It was 2007 and BMW had just wowed the world with a new design language. The BMW Concept CS was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show and thanks to positive feedback from media and customers, it was quickly greenlit for production. Codename F05, the four-door luxury sedan aimed to sit above the 7 Series flagship and take on the Bentley Flying Spur, Aston Martin Rapide and Maserati Quattroporte. The revelation is made in a new book about BMW design by Steve Saxty.
A Stunning Design Exercise
The BMW CS has an interesting history. Back in 2008, when a worldwide economic crisis hit, car manufacturers were trying hard to save money and reduce production. Sadly, the stunning Concept CS didn’t make it through, although many still consider it one of BMW’s most beautiful designs. But there’s more to the story than we thought. The Concept CS wasn’t BMW’s first try at entering the luxury space between the 7 Series and Rolls-Royce products.
Current boss of BMW Exterior Design, Christopher Weil, sketched two similar models in early 2006. They were simply called GT2 and GT4. The two-door GT2 was also aiming to take on similar products from Bentley, Aston Martin and Maserati. The book reveals some unseen design sketches of both design concepts and they look stunning even by today’s standards. Former head of BMW Design, Karim Habib, took over this idea and merged the GT2 and GT4 into a single concept. This was the BMW Concept CS.
According to Saxty, BMW planned for the F05 four-door sedan to be part of a three-model family, including a coupe and convertible. Size wise, the F05 was planned to be similar in size as a Rolls-Royce (likely a Ghost) that “used elements of the same aluminum spaceframe chassis.”
BMW 8 Series – The Somewhat Successor of the Concept CS
BMW will eventually launch an 8 Series family (G14/G15/G16) in 2018. However, the global landscape had shifted significantly by then, and none of these models achieved remarkable sales success, despite being hailed as some of the finest designs of the last decade. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe lacked the design allure of the BMW Concept CS, which continues to exude a timeless aesthetic.
There is an entire chapter in the book dedicated to this project and how BMW aimed to reinvent the sports car, along with exclusive design sketches. The three-volume boxed set will be available soon – at a pre-order price of £244.95, around $300. That is a great price, for these books would be a bargain at twice the price. Alternatively, the principal book, “BMW by Design” is available immediately for £79.95, around $100 – all with free shipping in USA, UK and EU.
[Book Images Provided by Steve Saxty]