BMW to consolidate its designs

News | May 10th, 2010 by 18
bmw concept gran coupe design process 100311647 m1

British magazine Autocar quotes BMW’s Design Director Adrian von Hooydonk on BMW’s plans to consolidate their design language and becoming “more harmonious” in order to …

British magazine Autocar quotes BMW’s Design Director Adrian von Hooydonk on BMW’s plans to consolidate their design language and becoming “more harmonious” in order to “satisfy” global tastes.

While the news are nowhere near being surprising, it is for the first time that a BMW official acknowledge what we have been seeing across exterior design of the latest BMW models. It all started with the new F01 7 Series that brought out the large front-grille and oversize front-fascia. Shortly, we have seen the 5 GT following a similar pattern, at a smaller scale.

Last on the list, the new F10 5 Series that inherits some design cues from the above mentioned BMW models.

bmw concept gran coupe design process 100311647 m1

Speaking at the unveiling of the new BMW Gran Coupe Concept at the recent Beijing motor show, von Hooydonk said, “Consolidation is good for the brand because it gives a clearer image of what BMW is.”

The latest 5-series saloon and the Gran Coupe were both examples of this, he added.

Both cars display a “more subtle use of the concave and convex”, in contrast to the more disparate BMW styles developed during the tenure of his predecessor, Chris Bangle.

The next generation 6 Series will indicate what BMW’s future plans are.

Thanks for the tip Giom!

18 responses to “BMW to consolidate its designs”

  1. I firmly believe that Bangle’s designs played a huge part in letting Audi catch up to BMW in terms of volume of vehicles sold.

    Walter de Silva’s cars were pure gold compared to those “things” that man created.

    This is great news and BMW is walking in the right direction once more.

    • XC says:

      Walter de Silva’s cars are just ONE design stretched, massaged and shaped at different sizes to acommodate an entire lineup. Audi’s designs are just bland.

    • paul says:

      bangle was just the design director…the current 6 series was actually designed by hoidonk!!! and remember that it was the board of directores that gave the thumbs up to these designs…do your homework first!!!

      • XC says:

        No point in reasoning, paul; ingnorance is daring.

        • Well, you’ve just proved it yourself – the only good looking car BMW has made in the Bangle era was the 6 series – which Hooydonk designed. He has taste, and I think they’re going in the right direction.

          • Chantan says:

            Really Shane? You seem not to know that Hooydonk design the previous the 7 series, yes the one with the infamous “bangle butt”. Funny, how his designs are now lauded by everyone when some of his previous designs were criticised on Bangle. Ignorance knows no bounds.

  2. Giom says:

    The only thing I don’t like about what this could mean, is that all models could end up looking the same – like Audi. I always enjoyed the fact that each model had its own thing going.

    We’ll see…

    • Doug says:

      Yes – (Hi!) Bangle has asserted that each model needed its own variation on the design language for its own identity, and that was part of the reason he was against expanding the lineup like they’re doing.

      I can’t tell whether this complicates the expanded lineup – because you can distinguish them even less — or helps it, because of the more consistent identification with BMW language? I donno what “harmonious” means, that sounds like someone who has special places on their desk for stapler, name plaque, pencils and blotter.

      • kcsnayud says:

        I think harminous means making most bmw models similar to each other, even though each bmw model will have its own design cues. So they’re not goin as far as making every model look the same (audi), but each model is not gonna be totally different from each other (bangle era) so technically its not “one sausage different lengths.” He wants to do this to give bmws a specific image and stable look.

        I still like the “every model is totally different.” thing though. I find the 5 series interior lookin too similar to the 7 series interior and i hate their super tiny air con vents. I bet ya that the 7 series is gonna go down in sales seeing how the 5 is a more attractive value.

  3. Yves says:

    What a wrong direction for van Hooydonk! This is tragic, but more likely directed by marketing boffins. BMW escaped from banality i.e. the infamous ‘one sausage, three lengths’ designs. The cars we drive need to fit within the brand DNA while still exalting its own individual genes. That’s what BMW did perfected mostly in the Bangle era. The current line up is making BMW becoming Audi, and that means it doesnt need a genius to predict the lines of any model type or size!

    • Doug says:

      Well said.

      Actually, wouldn’t this approach tend to age the design more quickly, since it is used so much more often? In the future these cars’ design era will be quite noticeable too.

      • Giom says:

        Interesting that you’d say that Doug, I always felt that Audi was so so boring because you never see anything new for a whole decade. The new A8 is a good example. Whats new about it? If you’ve seen the A4, you’ve seen the A8.

        I wonder if the new A6 will also look like this…?

        This would be very sad for BMW!

        • Doug says:

          I’m not sure… they seem to make smaller changes more often. Maye their updates are more evolutionary, rather than “revolutionary”, as with BMW’s current generation.

  4. Brookside says:

    Nice story.
    Looks like we’ve got a decade ahead of “me-too” BMW models sharing more than a family resemblance to one another- especially among the car models.

    It might work for Audi, but it just seems to go against the nature of what BMW stands for to me…individuality, progressive, daring.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Bangle era designs age- and if they become sought after models on the used car market based on their design appeal.

  5. BA says:

    Interesting strategy – but I think it’ll work. Until the next mega-trend in automobile designs changes their roadmap – which it will. As far as their current goals – I think their business roadmap fits part of the overall strategy, which is where the exterior serves as the face to BMW, but with lots of bonding commonalties. But the variance in interior space & usefulness leads to different types of offerings – which what sets the commonalities apart. Whatever the driver happens to be looking for; speed, drive exhilaration, exclusivity, power, functionality/usefulness, they’ll find it taylored in differnt ways with each model, but with similar exterior appeal. I think the way they’ve modeled their “Joy” marketing campaing definitely leverages this strategy as well.

  6. viper says:

    all I know is that AUDI makes prettier cars than bmw. are AUDIS engines as close to perfection as bmws engines? Still….Not , but they have some pretty interesting V10 from RS6 , the V12er TDI is something I admire the most , BMW doesnt even have a V8 diesel….they did have one in previous 7er…not anymore while BENZ does have V8 diesel , Touareg V10 TDI along with PHAETON…and Q7 V12 , HOW IS COOL IS THAT

  7. tripcore says:

    Well guys, just compare the new 7 to the old 7 and the new 5 to the old 5. Maybe they’re more similar to each other now but at least they’re 100 times better looking than the Bangle-era counterparts, and to me, that’s the only thing that matters. BMWs used to be synonymous with understated, proportional, not tacky or flashy designs and thank God they’re returning to this. Speaking of aging, I bet E65’s will be laughed at in not so distant future, once it’s just the design and not the status that they will be judged by.

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