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Good, Bad or Ugly - Current and Future styling trends of BMW
Historically, BMW has tried to move all its models slowly over time to give it continuity and to protect the resale value of older cars.
But lately they have needed to widen the differences because by 1999, the 3,5, and 7 looked so identical to each other (same sausage of different sizes).
For example, I think you can get a 528 for close to the price of a 328 used, but can't figure out a reason to get the 528 more I get other than a bigger rear seat, given the striking similarities between the two exteriors and interiors.
With great controversy Chris Bangle, BMW lead designer, is trying these new looks with the Z4 and 7. And expect the new 5 to be a combination of styles, but more conservative.
The 7 series a strong break, but arguably necessary given the poor sales/resale of the old 7 (though many drivers here loved it I am sure).
Personally, I actually like the new 7 but for the trunk styling. And the interior (ignoring I-drive which is pretty simple and requires only occasional use) is very modern, almost scandinavian, and a big jump on the S-class.
The new 5 series is likely to be a bit more conservative than the 7 when it is unveiled. Look at that for an indication.
I expect similar z4 flaring on the 6 series, but then what do I know...
I also liked the z4 styling and flaming. Looks sharp as does the interior of the Z4. I think you will more of this (as was also the look in the CS1).
In contrast, I never liked the Z3 and it never grew on me in terms of styling, driving or power.
By the way, I assume in order to save costs and increase parts orders that the interior of the new 3 will be the same as the x3 or the new 5 series for those of you wondering what it will be like.