Behind the design of the BMW Gran Coupe

Concepts | May 6th, 2010 by 31
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As with any new models or concepts, weeks after the official unveiling, BMW releases some behind the scenes photos of the BMW Gran Coupe Concept. …

As with any new models or concepts, weeks after the official unveiling, BMW releases some behind the scenes photos of the BMW Gran Coupe Concept.

Unveiled last month at the Beijing Motor Show, the BMW Concept Gran Coupe emphasizes the new design language into a single product: a sleek, dynamic and “good looking” automobile.

The BMW Gran Coupe is labeled as a 4-door coupe type of vehicle with a distinctive sporty character. This very same model constitutes a preview of the upcoming, redesigned 6 Series and the Munich-based automaker confirmed that some of the design elements from the Gran Coupe Concept will be shared with the 6er Coupe and Convertible.

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The Gran Coupe has been designed to combine the abilities of a GT and a sports car. The roof is 100mm lower than the 7 Series models, and its rear quarters slightly more restricted. The concept carries the essence of brand values and the genes of BMW design into the future and the expectations are that these styling cues will turn up all over BMW range in the next few years. The sleek Gran Coupe retain iconic elements like the kidney-grille, Hofmeister kink and a less pronounced shark nose.

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Built on the new 7 Series platform (F01/F02), the now canceled CS Concept was unveiled for the first time in 2008. The CS Concept has an unique expression of classic notchback design highly individualized and varying according to your angle of vision. The front-end design is one of the most powerful elements in the CS Concept, the BMW kidney grille stands out as a powerful element typical of the BMW brand and due to the larger than usual size, it is the dominating element of the entire front-end.

We are still waiting for confirmation from BMW and also preparing a surprise for you, but judging by these photos, the designer responsible for the Gran Coupe Concept seems to be the Iranian-born Nader Faghihzadeh who has also recently designed the interior of the new 7 Series.

31 responses to “Behind the design of the BMW Gran Coupe”

  1. Giom says:

    Oh yes! I was looking out for something more on this concept.

    Interesting… that the concetp car on show was such a early clay-covered design study. If you think back to the GT concept and even the X6 and X1 concepts before that, they had interiors too.

    Would be interesting to know what the story behind this concepts is…

  2. Chanter says:

    Say what you will of Bangle and Hooydonk, but BMW certainly has talented designers. And this concept proves it.

  3. Laszlo says:

    Sure t hey do have talented designers, the trouble is Bangle isn’t one of them. He is a certifiable idiot who single handedly ruined BMW’s reputation on the design side. His design and flame surfacing was the biggest BS the automotive styling ever heard of.
    Have you ever seen such ugly vehicles from lets say – Henrik Fisker ? Pininfarina ? It will take BMW a long time to forget these bungled cars. The new direction is definitely a huge step forward to break apart from the bangled design.

    I hope chris bangle lives happy and can go back to design wooden spoons for pig sty’s…

    • Giom says:

      Actually, this comment is the biggest BS I’ve heard all day long. – And very uneducated!

    • Billy says:

      “His design and flame surfacing was the biggest BS the automotive styling ever heard of.”
      First off, there still is flame surfacing on almost every bmw’s hood and sides. It’s one of bmw’s distinct qualities.
      Second, The automotive design industry was highly influenced by bangles designs- just go look at mercedes or audi- they both copied several aspects of bmws that bangle created.

  4. Laszlo says:

    sure, now we need education to understand bungle’s design. he said we needed to close our eyes to see the beauty… now we need to be educated. good. fine. I take an uneducated style and like that any day over an educated ugly design.

    No, the MB never followed the ugly route. none of their cars were bungled up like the 7 and 5 series.

    and as I said in my post these newer BMW’s are a step forward in a good direction. Flame surfacing is not a real term, bungle came up with this to explain his concave and convex shapes which had nothing to do on a cars.

    I have yet to see a design from him that was even remotely elegant or stylish. mix matched shapes thrown to each other and trunk lid which looks like an afterthought. BMW had a challenge to even make the shapes he “dreamed” in his d’illusions. Take a good look at the new 5 and 7. clear lines, elegant forms, stylish and the same time sporty shapes.
    I might add that the new z4 looks excellent and they kept some of the bugled lines, but made them organized and free flowing. Very little needed to make that older Z4 a good looking car and they did it. Bungle sure could not do it in his time.

    the worst of all this that he thinks he is/was a greatest automotive designer.

