One of the never-ending topics surrounding the BMW i3 is the exterior design. Some simply think it’s ugly while others have had a more diplomatic approach, using different terms to describe what is undeniably an unorthodox approach for a BMW. The more recent input on the topic comes from Bentley’s chief of design, who recently said that customers don’t necessarily buy the i3 for its design.
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To be more precise, Stefan Sielaff, the man who penned the latest Bentley models, said in an interview with Autocar that electric cars these days have particular design cues but most of the times, they don’t have to look odd: “If we look at the Taycan, it’s still a Porsche. If you look at Tesla, they don’t look deliberately dramatic. I admire, as a designer, BMW for doing the i3, but if you speak to customers, they say it looks ugly.”
I’ll be the first to admit that the i3 doesn’t look like any other BMW on the road today. It’s tall, narrow and has extremely skinny tires. At the same time, I love this car for what it brings to the table; it’s about more than just looking pretty. It is about substance and what you get in return. BMW tried to offer a truly eco-friendly car and, in my book, they succeeded. Sure, it’s not perfect and, if it had a different design it might’ve been a better seller, but it was bold nonetheless.
As for Bentley, it seems like they are working on their own electric car at the moment. According to Sielaff, the end result will have the Bentley DNA infused in it and the brand identity will be very helpful in penning this new model. At the same time, the electric Bentley will have to look like a Bentley but have EV-appropriate proportions. Therefore, expect a car with a bit of a different design but that can still tell you right away it’s a Crewe-built model.