Video: Chris Bangle on supercars

Videos | March 6th, 2011 by 17
chris bangle bmw 655x43611

Chris Bangle, the charismatic designer and ex-chief of design at BMW, attended the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and as usual, he made a stop at …

Chris Bangle, the charismatic designer and ex-chief of design at BMW, attended the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and as usual, he made a stop at the BMW exhibit where he was seen cordially chatting with his former colleagues or employees.

One of the most famous designers of all time, Bangle was equally innovative and controversial in his designs and terms like Bangle-butt or “Bangleized” were common among BMW fans or automotive journalists.

For undisclosed reasons, Bangle left BMW in February 2009 and was succeeded by his apprentice, Adrian Van Hooydonk. Since his departure, Bangle was said to be splliting his time between his Italian vineyard and teaching design at various universities.

chris bangle bmw 655x43611In the video below, Bangle talks about all the new supercars revealed in Geneva and shares his thoughts on what makes the modern supercar.

[Source: CarDesignNews]

17 responses to “Video: Chris Bangle on supercars”

  1. Giom Mouton says:

    I didn’t particularly enjoy that interview… he seems too melodramatic and somehow angry at modern styling. The answer to the Ferrari vs Lambo question was more from an artist than a car designer, which I’m sure he is. There’s a lot of grey there, sometime one wants simple b&w type of answers.

  2. Adrian Van Hooydonk says:

    the veyron was never designed to be a drama queen flamboyant dramatic supercar. His argument about the boring a pillar was wrong there I think.
    For all those who are going to post how much they hated bangle cars need to hear this: wash an e60 5 series, then you’ll see how good the design really is. Park it next to an a6, and realize how boring the a6 looks, or rather how interesting and purposeful the e60 is

  3. Laszlo says:

    yeah, like he would know anything about a supercar. He would not be able to create one if his life would depend on it.
    all he created is a weird grotesk cars.

    wash an e60 ? why, leave dirty, looks better. covers up the bungled up shapes and the fugly trunk lid. I rather not have anything he created.
    The E60 is a great driving car. But a horrible design inside outside. pure vomit.
    along with the 7 series he did. After the facelifts both become marginally better, but the real jump came when he parted ways to deign the pig-sty’s.

    Adrian Van Hooydonk – the real one not the carwash guy here – started turning the BMW’s into a eye pleasing elegant cars. It will take a few years before they will be pretty but at least they are elegant and pleasing !
    Inside was a huge jump forward into the good direction too !

    • Horatiu B. says:

      I totally disagree here. If there is one designer that knows how to pen a supercar, then that’s Bangle.

      Look at the GINA Concept created under his direction.

      • T says:

        With BMW design especially in the last few years we have become more open , more public it’s a bit like a reality TV show. in the past we were not very forthcoming on the design angle especially in the late eighties.
        Back then we were very discreet and more clandestine.

        Chris Bangle brought the BMW “Turtle” out of it’s shell.

        With every BMW we learn that the “Personal touch” a mini-documentary about the design of the customers chosen car actually does wonders for brand recognition.
        We have found that customers do like finding out a bit more of their car , inspiration , ideas , development they register as talking points when discussing their car with friends or colleagues.

        With this approach you have to credit Bangle for this because it was his idea to become more open in terms of design. and open the channels of communication between designer and the public. BMW instigated this and everybody followed. Chris became the public figure for design back it expanded and you got to know many of the others who are responsible for the look of your car.

        When the original E65 was launched in 2001 there was no design communication. It was more like “There it is “… discuss?
        Which was probably a design phase that should have been more open to hear the reasons why the 7er looked radical and ahead of it’s time.
        Every new BMW launched now we further expand on talk about the car , whether design , development and technology we give you the introduction and the reasons for why the car looks like? , drives like? or utilises this?…

        Although Chris Bangle left BMW in 2009 his stamp overlooks the current crop of BMW cars and some future production models that have been seen or yet to be seen. Within BMW Chris Bangle changed the design medium for BMW he brought in people from all areas of design to seminars , arranged field trips and so on to stir the creative mind set and expand genetic thinking of automobile design.
        Whilst the public and enthusiasts were calling for his head , BMW remained in awe at how he successfully transformed the brand into the worlds No 1 . Premium automobile manufacturer.

        • bob says:

          Personally, having been a BMW owner/fan for more than have of my life, I believe CEB is the 2nd best thing to happen to BMW AG. The corporate philosophy and culture he established for BMW Design lives on (“Aus Freude am Design”). A brilliant Manager!

