, bith style and qaulity, tehre it took yet another generation, and actually I'd argue that inside, the currnet 3 series (and this 4 series) are currently on top of the class; Thus it is really sad that the exterior detailing is poor, as the proportions wouldn't be....
From my modest point of view, there is little doubt that E46, whether in saloon, coupé, estate or cabriolet form was a very fine vintage. Indeed to this day, it remains a supreme expression of traditional BMW aesthetic values. In fact, to many aficionado’s eyes (and a good many more objective observers) it simply hasn’t been bettered.

While criticised in some quarters as being less of a driver’s car than its predecessor, the ’46 raised the 3-er to new levels of sophistication, yet unlike its forebear, both looked and felt like a quality item. It also brought driver assistance technology like traction and braking control to the sector, a function of its advanced multiplex CAN Bus electronic system.

The E46 marked a confident return to form, so much so, that it probably stands as the most complete of the Three-Series generations – the most accomplished, and perhaps the most polished. Its combination of virtues continues to embody the sports-saloon template, much to the chagrin (it seems) of the incumbent holder of Dr. Reitzle’s exalted position.

Chris Bangle once told a journalist he hoped nobody would notice his influence upon BMW’s styling. This being so, one is tempted to propose the E46 as the most successful BMW design created during his watch. It illustrated that with a firm guiding hand, the iconoclastic American could deliver a car which cleaved faithfully (and fruitfully) to BMW traditions.

It’s somewhat telling that once Reitzle departed the Forschungs und Innovationszentrum for the bright lights of London and Ford’s Premier Automotive Group the following year, any moderating influence upon BMW’s maverick design directors allegedly departed with him.
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  #32  
Old 06-08-2020, 03:51 AM
effew effew is offline
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You know your car looks horrible when a front license plate improves the look.
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  #33  
Old 06-08-2020, 11:35 AM
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Certainly, the current models, ever-more elaborate nose treatments apart, could really be from anywhere; the BMW identity reduced to a couple of telltale graphic flourishes.

It’s tempting to read into this that BMW, spooked by the sales success of Mercedes-Benz, whose cars, designed along the revered principles of Sensual Purity®, and which have proven highly attractive to premium car customers from Hubei Province to the Hamptons, have felt at a loss, not only for their bitter rival’s marketing tagline (which might explain why we haven’t heard much of Precision and Poetry of late), but for a similarly less defined stylistic palette.

Mind you, there’s more of a Determined Performance (CB©) flavour to the Vierer’s angry pair of selfish air-gobbling nostrils.
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  #34  
Old 06-08-2020, 09:55 PM
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Will be intersting if BMW decides to facelift the car earlier than the mid like cycle, or continue with the large grill trend.

funny enough BMW did experiment with a large grill on the 7 series facelift, but did not go through with it.



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  #35  
Old 06-08-2020, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ascariss View Post
Will be intersting if BMW decides to facelift the car earlier than the mid like cycle, or continue with the large grill trend.

funny enough BMW did experiment with a large grill on the 7 series facelift, but did not go through with it.
would have made more sense on a 7 series, just like this style would have made more sense on an 8 series. to do this on your high volume 3/4 series models doesn't make much business sense. it would have caught on more had it been introduced on the flagship models (and if it wasn't so ugly). Bangle correctly took most of his styling risks with the lower volume high end models where a little more differentiation is expected.
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  #36  
Old 06-09-2020, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by IcedG35 View Post
would have made more sense on a 7 series, just like this style would have made more sense on an 8 series. to do this on your high volume 3/4 series models doesn't make much business sense. it would have caught on more had it been introduced on the flagship models (and if it wasn't so ugly). Bangle correctly took most of his styling risks with the lower volume high end models where a little more differentiation is expected.
This. Also, usually a new design language should start top down; Like Mercedes usually brought along their new design theme in the S-Class, thus also always making the C-Class a Mini S in people'S eyes, and not the S-Class a large C-Class; Now whenever a larger model will get the ugly new grille, people will say "it's just a large 4 series"....

