An often under-appreciated feature of car design is the taillight. No matter how beautiful a car may be, the taillights are seldom talked about. I’m not so sure why, as it’s one of the features you see most. Because, generally, when you’re driving around, the car in front of you is the car you look at most, so its taillights are staring you in the face. So despite the lack of love for taillights, they are a huge factor in car design. Taillights might not necessarily make a car design, but they can break one.
BMW never really had interesting taillights, some successes and some failures, but there was never really any exciting ones, until recently. BMW never had an iconic taillight design language, like Corvette does, but within the past 20 years of so, it’s begun to create some truly good looking taillights. So we’re going to take a look at the top five BMW taillights.
5. BMW Z8
There’s not much to say about the taillights of the Z8, or the whole car for that matter, other than they’re gorgeous. The Z8 is truly a triumph of design, blending classic sports car looks with modern design touches. The taillights in particular, as there are incredibly narrow and thin, to represent the design of a far bygone era. They work perfectly with the small tucked design of the rear end and match the theme of the car perfectly.
4. F12 BMW M6
Just recently, BMW released a refresh of the current-gen 6 Series and with it came new headlights and taillights. Both were very welcome additions to an already great looking car. They’re narrow but wide, creating a very low and lean look to the rear end. It matches the very aggressive design of the car so well. It’s also remarkable how they’re so slender yet so easily recognizably BMW taillights.
3. F10 BMW M5
The new 5 Series in general has a very good looking hindquarters. Far better than the Bangle Butt of the E60 generation, which was that cars worst feature. But the taillights play a big part in why the new F10’s butt looks so good. They’re big and wide and give the rear end of the car some attitude. I personally love the three-light bar motif going on in the. Overall, just clean and handsome taillights to match the rear of a well designed car.
2. BMW M4 OLED
While the standard F82 M4 doesn’t have the most exciting taillights ever made, they certainly are good looking. But the OLED upgrade to them, which sadly isn’t available to the North American market, give them a massive boost in style. The OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and is similar to a regular LED, except better in every single way. The OLED taillights on the M4 have a swooping, layered rectangle look to them and flash in a wave-like series. It’s amazing to behold them turn on and they definitely make the rear of the M4 look far better.
1. BMW i8
The BMW i8 might be one of the most exciting looking cars ever made. It’s almost definitely the most interesting. With the crazy lines and angles and swoops and vents, there’s something to lay your eyes on from any and every angle. But the rear end of the car is the absolute best and is mostly due to those taillights. The way the taillight is incorporated into the rear fender and the C Pillar, while creating a little aerodynamic tunnel in between is simply staggering. They are BMW’s best taillight design and maybe even the best ever. That may sound like a bold claim, but I’m struggling to find any other that I enjoy as much.