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Good, Bad or Ugly - Current and Future styling trends of BMW

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  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    too bad i dont wanna take the risk, and also considering the fact that 2nd yr productions are usually better than 1st yr models :) so im taking one soon and if the new ones any good, i can always trade it :)
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    BMW was discounting the last of the e39 5 series as the market was anticipating the new e60 5 series.

    After people actually saw the e60 5-series, the e39 5-series actually went UP in price. So people who got the latest e39 5-series actually made money. Amazing, a luxury car that is actually an APPRECIATING asset.

    IMO, I doubt that the same thing will happen with the 3-series b/c of the better engines.

    The photoshopped 3's looked very nice. Although I think we'll have to wait a bit until we see the final version. --kdshapiro

    I agree. They look OK to me too.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    lookin ok to me as well, though i still find the new beemers are loosing its "simple yet elegant" design
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "lookin ok to me as well, though i still find the new beemers are loosing its "simple yet elegant" design"

    What a profound statement! While I really like the look of the new Beemers you are absolutely correct - BMW has always been about simplicity and beauty/elegant design. Are they now into "non-simplicity"?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,100
    I'm not sure what it is about the new 5-series, but it sure turns my head. I really liked the E39, but it is dated..

    Every new shape is hard to get used to... I have a hard time ascertaining what makes a car look good to me, but I know it when I see it. I don't think the photoshopped 3-series pictures look better than the current model, but I do like them, and I'm sure they will grow on me. Give it a couple of years and the E46 will look dated also... I used to love the E36, but the four-door really looks "old" now.

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Save for some ultra-exotic cars, only three "regular" manufacturers have managed to capture my attention. Porsche, Mercedes and BMW. These three manufacturers some have managed to make their cars look good without getting used to the new look and they have figured out how to mix form and function. I never had to get used to the look of a BMW. Now I do. I still think they are good looking, but it took me a while to warm up to them.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Favorites:

    E26 original 7 series
    E21 original 3-series
    E24 original 6-series

    In my opinion the style of these are unbeatable in BMW's history. They are thoroughbreds. They have that minimal, geometric countenance. Very angular but just enough curvilinear balance. Also a great blend of symmetry and asymmetry. I would love to see them bring the look of these into the future. If they did so, I believe sales would absolutely go through the roof. They personify the technical image that BMW once had and should be striving for with styling. The current models are feeble attempts at fashion and are 180 degrees from the direction they should be going. BMW and MB have lost their heritage. Thankfully, Porsche has kept it.

    Check out those wonderful bimmers, when BMW emerged from a styling cocoon with glory. The shots aren't that good but the site is fairly comprehensive in terms of being able to compare styling among BMW platforms:

    http://www.bmwinfo.com/
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    id say theyre currently more into complex design with sharp lines, and somewhat weird curves. definitely not a simple design, sporty..yes but elegant and classy? nope
    the new 5 is growing on me, took quite a while to get used to but now its lookin ok, except for the rear end which stll looks like a copy of some japanese car design to me even until now. come to think of it the overall design of thenew 5 still look more like a japanese car than a german. is it just me or is anyone else feeling the same?
  • kimgkimg Posts: 2
    Thanks for the insight to everyone who responded! Final decision...go ahead and buy now. I'm not too worried about engine performance and I love the car now as it is so I am going with the decision that it's a good investment and the right time.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Bangle's shapes are certainly interesting. I hate the Bangle butt and IMO that has got to go.

    With respect to the Dame Edna/raptor eyebrow headlights, they're kind of funny and I'm OK with 'em.

    The weird thing about Bangle's shapes is they look different in different colors. For some reason, the 5 series is repellent looking IMO in light colors.

    In darker colors, the front looks good and the sides look OK, although I think the flame surfacing was overdone and should be toned down to make the car look slimmer on the sides.

    OTOH, my wife loves the look of the new 5 series (except for the butt which she hates as well) whether it's in light or dark colors.

    But my wife liking the design of something doesn't mean much b/c she has pretty awful and generally tawdry tastes, as she herself will admit.

    It's unfortunate b/c she drags me around now on all her clothes shopping expeditions to have me approve every single outfit she gets b/c, according to her, she only gets compliments on the outfits and shoes I pick out for her.

    Someday soon, I'll have to lie to her and tell her she looks great in the moo-moos she picks out for herself so I can get out of that most despised of all activities -- waiting for a woman to shop for her clothes.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    "In darker colors, the front looks good and the sides look OK, although I think the flame surfacing was overdone and should be toned down to make the car look slimmer on the sides."

