The Automotive Brand Contest – a prestigious international design competition – saw the German Design Council acknowledge projects by the BMW Group with a total of 48 awards. BMW Group Design was named a winner 11 times. In the Exterior category this included the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, MINI Roadster and the motorcycle models BMW S 1000 RR and Husqvarna Nuda 900 R. Among the winners in the Interior category were the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, MINI Roadster and BMW 3 Series Sedan. In the Events category, the BMW Design Studio Live won over the panel of experts, while the design installation COLOUR ONE for MINI by Scholten & Baijings earned the special accolade “Best of Best”. In addition, the BMW Group Design Team received an award in the special Team of the Year category and in the Image Film category for its film on the BMW Zagato Coupe. The BMW i8 Concept took a prize in the Innovation of the Year category, while several BMW brand campaigns were also honored.

With such a rich haul of awards, the German Design Council corroborates the exceptional standard of the BMW Group. The formal award ceremony will take place at the Automotive Designers’ Night on 27 September during the 2012 “Mondial de l’Automobile” motor show in Paris.

The Automotive Brand Contest is the only neutral, international design competition for car marques and, since its inception in 2011, has evolved into an important event for the sector. This year, for the second time, the German Design Council recognises outstanding product and communication design and turns its attention to the essential significance of a brand and its design within the motoring industry. Here, the focus is on the consistent, all-round “stage management” of a brand across all media and products. An independent panel of experts including representatives from the media, design and brand communication, as well as from higher education establishments, judged the submitted works in a total of 12 competitive categories, ranging from Exterior and Interior to Brand Design and Advertising Campaigns. Prizes were also awarded in four special categories. Prize-winners are automatically nominated for the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, also presented by the Design Council.

The design of the BMW i8 Concept lends shape to the flawless interplay of technology and aesthetics. Its formal language and low-slung silhouette exude a sense of dynamic prowess, while the large windows and exposed aerodynamic features offer an unobstructed view of the concept car’s innovative lightweight design, underlining its commitment to maximising efficiency. The vehicle’s athletic character is also reflected in the state-of-the-art design of the interior, distinguished by its uncompromising focus on the driver and its use of renewable resources.

The sporty, emotion-led design of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder showcases the attributes of an open two-seater, coupling lightness, dynamics and efficiency with unusual aesthetics. The combination of intelligent lightweight design and cutting-edge hybrid technology helps the BMW i9 Concept Spyder on its way to genuine sports car performance, while its fuel efficiency figures are on a par with those of a small car. The sporty, dynamic impression is underscored by large body panels, a hunkered-down stance and numerous aerodynamic elements such as contact surfaces, spoiler lips, AirCurtains and aeroflaps.

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe combines the extraordinary aesthetics and dynamics of a classic BMW Coupe with a luxurious ambience, spawning a fascinating and utterly individual product personality. Its proportions – which are very low-profile for a four-door model – display sporting flair and luxury. With its low height and coupe roofline flowing into the rear, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe embodies the expression of pure BMW aesthetics. The design of the interior harmoniously links the front and rear seats to create the perfect alliance of elegance and dynamics. Decor elements and tautly sweeping surfaces stacked one on top of the other signal the exclusive nature of the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

The BMW 3 Series Sedan is the best-selling premium vehicle in the world. Now in its sixth generation, it sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting proficiency, elegance and comfort. The pioneering history of the model serves as an inspiration for the new sports sedan, whose powerful styling embodies a new interpretation and systematic evolution of the brand’s hallmark design. The new BMW face, with flat headlights extending as far as the BMW kidney grille, accentuates the dynamic and elegant design of the new BMW 3 Series range.

The BMW Zagato Coupe arose from a collaboration between automotive enthusiasts: it is a BMW as seen through the eyes of Italian coachbuilder Zagato. And this is firmly reflected in the design, too, where Zagato melds the styling cues of both companies to create an emotive coupe in the best Zagato tradition. The sculptural and visually arresting distribution of mass is a Zagato hallmark and lends the BMW Zagato Coupe a distinctive personality at very first glance. The treatment of the surfaces, on the other hand, is clearly inspired by BMW.

The MINI Roadster is an elegant and sporty small car for discerning drivers who value high-quality design, powerful engines and precision-tuned suspension. The typical MINI interpretation of a compact roadster unites purist sportiness with spontaneous enjoyment of driving around town with the top down. Padded stainless steel roll-over bars and the windscreen frame round off its elegant design while at the same time ensuring optimal safety for driver and passenger.

To mark the Salone del Mobile 2012, MINI presented the installation COLOUR ONE for MINI by Scholten & Baijings. This work by the internationally esteemed Dutch design duo explores the design of a MINI One by examining its composition down to the very smallest components, and in doing so dissecting the design process as such. The result is a new thought-provoking and inspiring interpretation which, employing the familiar Scholten & Baijings stylistic devices of colour and material, queries the rules of automotive design and casts a new light on them.

Visitors to Munich Creative Business Week 2012 were able to gain an insight into the genesis of the unmistakable BMW look at the BMW Design Studio Live at BMW Lenbachplatz. As part of the exhibition on the new BMW 3 Series, interesting background information on the design process was presented, while the highlight was being able to watch BMW Group designers working on a 1:1 clay model and offering some additional fascinating insights into the world of BMW product design.

The new BMW S 1000 RR motorcycle benefits not only from technical advances for the engine, suspension and cockpit; in terms of design, too, it has taken another leap forward. The tail section displays a noticeably leaner look, while the asymmetrical side panels have been discreetly revised and the centre airbox cover now has side aperture grilles. A new and striking identifying feature comes in the form of two winglets on the top of the panels for enhanced aerodynamic performance.

With its fresh and frisky look, the Husqvarna Nuda 900 R radiates an agile sense of sporting dynamics. The Nuda 900 is the first motorcycle to unite the BMW Group’s proven engineering prowess with elegant Italian flair. With its minimalist design, every element defines the athletic exterior that lends the bike its unique dynamic tension. This characteristic formal language extends all the way to the aerodynamically styled tail that takes its cue from a racing bike.

Last year, BMW Group Design took awards in the Automotive Brand Contest for its SESTOSENSO light installation, the BMW 328 Hommage and the BMW 6 Series Coupe.