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BMW Bids Bangle Begone

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
edited July 9 in BMW
Well it's official. Chris Bangle, head of design at BMW since 1992, and the man who singlehandedly stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism with his 2001 designs, is leaving the German automaker. The article says this is strictly voluntary. What do you think?

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    Here are more details:

    BANGLE LEAVES BMW

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    I wonder where he'll end up. He's given a whole generation of young car designers something to mildly copy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    I think he'd be great for any of the following "design-challenged" companies

    1. Subaru
    2. Hyundai
    3. Cadillac
    4. Lexus

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,412
    Send him over to GM. Don't let him take the iDrive with him.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,616
    "Cynics might also point out that there is also a rough correlation of profit weakness with the tenure of controversial stylist Chris Bangle, famed for the Bangle butt on the 2001 7 Series, and "flame-surfacing." Bangle left the company early this year."

    When the dust clears, BMW may struggle to compete (Detroit News)

    More troubling for BMW though, is this quote:

    People are losing interest in fast cars and driving.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    Strong Euro won't help anything, especially facing a weak dollar. The globalized economy (which means less for the western masses and more for a chosen few) also does not help sales volumes of products above a lowest common denominator level. Real incomes aren't growing.

    Combine it with the enviro-nazi propaganda and the "speed kills" scaredy cats who have gained in number even in Europe...and it doesn't bode well for people who like to drive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    I agree 100% with both statements.

    I don't even like to drive anymore, and this is a man who owned literally a hundred cars in his life, went racing and loved driving. I hate it now. Cops are everywhere raking in revenue for city shortfalls.

    I'm not sure why anyone would buy a high-performance car anymore, unless you lived in the desert or some such or can justify spending $50,000 to goose it for 3 seconds on an on-ramp twice a day.

    Perhaps we are on the cutting edge of yet another breaking trend, that firms like BMW should seriously contemplate---why build cars in the US that are in direct collision with speed laws?

    I'd be more interested in a car with stealth technology---might even look kinda cool :D

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  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    People are losing interest in fast cars and driving.

    I find that troubling in general! I don't want an encore performance of the late 1970s/early 1980s!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    Scary thought, eh? :cry:
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,705
    I find that troubling in general! I don't want an encore performance of the late 1970s/early 1980s!

    I don't either but I'm afraid that we are headed that way. There's a bunch of reasons for it but in fact our automotive priorities are becoming extremely distorted. Cars have become too heavy and too gadget-laden to the point where 300HP is the minimal requirement for having any fun (BMW is as guilty as anyone).

    I'm looking for a a car that is both fuel-efficient and fun, something that will get me thru the oncoming era the way my Fiat Spider got me thru the years '71-'79. It wasn't the fastest car around but it was a ball to drive and had style and spirit.

    Bring on the diesels BMW! ...and lighten up!

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    "Perhaps we are on the cutting edge of yet another breaking trend, that firms like BMW should seriously contemplate---why build cars in the US that are in direct collision with speed laws? "

    How about in direct collision with gas usage? My BMW 2009 X3 gets 14-15 mpg and it is small for an SUV. I heard that the 5-series Gran Turismo is as large as a 7 series. Isn't that going in the wrong direction?

    I like this one as it appears to be very light:

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/06/bmw-builds-a-ca/

    BMW has a video where Bangle talks about how hard it was to design the X3. It has a very nice interior layout that uses the space very efficiently. On the outside, particularly the tail lights however, he could have thought things through somewhat better.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    Like I always say: "performance comes at a price". However, there is no excuse for making a car or a component unattractive.

    My opinion is that anyone can be "outrageous", and shock people. This is easy, really, and, sadly, often rewarded in our culture---until 3 months later when we're all sick of it and we sober up---then we get shocked again.

    BMW has prospered by making generally attractive cars, for the most part, modestly designed, for decades and decades. Then some fashion plate comes in and screws it all up, as if there were no BMW "genetics" going on for the last 75+ years.

    Thank God he didn't mess up the grille.

    God help BMW if it abandons its styling heritage.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    The E60 5er is arguably the most heinous BMW styling effort in modern history. The company will be better off the more it is in the past. I have never been able to figure out what I loathe most about it - the headlight and taillight designs, or the interior.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    The styling has cohesion but all that means to me is that certain unpleasant design elements are carried throughout the car. It strikes me as very trendy in a superficial kind of way.

