Over the last few years, BMW has been trying new approaches in terms of design. As expected, a lot of those changes have been controversial. After the BMW 4 Series was unveiled, critics were quick to point out its styling and the departure from classic BMW design cues. Now, several months later, BMW has another fire on its hands: the design of the new BMW iX.
Frank Stephenson, who was on our podcast recently, went on camera to analyze the design of the iX. In case you didn’t know, Frank actually can offer a valid point of view, his experience in car design being his forte. He’s the one who penned the Ferrari FXX, Maserati MC12, Fiat 500 and a host of McLaren models, from the MP4-12C to the P1 and 720S.
In the BMW world, he was the one who gave us the E53 X5 and the revamped MINI back in the early 2000s. Naturally, he knows a thing or two about drawing beautiful cars. In his view, the design of the BMW iX is not good because it feels more like it was created by a product designer rather than a car designer. According to him, a car’s design must give you a feeling of speed, of motion, something the iX just doesn’t have.
It would look nice if it was a refrigerator, but this is a car and the design doesn’t really inspire that. Furthermore, according to him, if you strip away the huge grille up front and the badges from this car, you can hardly tell this is a BMW. What even more surprising though is that the interior seems to be in a different league altogether, beautiful, clean cut, minimalist. And that could sell the car but, as Frank points out, you first see the exterior and if that’s not pleasing to the eye, how many will actually be bold enough to actually step inside and be wowed by the cabin?