    I find the 5 lookin better in black or silver, but i find it lookin horrible in blue. still in any color the rear doesnt impress me.

    lookin ok in the front and ugly in the rear, so turning japanese when you look from the side and overall shape :) i say yeah theyre losing directions :)
  • I'm doing a story on the pending BMW 3 series redesign for a national newspaper. You all here have got a ton of great thoughts on this. Contact me at sharon.carty @ dowjones.com (no spaces) to talk about this further. I'm looking for some people who currently drive the 3-series.

    Best,
    Sharon
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    I was driving down the main street in my city past the BMW dealership... I saw a 645 ci a nice black coupe, at first I did not make the connection with BMW and thought it was an Austin Martin one of the Dbs or vanquish, I Just had to take a look at it. So after turning around and heading back I realized that it was the New 6! the Black paint job makes this car look mean and intimidating, I love it. and as for the styling, im not a fan of the rear, but other than that its all good to me. I think it is good that they made a change, because for a while around the 92-00 there everyone and I mean everyone loved BMW's this is great but also bad. BMWs sales went up but the feeling of a driver and passengers being seen in a BMW wasn't as exciting as it was when they were still considered luxury Imports and If you had one people look at you like you were a celeb. That all started to fade out when everyone started buying BMW's I think the change is good because now people either Hate the new styling or absolutely love it. This is starting to make BMW more of an exotic name instead of holding the title of the middle class grocery getter. I believe that less of the New stylings are going to sell than previous models, but thats not bad, it just means that the cars will hold better value and are more sought after by people who love the looks. Thats all in my own opinion.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    6 series is actually quite a breakthrough, while im not a fan of Bangle designs, i admit the 6 is a cool looking one, same thing goes for the z4.
    bangles designs are more into being "aggressive" and "sporty", leaving the old theme which suggests "elegance" and "simplicity".

    the new 7 is actually not bad (w/o the eyebrows) but they dont sell well.i think the real problem is they applied the design in the wrong market segment, in this case: modern styling in a conservative market.
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    I believe that they did not want to sell as many cars as the older modles as to not flood the market with new body style BMW's Porsche does the same thing by limiting production. I think that they want their cars to accuire value by not flooding the market, but rather selling to a select group that will grow. They WILL be sought after by people who like the exotic look (I know my next car will be a 645ci). I have been to a BMW production plant and yes they care about sales but they also dont want BMW to become too well known they still want that Porsche feel to their cars (you know when a 911 goes by everyone turns their heads), that is what they are trying to achive, they already have enough money. Its a pride thing with the BMW name in the center.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I have been to a BMW production plant and yes they care about sales but they also dont want BMW to become too well known they still want that Porsche feel to their cars (you know when a 911 goes by everyone turns their heads), that is what they are trying to achive, they already have enough money. Its a pride thing with the BMW name in the center.

    I can't agree with this. How can you say BMW is trying to get more exclusive when they're producing the X3 and the 1-series, which are cheaper versions of X5 and 3-series?

    I think BMW is trying to sell as many cars for as high a price as possible, as are all profit-driven manufacturers.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tlcman... BMW's management has been obsessed with sales for many, many years. They have long believed that a modern car company has to reach a certain size in order to survive. Manufacturing economies of scale, market presence, R&D, etc. That was a huge reason they ended up with the Rover debacle. BMW wanted to use Rover to be their "mass market" brand/marque.

    Is one reason why BMW kept MINI (and is promoting the heck out of it) as well as Rolls Royce. BMW wants sales at the low end and high end, and wants to dominate these respective niche markets.

    Don't forget that Porsche almost was sold in the early 1990s. Not unlike what almost happened to BMW in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Both had severe sales and profit declines at the times that almost led to their demise. Yet another reason why size can matter.
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    Excuse me I did not state myself clearly enough, They are very much into sales, 1 series and X3 show that? yes they do, they are cars with less refinement than that of a 3,Z4,5,X5,and7 series with a smaller but still heafty price tag. I agree that they want their cars to sell...If a company didn't then they would go under! Im just saying that with their new body styles (Im mainly aiming at 5,6,and 7) they are targeted to a new groupd of buyers. If they wanted to be mass marketers and continue with their large profit gains then they would not have changed their body styles. You would not believe how fast those were flying off the factory, let alone showroom floors. they knew how bangles designs were thought of. Their redesigned 7 series has been out for over 2 years, they saw that they were not flying off the floors as fast as the older modles and if they still wanted to make the same profits that they had been then they would not have changed the 5 series, nor spent the money to reintroduce the 6 series. Yes they want to target a new group yes they want their cars to sell, but they also want their cars to have the Porsche feel that I stated earlier, and the new modles do have that.

