Who is behind the design of recent BMW models?

Interesting | November 16th, 2008 by 11

I am sure this is a question that of you might have asked before and looked for an answer. While some designers are more known …

I am sure this is a question that of you might have asked before and looked for an answer. While some designers are more known than others and pushed more in front of the camera lights (Chris Bangle, Adrian Von Hooydonk), there are still many names behind the design of BMW models that you might have not heard of.

So, when I came across these names on GCZ, I knew that I had to share them. And here is the interesting point I was trying to get to, the new BMW Z4 E89 was designed by Juliane  Blasi, a name we will hear more about soon.

  • Joji Nagashima: E90/E91 3 series, E36 3 series, E36/7 Z3, E39 5 series
  • Adrian van Hooydonk: E63/E64 6 series, E65/E66 7 series, Z9 GT Concept, Z9 Convertible Concept, MINI ACV30 Concept … (now Head of Design BMW Automobile)
  • Geoff Velasco: E83 X3
  • Anders Warming: E85 Z4 roadster, GINA Light Concept, Mille Miglia 2006 Coupe Concept … (now Head of Exterior design BMW Automobile)
  • Chris Chapman: E87/E81 1 series hatchback, E53 X5, X-coupe Concept, CS1 Concept … (now Head of Automotive Design @ BMW Group DesignworksUSA)
  • Erik Goplen: E46 3 series
  • Davide Arcangeli: E60/E61 5 series
  • Tomasz Sycha: E86 Z4 Coupe
  • Marc Michael Markefka: E92/E93 3-series coupe & cabrio, E82/E88 1-series coupe & cabrio
  • Pierre Leclercq: E70 X5, X71/E72 X6
  • Karim Antoine Habib: CS Concept, F01/F02 7-series, new 8-series(project “GranTurismo”)
  • Juliane Blasi: E89 Z4 roadster
  • Jacek Froehlich: F10 / F11 5-series
  • Mark Djordjevic: RR Phantom family (Phantom, Drophead Copue, Coupe)
  • Frank Stephenson: R50-R53 MINI Mk1
  • Marcus Syring: R55-R58 (R60?) MINI Mk2
Remember, some of the cars on this list are already canceled, but that doesn’t mean that there was no design chosen, and YES, there were talks of a high-end roadster, Z9, based on the Gina Light Concept.

11 responses to “Who is behind the design of recent BMW models?”

  1. Cirrus says:

    Davide Arcangeli, the designer of the E60 exterior passed away due to leukemia in 2004 before he got a chance to see the car in person. He really did a great job with the 5 series imo. I know some people who hated the design at the introduction who now slowly have changed their opinion 180° over the years. The design needed time to sink in..

    Sometimes when I see one now, I find it hard to believe it will be replaced soon by a new model. It still looks so fresh..

  2. Brookside says:

    • Anders Warming: E85 Z4 roadster, GINA Light Concept, Mille Miglia 2006 Coupe Concept … (now Head of Exterior design BMW Automobile)

    If I had to choose someone from among all these people- to say “hey, this is the visionary talent”….it’s Warming. And now that he’s got the big title and responsibility within BMW ( a fairly recent development I think ) maybe we’ll see more innovative designs coming to BMW production models.
    The Gina Concept is genius stuff.

    Great List Horatiu!

  3. Clara says:

    Horatiu, a lot of these folks are available via google, esp wikipedia. You might want to link.

    THis is a great topic… I’d love to hear more about their design philosophies and what they brought to the table. Also, how were the design teams set up, structured etc?

    For example, those awesome wheels on the X6 you posted — were they derived from this Juliane Blasi design?

  4. Hantra says:

    Long Live Erik Goplen!

  5. Auday says:

    It would be interesting to know the design process in BMW from the begging of the project till the car takes the final shape. I’m sure those guys listed above dont have 100% control over the design and they have to follow certain guidelines and design language.

  6. Auday says:

    “new 8-series(project “GranTurismo”) ” ???

    Was that the cancelled production version o the CS concept.

  7. Gragop says:


    It was canceled or at least put on hold for the time being. However, he’s still credited for the design of the CS – which likely would have been an 8 Series successor.