But in this case, especially with a large grille, it would have had to go on the large sedan first,,,,
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  #37  
Old 06-09-2020, 07:04 PM
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[...]Meanwhile we are witnessing the completion of a process which has seen BMW becoming untethered from a half century of design heritage, just as it has done with its previously inviolate engineering orthodoxies. In some ways this can be viewed as brave, since so much of the brand’s visual identity has been rooted in a number of seemingly sacrosanct stylistic flourishes, now discarded. But the risk is that without them, what does the BMW customer gravitate to in a world where brand (or at least established car brands like BMW) are losing their relevance?
BMW is famous for not being true to their promises:
- never having a diesel coupe? check
- never doing a metal roof cabrio? check
- never having a FWD car? cccccheck
- never dismiss the signature Hoff kink? seems also like a check

All of them justificable, but still...
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  #38  
Old 06-09-2020, 08:08 PM
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BMW is famous for not being true to their promises:
- never having a diesel coupe? check
- never doing a metal roof cabrio? check
- never having a FWD car? cccccheck
- never dismiss the signature Hoff kink? seems also like a check

All of them justificable, but still...


Supposed elitism is one of the car industry’s preferred counter-arguments/excuses. When challenging a particular product, particularly with regards to its design, one is quickly dismissed as a snob, out of touch with what ‘the market’ really wants by those who conceived that product. Any criticism is therefore at best a matter of ‘personal taste’ or, at worst, highly patronising.

The strength of a brand is one of the car industry’s preferred arguments. If the brand is strong, a company should be able tosell almost anything to its customers. Back in the late 1990s, Mercedes-Benz put this to the test with a string of offensively poor products that, despite toppling over and rusting at an alarming rate, sold well. Indeed one might wonder if any brand other than Mercedes-Benz, inventors of the automobile and hitherto purveyor of the most thoroughly engineered specimen of the kind, could ever have gotten away with this. Yet the patronising spirit, the belief that an excellent track record entails carte blanche, prevails.

The BMW brand is almost as strong as that of Mercedes-Benz today. And yet the proverbial cracks in the armour of the marque that taught every car owner on this planet that what they truly desire is an Ultimate Driving Machine (hence making every other brand trying to become BMW too) are starting to show. At an alarming rate.

First of all, there’s the design issue. Criticism of the looks of recent BMW models is nothing new. That the once highly respected designers working at the FIZ have recently turned into the industry’s laughing stock (what with photos of the new 1 series having caused amusement, rather than astonishment among a fair few designers working for competing marques). Not to mention the countless internet memes and a rather astounding viral video – it’s not just snooty critics and dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts who take notice anymore. It’s the ‘net.

Design has traditionally been a good indicator of a car brand’s leadership, so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that at the same time as competitors giggle at the 1 series’ creases and the internet at The X7‘s grille, BMW CEO, Harald Krüger got ousted in order to be replaced by former head of production, Oliver Zipse.

On top of this hearsay, there are concrete announcements about more than one of the niche models that have fuelled the product onslaught of the past years not getting replacements – among them brand killers like the 2 series Active Tourer, as well as oddballs like the ‘GT’ fastback saloons. These decisions, while obviously perfectly agreeable to overdue by themselves, do make the previous brand expansion effort, which entailed considerable dilution of the same, appear rather pointless, to say the least. The damage is done, after all.

Needless to say, old habits die hard, so ‘the market’ in general and ‘China’ in particular will serve as explanations for poor design and inappropriate products for many more motor shows to come – whether the BMW CEO’s name is Krüger or Zipse. But the writing’s on the wall: Any brand’s strength can erode if something is eating away at its substance.
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  #39  
Old 08-07-2020, 05:25 PM
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A rather interesting video of Frank Stephenson analysing and dissecting the design in a very professional manner and providing professional critique:

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  #40  
Old 08-10-2020, 12:12 PM
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That's an excellent summary, and pretty much sums up also other gripes I have we the design (teh general lack of BMW identity); ANd yeah, the grille of course too.
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