    I realize that these days it is very very difficult to make a car distinctive in a positive way, but I find many of these design elements exude a kind of cheapness.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    Trendy in a superficial way usually makes for dated and undesirable later.

    When automakers abruptly change from a design theme, that's usually not a good sign for the existing theme.
  • jtlajtla Posts: 375
    Thank God he didn't mess up the grille.

    2009 Acura TL comes to mind...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    Ewww....I knew you were going to say that....you might be right, too.

    Ah, the irony of it all----for decades the Japanese shamelessly copied BMW, and now...... :cry: .

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,705
    The E60 5er is arguably the most heinous BMW styling effort in modern history

    I couldn't agree more, they even messed up the grille (it looks blobby IMO) but I don't mind so much since I have an E39. ;)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    E39 is a pretty timeless and elegant design...still looks good, especially in M5 or sport trim.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    Ewww! Seem anime artists are now designing cars. The grille looks like it was designed by the Pokemon animators. The back of the car looks like it was designed by the Transformers animators.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    Some cars, especially from certain regions, have adopted very anime-like faces. I don't want to drive a Pokemon or a car that looks like the eyes of a woman who has received five-too-many facelifts (or in the case of the E60 5er, someone dressed in drag) :shades:

    The new RL has that 'Transformers' ideal going for it, edgy for the sake of edgy.
  • Hated E60 at first, now I love it...so much, I just traded in my E39. Call me fickle but I think it's time to step into the future of where styling is going...after all, the E60 has been the best selling iteration thus far. Could this just be the beginning? :shades:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    Isn't the busybody Bangle styling slowly going away? The newest and upcoming BMWs seem to be a little more normal. The F10 is very much 7er-influenced and calmer styling-wise than the E60. I think that's the future, not so much the E60 which was on the road 7 years ago and is kind of relevant as more of a mid-decade styling exercise. I think BMW is very lucky that it kind of became a lifestyle brand at the same time the weirdo styling got rolling, so the badge was able to overcome the oddness.

    The E60 drives very nicely no doubt...but, especially for the earlier versions, I can't get over the front, the back, and the interior styling.
  • I have been driving a E39 525iT for the past few days with a five speed manual.

    I much prefer how it drives compared to the 2007 or 2010 525 sedans we have in stock.

    Part of that is probably the manual vs automatic but I still think the E39 drives better.
  • zigster38zigster38 Posts: 72
    I think BMW's large problem going forward is mileage. What does their best model (in the US) get, 18 city 28 highway? Not going to cut it. The 1 series should have the 4 cyclinder diesel in it, and it may happen eventually, but if you are going to drop 44k for a new 3 series, people want mileage and performance.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I had just purchased my 2003 530SP when I found myself working in Germany for a bit. Had a chance to drive the 2004 e60 prior to USA launch... just didn't appeal or "speak" to me in the manner my '03 did.

    End result... I still drive my '03 530 and enjoy it as much now as when I bought it. Just a fabulous sport sedan that I keep well maintained with proactive maintenance performed by my BMW Indy shop. Actually, no major issues to date at 77K miles other than tires, TSB work or other preventative work done under warranty.

    A simply terrific car!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    I think the 335d is rated at 23/36. That seems reasonable.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I have a 2002 530i sp 5 speed with 155k miles that I intend to keep for as long as possible. Some things I have had repaired that you may anticipate are:

    75k miles, preventive radiator, expansion tank and hoses replaced
    80k, brake light switch replaced
    85k, master cylinder replaced
    130k, replaced original battery
    144k, replaced original rotors and pads
    150k, replaced oil separator
    152k, replaced fuel pump
    153k, replaced catalytic converters and oxygen sensors

    The rear wishbone joint cups are split and will be replaced after I get new summer tires; still on the original clutch, struts and shocks. My maintenance records indicate it costs 10 cents per mile to maintain for everything.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    All that seems reasonable at the mileages stated, except the radiator---BMW took a long time to square away their cooling systems. 10 cents a mile is pretty darn good overall. Goes to show ya'....ounce of prevention and all that.....

    I do wonder though why BMW can't make a 3 series as comfortable inside for larger people as the much smaller MINI.

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  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I was under the impression that the radiator has plastic necks and they were the problem; and I did not want to cook the engine. The next radiator flush will be this fall and I will replace the water pump. Also, my 530i is a 5 speed and I think an automatic would cost 1 to 2 cents more per mile.
This discussion has been closed.