    Audi and MB had/has a lot of very nice and stylish cars in their fleet. sure some are not exactly what you call the best design, but still the face of the cars remained true.
    Need a proof ? an aging Jaguar was selling better then the bungled 7 series after 2005. why ? people got extremely tired of his flame surfacing extremely fast.
    a cheap looking flashy design like his, will fade into boredom faster then a true design. Aston Martin is repeating the same style since 1997 with a little twist and turn, Porsche has been doing that with the 911 for 40+ years. Do they look boring and do they go out of style ? Nope.
    The E31 BMW which I might add one of the nicest style still looks fresh 21 years after the debut.
    Would go and say that a Ferrari 348 looks ugly ? that design is 20+ y/o and still looks fresh. bungled cars were hit with the biggest depreciation due to the fact that these cars become – so last years – very quickly.
    they also targeted a different audience, a newcomers to the BMW line. No trouble with that but in the same time BMW lost a lot of old and traditionalist customers.
    The trouble with goes back to the basics. The traditionalist BMW fan will buy a BMW year after BMW. He/She believes in a car and in a brand and will buy what he/she needs at a given time. Starting with a small car in his young ages and goes up on the latter.
    The “nuevo richo” crowd BMW targeted with the bungled cars will buy a BMW today if thats the ubercool machine on the market. Then if MB, Audi, Porsche comes out with a cooler or hotter (whatever you use to describe your schnit) then they switch brand and go with that. Typical buyer is young working person who makes a load of money and wants to show up his success. One day it is the 7 the next day its the CLS and then the R8 and on and on.
    They know very little about the car and its heritage and could care less whats on the trunk lid and hood. They even care less on whats under the hood as long as it has the biggest number HP, for bar-bragging right. They hardly ever drive more then a few hours in a car and an email and ipod/idrive is a must for them in a car. They can never do parallel park and a 3-way turn is something of a mystery for them.
    BMW got what they wanted but I have a feeling they weren’t exactly happy with the result. Hence the toning down on the flash and focusing more on real values of a car.

    time will tell, but I think I go back to my old uneducated cars. luckily I have plenty of them and they go perfectly without an iDrive.

    • Brookside says:

      Horatiu- I really think you should ask this guy not to smoke crack before posting.

    • Doug says:

      laszlo, if you can’t separate the art from personal preference, then you’re in no position to be judging anything, especially on behalf of “people” as a whole. There’s far more to art and design than what looks “nice” or “cool” or “hot” — you should be able to appreciate a design and why it works even if it is unappealing to you aesthetically. Even if something is ugly, you should still try to understand the thinking and *why* it appeals to some people and not others, how the appeal develops in people over time and with respect to the evolutions and trends of design.

      These statements of yours are frankly quite ignorant of everything you’d have to grasp to analyze design at all. Personal preference is not good enough. Asserting your contempt loudly and at huge length is also not good enough.

      In other words, give it a rest, you frickin’ retard.

      • Auday says:

        I’m with Laszlo here.

        Doug, while I agree that some aspects of design appreciation are subjective and a matter of taste, some other aspects are not. The Bangle era cars are eye catchy and different but they are NOT elegant, this is not a subjective term, it’s more calculated,… now whether you like bulky big aggressive/dominant looking cars or you like elegant more subtle designs thats a matter of taste, and the market chose the latter which made Bangle famous.

        As for the aging, I totally agree with Laszlo, When I see an E38 on the road I still look at it, what a nice elegant design and it gives a statement of the owner, a man/woman of taste in luxury car who prefer keeping this jewel car than leasing a brand new car. While look at the E65 now (especially the pre-face left), it already looks like some hype of the past that has nothing to do on the road. Give it another 10 years and it will be the ugliest car on the road.

        an example of the past from our friends in Mercedes, they had one of the most successful designs in the W126 and IMO this car changed the language of cars design at the time, then they came up with the W140, a big aggressive design that made a big noise at the time, … look at them now, the W126 is still a beautiful car the W140 is just plain ugly, and you dont see anyone who likes classical MB driving it anymore while lots of W126 fans are still out there.