  8. Frederico Silva says:

    Long live Davide Arcangeli and Karim Antoine Habib :D

  9. marc says:


    28-02-2009 11:52

    “The ‘Gina’ concept car covering was patent protected ”
    Rome, 28 Feb. (Apcom) – The ‘Gina’ BMW is a prize-winning concept car, but the idea of using a fabric covering for the bodywork is now said to have been copied from an Italian. This is the subject of the lawsuit initiated by fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco, owner of a number of young fashion labels, and filed with the Rome Public Prosecutor a few days ago. Public Prosecutor Marcello Monteleone is believed to be assessing the case presented by lawyer Carlo Cirillo, which contains allegations of counterfeiting under articles 473 and 474 of the penal code and under the provisions of the so-called ‘industrial property code’, as defined in the law of 10 February 2005, number 30, article 127. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Bianco designed an exclusive procedure in 2005 by which any covering material, from leather to fabric to more technical materials, could be applied to the external body of cars and other motor vehicles, “making the covering impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. After registration of the patent, exhibition at the 2006 Bologna Motor show, and coverage on the Tg5 Italian TV channel, Bianco was confident, happy in the knowledge that he had invented something innovative. Then, in the middle of 2008 he discovered that BMW had presented a concept car with a fabric body: the Gina, acronym for ‘Geometry and functions in ‘n’ adaptions’. So Bianco felt that there was nothing for it but to assert his rights. The battle between this small inventor from Italy and the German colossus began last August, when lawyer Carlo Cirillo informed the legal offices of BMW that his client was the “owner of the rights following the filing of a formal application to register the patent for a fabric covering for motor vehicles” and warning the German company to “cease any activity in conflict with this”. After further contacts between lawyer Carlo Cirillo and the legal consultants from BMW’s patents office, and despite all the documentation presented in support of Bianco’s case, the Gina was exhibited at the museum in Munich and from 11 to 15 February of last year at the Salon Concept Car Hotel National des Invalides Plauce Vebaun, in Paris. As reported in the newspapers, at that event in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the Gina won the award of ‘Grand prix du plus beau concept car de l’annèe 2008’. But Bianco was not willing to let matters lie. He made a video with his accusations and posted it on Youtube. The process involved in this work on the car and the application of the materials, as shown on the carbodydesign website, source BMW press office, is exactly the same as the one he designed. In his lawsuit, the designer also refers to a visit by a BMW manager to his stand at the Motorshow. Lawyers Carlo Cirillo and Pamela Baglivo, who presented his case with the collaboration of lawyer Micol Cupo Pagano, explain: “Our client hopes that this will throw light on the matter.” Lawyer Carlo Cirillo adds: “It is clear that if the judicial authorities recognize this as a violation of Mr. Bianco’s patent rights, we are looking at damage on a huge scale, taking into consideration the enormous publicity potential of the internet coverage used in handling this issue. So I hope that this will bring protection to the offended party, the small businessman, against a multinational company with great economic resources.”

  10. marc says:

    Designer in battle against BMW for “Gina”


    Source: Corriere della Sera 01/03/2009 – Michele Manno

    It is certainly a strange case that has ended up on the desk of the Public Prosecutor in Rome.
    You could almost say that the two contestants are the present situation and the future.
    The present situation is represented by designer Giuseppe Bianco; the future by the well-known BMW car manufacturers.
    Why future? Because BMW recently won an award in Paris for the most beautiful “Concept Car of 2008”.
    The car has an unusual name: ”Gina”. And we know for a fact that, like Gina Lollobrigida and all other women, Gina loves elegant clothes. So much so that she has been called the “Light visionary model”.
    She is a car that we will never actually see on the road, like all “concept cars” which, by definition, propose new ideas destined to take shape on the roads of everyday life some time in the near future. The idea is in the composition of the car body, consisting principally of an elasticized fabric stretched over the frame which can be modified at the touch of a button, depending on the driver’s tastes. So it is a fabric to suit all occasions, from a simple meal in a pizzeria to a Gala evening in Monte Carlo. It is a kind of travelling haute couture wardrobe.
    But this is where the present, with its laws and regulations, impacts on “Gina’s” destiny. Fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco has initiated a case against BMW, alleging counterfeit and the violation of the industrial property law, claiming that it was he who, in 2005, invented the exclusive procedure by which it is possible to apply any type of covering (leather, fabric and technical materials) to the body of a car or motorbike, thus making “the coverings themselves impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. Before turning to the justice system, in this case public prosecutor Marcello Monteleone, Giuseppe Bianco’s lawyers warned BMW not to continue any activities connected with the use of this process. But the car was still presented.
    Whatever the truth of the matter – and legal battles over patents are usually complex – perhaps one day we will hear the verdict. It is up to the judiciary to decide who is right and who is wrong: but for once the case does not concern murder, disputes or violence, but the future of a car; and the prosecution and defence have to make a decision about “Gina”.

  11. BMW says:

    wasnt bangle the designer of the E85 z4

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