     How can you say BMW is trying to get more exclusive when they're producing the X3 and the 1-series, which are cheaper versions of X5 and 3-series?

    Porsche has a similar system to BMW and Saugatak made me realize that, Porsche has the Boxter which is a lower end car and fairly uncomparable to the 911 (I know I own a 911), anyway the Boxter sells lots of modles to people who want the Porsche name and not the price, that would be the equivalent to the 1 or X3 of BMW marketed to people who want the BMW name but not the price, the Boxter gets the extra cash in to complete market R&D and customer feedback, then they develop cars like the GT and new 911 modles ect. Same concept and aim for BMW. BMW is a name of pride, and they do want many people to have them and show them off but do not want their cars to be seen on every road. The older modles were like this, when I was coming home from work yesterday I sat in my car and counted 6 BMW 5,3, and two 7 series (all old bodys) drive by in less than a minute, This is what BMW is not aiming for with their new bodys (According to BMW productions reps)

    BTW they sold Land Rover
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Porsche has a similar system to BMW and Saugatak made me realize that, Porsche has the Boxter which is a lower end car and fairly uncomparable to the 911 (I know I own a 911), anyway the Boxter sells lots of modles to people who want the Porsche name and not the price."

    Boxster is not comparable to the 911? I'll say. It's lighter, has a superior design and balance due to the mid-engine design and, accordingly, it handles better. Did you also know that the 996 911 shares about 40% of its parts with the Boxster? They are virtually identical from the cabin forward. They have the same engine block and the Boxster S has the same 6-speed transmission. The only differences are the engine displacement, intake, rear suspension and engine placement. The 911 Carrera has more power and that's it. Finally, ever wonder why the Carrera GT has a mid-engine design like the Boxster, unlike the 911?

    Also, take a look at August Motor Trend and see how the Boxster S blows away the Z4, Audi TT and 350Z, then tell me if this is about a badge stuck on the hood and about people who are not willing to pay extra for a better car.

    Lastly, if you are so unconcerned about badges and spending money, tell me why you didn't go for the NSX, a car that outperforms the 911?

    I don't believe BMW has two platforms that share parts like the Boxster and 911. And it's because Porsche really can't afford to do it any other way.

    As far as people buying badges—you will always have them. But this has nothing to do with the integrity of the cars they buy.
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    Boxster is not comparable to the 911? I'll say. It's lighter, has a superior design and balance due to the mid-engine design and, accordingly, it handles better. Did you also know that the 996 911 shares about 40% of its parts with the Boxster? They are virtually identical from the cabin forward. They have the same engine block and the Boxster S has the same 6-speed transmission. The only differences are the engine displacement, intake, rear suspension and engine placement. The 911 Carrera has more power and that's it. Finally, ever wonder why the Carrera GT has a mid-engine design like the Boxster, unlike the 911

    .... Wrong board for this,
    The 911 is rear engine and mine handles wonderfly pulling almost .9 lateral G's, can your boxter do that? ... Thats all Im going to say bout my 911

    I don't believe BMW has two platforms that share parts like the Boxster and 911. And it's because Porsche really can't afford to do it any other way

    ... engine wise yes but other than that, X3 has parts borrowed from the Z4, 5 borrowed parts from 7, 6 borrowed parts from 7 and 5, and X5 has 3 parts mixed in with it, X3 and X5 have the same optional engine 3.0, X3 uses the 2.5 liter too.... I dont know where you got that... Ive seen them being installed so dont try to convince me that they all use separate parts that uneconomical, Yes the Boxter is not to be taken lightly and Porsche puts out great cars, but it is a step lower than any of Porsches other cars, that is their aim no matter how it preforms they are more seen on the road and MUCH cheaper than 911t's or any other Porsche, while they have the same engine block they do not share power and they are asembled differently how slightly it may be...

    But this board is aimed at BMW so lets try to keep on the subject
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    If they wanted to be mass marketers and continue with their large profit gains then they would not have changed their body styles. You would not believe how fast those were flying off the factory, let alone showroom floors. they knew how bangles designs were thought of. Their redesigned 7 series has been out for over 2 years, they saw that they were not flying off the floors as fast as the older modles and if they still wanted to make the same profits that they had been then they would not have changed the 5 series, nor spent the money to reintroduce the 6 series.

    Interesting theories. I'm really not sure what BMW was trying to do with Bangle so your guesses are as valid as anyone else's.

