Erik Goplen, E46 3 Series designer, draws the new F25 BMW X3

BMW X3 | May 21st, 2010 by 13

The talented BMW exterior designer, Erik Goplen, the same very guy who designed the iconic E46 3 Series, is back in action with the new …

The talented BMW exterior designer, Erik Goplen, the same very guy who designed the iconic E46 3 Series, is back in action with the new F25 BMW X3. Same as the first generation X3, the new 2011 BMW X3 is a product design of the famous BMW DesignworksUSA shop in California.

The American designer, working as a creative director for DesignworksUSA, also designed the BMW E46 3 series, one of the most popular and highly appreciated 3 Series to date. Goplen is an avid classic car collector – he owns 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta; and in one of his interviews he said: “We have a design heritage to maintain”.

Clearly a very passionate and talented designer, and we are glad to see him back in the game.

According to our sources, the new F25 BMW X3’s exterior design was done in DesignWorksUSA, while the interior is a Munich-creation by Ulrich Ströhle.

The new X3 is just days away from its unveiling and the first teaser photos hit the web yesterday. The second generation X3 brings out an evolutionary design, rather than the revolutionary one expected by some customers.  The F25 X3 maintains its somewhat boxy look, but offers more rounded corners than the first generation.

Underneath the surface is where the customers will see and experience the changes. The  second generation is all about “reverse engineering” the previous E83 X3, and BMW considered all the positive and negative feedback received from the previous model.  The new model is more refined and will offer an impressive list of options.

The 2011 BMW X3 goes on sale late this year in Europe, while North American sales will commence in 2011.

BMW E46 3 Series Sketches


  • Brookside

    A great designer….the E46, especially the coupe, is one of my favorite BMW’s.

  • JL328i

    I wanna see more E46 sketches! anyone know where i can find some?

  • X5SoB

    So, Horatiu, who designed the E83 X3? I’ve always thought the “high top sneaker” look was distinctive and set apart the X3 from other “cute utes”.

  • T

    The E83 was again, like the F25 designed @ BMW Design Works by Geoff Valesco.

  • bob

    What prompted this separate piece on Erik Goplen? :-)

  • Arthuro

    i wish Frank Stephenson had worked on the new x5, god that would be perfect.

    btw e46 = great car, great design, x3 should be off the charts, well especially comparing to the old one )

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  • wiki

    X3 designer should learn from Audi and remove the ugly black bumper and the arch-wheel trim in black. The whole body should be integrated and colored in the same body colour.

  • Car Fan

    The 2003 E46 (last model year before the facelift) is one of the most beautiful BMW designs to date. It brings pleasure to view every angle, every line, every side. Top, side, rear, front, back — everything.

    BMW’s corporate policy featuring Chris Bangle and his reign of ruin, has put me off from BMW designs for 10 years. Every new model since the Bangle era began is an “it will grow on you” car. Why not create “Wow, nice car!” designs? BMW still leads in performance/road feel, over Mercedes, for example, but the designs have been consistently ugly for the past 10 years. The new 650 “Gran Coupe” is a nice looking car, but it costs $90,000. The 3-series are still awful looking, the 5-series is boring looking, and the 7-series is a bloated, undesirable boat. Ten years ago I lusted after the 3, 5, and 7. They were all sleek, powerful, and handled far better than their peers.

    Today, BMW seems lost. BMW, please get rid of the Gran Turismo nonsense, the absurd X6, and get back to basics. Make fewer, beautiful models, rather than many ugly models.

    • e46enthusiast

      I agree. I thought I was the only one who felt the BMW designs are getting uglier and uglier and more like Toyotas….ugh…that X 6 is just a raised coupe