        All example Lazlo gave are great especially Aston Martin, what a great elegant design language.

        Bangle is creative and a great artist, no question about it, and the car he designed boosted the sales of BMW true, but what Laszlo said about them is very true too.

        The history books will mark his era as a bubble in BMW design history that doesn’t belong to the flow of the models. For me the the F10 is a natural development of the E39 and the F01 is even a more natural successor of the E38, the Bangle cars are just some DTor that had to happen and I’m glad it’s over.

        • Doug says:

          Auday, these are completely subjective statements. While someone can say whether you like it or not and why, they cannot state it as fact for everyone else on the planet, and cannot assert that it is a bad design simply because they think it’s unattractive.

          My deeper point is that your impression of a design and the design itself are two different things. Art is only partly subjective. The design isn’t just a bunch of sketches; each element and proportion and curve is carefully considered part of the whole; what is connoted by each form, how all the elements work together. The “art” is not an instinctive thing like having an opinion, it is actually carefully engineered, and without considering what they were trying to accomplish, only a very subjective decision can be made about whether it was successful or not.

          So, saying BMW was misguided or that Bangle was an idiot is a pretty inadequate analysis. I don’t even like a lot of bangle’s cars, based on what I like in cars (eg, knight rider, countach, etc), but from an art perspective the designs were very good; they were intelligently thought out, they just didn’t appeal to what many people wanted. I hated the E90 when I first saw it, but staring at it for years, and realizing how the shapes interacted taught me a great deal about design that I happen to enjoy and value. It may not be elegant per current conventions, but the design in itself- and how it was thought out – definitely is.

          • Doug says:

            Regarding aging of designs… this is certainly an important issue which is definitely considered as part of design. Bangle took risks in this area and speculated about what his current designs would mean among future design trends. That’s worth discussing. But to base it completely on subjective statements isn’t saying that much. It was cool the, but now it looks old and ugly, it was cool then and i still like it, etc etc.

            And most importantly, none of this justifies the contempt and derision we see above.

    • Billy says:

      “Porsche has been doing that with the 911 for 40+ years. Do they look boring and do they go out of style ? Nope.”

      You can’t be serious. Porsche is obviously not as design oriented as BMW-they’re only selling because:
      1. They’re fast
      2. The “Porsche” badge.
      I don’t see why anybody would go and buy a Porsche because they thought it was well designed. BMW on the other hand is different- what sets it apart is the complexity in it’s design- and Bangle was a major contributor to that advancement from the same, boxy designs BMW previously had.

  5. Doug says:

    This got totally off track. Horatiu, I’d love to hear more about their explanation of the design, if they are willing to disclose it. Particularly…. why they changed the CS, if that’s how this evolved.

  6. moshake says:


    oohh so your so ok on your comments that’s why karim habib (bmw concept cs designer) was signed by Mercedes Benz to lead Advanced Design Team yes the team to design the nest MB’s…. and audi ooohh maybe wue are seeing now the most bmw -ish audi profiles from all te time.. you talk about pininfarina… aahh so i think that’s why the last ferrari california is sculpted with so many bangle’s surfaces… o i forget herik fisker was designer at bmw too!!!!!!!!

    oohi think that you’re ok… when bangle was at head od Design. Designworks won 2 years “design team of the year” a red dot price… sure the judges were very very idiots to gave them the price twice a time… but oohh yes i forgot it… the guys at red dot are one of the most respected panels on design in the world..and ohh yeah i remeber that no car manufacturer on the industry have benn won so many prices…

    and now so serious.. now ther are a lot of car manufacturares with shou out “i wanna be like bmw” .. think ou of mazda…kinetic design by ford.. even gm (the cruze rear view is so very 7 series), and think off hyunda..even mb..

    lazlo you’re ok, and allthe design world is wrong…

  7. for mr.faghihzade….salam aghaye faghihzadeh man dobare baraye shoma kament gozashtam..azaton khahesh mikonam ba man tamas begirid…
    ba tashakor nader esmaeili

  8. اقای فقیه زاده منتظر پاسخ شما هستم…

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