    My guess is that BMW just picked the wrong man for the job. They wanted to be bold and daring and it didn't quite work out. It costs a fortune to do the design, R&D and tooling for these cars, so I think that even though Bangle's designs have not been a huge hit, BMW has no choice but to ride it out.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    People must like the new 7 series because the latest sales figures show the 7 series slightly behind the LS. This is a far cry from the doom and gloom that BMW is going under and Bangle is single-handedly responsible.

    Bangle took a big risk and seems to be paying off. BMWs are like art, they take time to be appreciated. Picasso was not a hit when he started out either. I do think the designs need to be tweaked though, not trashed. My guess is that people are waiting to see what the new model year brings and when the new models arrive, sales will sky-rocket.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    "Bangle took a big risk and seems to be paying off. BMWs are like art, they take time to be appreciated. Picasso was not a hit when he started out either. I do think the designs need to be tweaked though, not trashed. My guess is that people are waiting to see what the new model year brings and when the new models arrive, sales will sky-rocket."

    thats really interesting, i kinda agree w/ it, since the designs arent that bad overall (save the 5s butt and 7s eyebrows). im also into modern stylings, nothing overly radical though.
    but in any case i would say the biggest failure BMW did recently is creating the X3. except for its off road capabilities, theres no good about it, harsh ride, weirdo design, mediocre material quality. is this really what a bmw is supposed to be?

    btw, boxster is just as good as any porsche could be, while they can say its a cheaper version of 911, it handles just as well as any 911 for nearly half the price :)
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    I agree with all of you, and the X3 was BMW's big flop, m4d cow pointed out that it doesnt do anything except off-roading well and your right, but even its off road capabilities are severly dampends due to the lack of any under body armour that is nessecary for any medium trails.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Hm... everyone tells me I have a messed up sense of style, and that seems to be especially true when it comes to BMWs. I'm not a big fan of any of the new designs other than the 6 (nothing unusual there) but I don't hold the outgoing styles on a pedestal and I find the older ones really quite plain. I can see the classiness in them, but no emotion.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    underbody armor, this might be the most vital part BMW "forgot" to install. what the heck were they thinking when they built the x3? were they on drugs or something?

    sadly, i found the true simplicity and elegance in the old 5, as for the new 5, this might sound funny, but the only character i can see in it is anger, whenever i see it i always think its lookin angry with me all the time lol.
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    The X3 was engineered and built by Germans who build road cars that need light underbody armor, they had not thought about the off road mishaps that it might encounter on their SUV. I agree with you m4d cow they look angry, but it also looks intimidating and I think that that works better on their sports coupes where you want to look mean and intimidating, like the Z4 or 6 series. But for their 5 and 7 series family cars? I like the look but I think that it is out of place. While they are still sports cars with gobs of performance the 5 and 7's are still family cars... BMW, some words of advise, keep bangles designs but only apply them to 2 door sports coupes... And tone down the look of the 5 and 7's then I and allot of other people would be happy...
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Although both designs are polarizing, the 7 does have a certain "presence" on the road. I'm even acclimating to the new 5, but as a 2003 530 SP owner, my biggest complaint is with the interior control interfaces.

    Seats are wonderful, it's screwed together nicely, but BMW has instilled a "coldness" and an impersonal nature to the interiors of both the 5 & 7 IMO. The 7 has the requisite luxury ambience, but the 5 is somewhat sterile.

    I miss the cockpit-like feel in my e39. The overall goodness of the e39 keeps me from rushing to buy the latest creations from BMW. Conversely, I am not automatically drawn to other marques in a display of civil disobedience to BMW!

    MB makes some beautiful cars (we've owned several since 1997), but they have their cross to bear in the form of lousy electronics QA on their vehicles. I will NOT pay their price of entry to receive mediocre to poor quality operating sub-systems, no matter how well screwed together they are.

    For me, BMW still hits the mark on driving aesthetics, but lose the "I'm too smart for my own good" school of thought on the human interface design! Fix things now before it is too late and resale values plummet on the 2003-4 models.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I thought the X3 was meant to be the tall car everyone in the US seems to want. Its off road capabilities are probably good enough for what's common in Europe, unpaved paths leading to mountain chalets.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    but it also looks intimidating and I think that that works better on their sports coupes where you want to look mean and intimidating, like the Z4 or 6 series.

    true that :) and i agree with you that bangle should design only 2 doors instead.

    lovemyclk: i also felt the same way, cold w/o emotion, thats how i see the interior. i-drive more a hassle than a help.
This discussion has been closed.