          Here, tho, in this video, he seems conservatively dressed…can’t tell if he’s wearing his favorite tie clip??? ;-)

    • I am not sure you know that the new 7, 5 and 5 GT were actually created while Bangle was the head of BMW group design. And that Hooydonk was one of the main designers of the previous 6, 7, 5 and 3. These and current ones were team work and it’s stupid to “love” or “hate” someone of them personally.

    • T says:

      Given GINA was not a supercar but for a stand alone original concept it turned things around and became something more innovative than a supercar, sure it did not have excess horsepower and OTT aerodynamics and it did not hit ludicrous speeds. But the Genius of GINA is how it turned what you think of a car? on it’s head in the way why does a car have to have a conventional steel body?
      Could fabric be actually used?

      In GINA there was a lot more emphasis in technology , innovation and lightweight than half of the supercars available in the world today. Unfortunately GINA cannot make production but the idea is being developed especially in other design areas such as housing which was a project spawned from the creation of the GINA Concept.

      GINA showed how creativity can be expanded when taken out of the box , presently a lot of manufacturers are still conceiving within this box and you do not see this creativity it is more industrial rather than kinective thinking…

      But the point Bangle aims at in the video is the exact same as BMW – Great another supercar , what does it do – Go fast – what else? That is why the i8 exists because it has to be a very different type of car it has to stand out and it has to be relevant. BMW do not want to see the same experience as everybody else who get their 15 minutes of fame and then the next one comes along.
      BMW aim to show that the i8 is no 15 minute wonder.

  4. Bryce says:

    I really like what he’s saying; that a supercar needs a narrative. Anyone can design a car to look ‘fast’ but not anyone can design an instant classic. Although not designed by Bangle, I think the Z8 and the 8-series are great examples of this. The Z8 and the 8-series have been long forgotten by teenage supercar fanatics, but to true BMW fans they are the ultimate classy supercars.

  5. Something I’ve never understood is he expects everyone to listen to his explanation about WHY his cars look good. Why doesn’t Ferrari or Bentley or Aston Martin ever have to explain their cars? Anyone can see that they are beautiful machines, while Bangle needs to make excuses about why his ugly cars aren’t ugly. It’s a big cover-up.

    • nick says:

      Anyone doesn’t mean nothing to me and I am sure to Bangle too.
      Anyone will see a Ferrari F430 next to a M5 and will say the Ferrari is faster.
      Anyone will see an audi with a billion leds on it and will think it looks good.

      What anyone will never see is that the design of the M5 the M3 and the M6 was unique and each car had a “personality”. And that you will never forget them because they were not mainstream.
      I can’t even remember Audi’s or Porsche or labmo’s design because they plain and simply always look the same and across all models.
      Just like the new BMW line up unfortunately…
      I love the design of the M5 and the M6 (although I don’t like it’s front that much the lights are not very aggressive) and I absolutely adore the M3, in my opinion best design of the decade.

  6. Horatiu I agree

    I like his attitude towards super cars, making companies take a harder look at what they make and call a super car. His GINA concept with its skin and moving parts is just simply magic.
    Granted Bangle became head designer in 1992 and car design had not really become timeless yet. But he was part of that transition since he was head until 2009.
    I am not sure how many people notice but we are in an age where we are starting to build cars, homes, buildings which remain timeless and look good 30, 40 years down the road. How many homes, cars, buildings from the 60’s-80’s are just hideous looking…almost all.
    Where in the late 90’s and early 2000’s things started to become more timeless in their aesthetic appearance.
    I am not fond of all of Bangle’s design’s I don’t know if it has to do with the influence of the times or Bangle’s ideas but I do like the direction he was taking it in. And by 2009 when Hooeydonk took over things were going in the right direction.

    Adrian Van Hooeydonk being Bangle’s apprentice and now head of design..we all know his Vision Concept, M1 Concept, Vision Connect Drive were influenced by what he learned from Bangle. I love these three concepts, they look so wonderful and look like they would feel wonderful.

  7. Oh and lets not forget Bangles 2006 Concept Coupe Mille Miglia. Its something you either hate or love it. I love it, the nod of the big round lights and the long kidney grill like the 326 or the 320 of the 1930’s. This car is a work of art.

  8. billmilo says:

    He came out as strange. Someone said that the E60 is a good looking car. Not for me, and I am a BMW fan. The E60 looks too feminine,, too curvy

  9. ///MPOWER Meysam says:

    We love you Chris Bangle.
    Please come back to BMW’s desine group.
    Your desines are SENTIMENTAL .

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