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



  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    While I do not like the new design philosophy, two things to keep in mind. People I know in there 20's like the new 5 series and the low beltline dating back to the 1600s and early CSi Coupes was cutting edge for the 60s.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Some people that I know that formerly were not thrilled with the "old" conservative styles are liking the new looks. They seem to have attracted a whole new audience. While the old looks were handsome and classic, the new look is smartly designed and positioned to move the company forward.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I'm sure they will sell more cars. I'm not sure it is a move forward. As I've tried to say before, expanding volume in a mature market may weaken the brand.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If the market were mature, every manufacturer wouldn't be trying to produce cars that have what BMW cars have. Legendary handling and good styling. Let the Japanese manufactures put the wizmos in the cars. I don't need stuff like self-start. People that buy Lexus or Acura want self start.

    BMW is a niche player attempting to move forward. Not moving forward is not the same as holding ones ground, it's more like sliding backward.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    The North American market has not grown for years. Other manufacturers attempt to convince you they have BMW traits. In total, there are always compromises.

    Expanding market here means either becoming Lexus-like to satisfy demand or marketing BMW strengths to create demand. The first is quicker, the second takes time.

    I agree you cannot stand still. You either progress or regress. BMWs position is more precarious on this tight rope because they market experience(which requires some semblance of exclusivity.)instead of price or service.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    is the x3 by far :(
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't think I agree. What they market is they drive like no other, they are extremely handsome cars, fit and finish are beyond reproach. This is true in all models except for the X3 - which IMO they did a good thing with the design. People can treat it like a truck and not worry.

    While the Japanese focus and have focused on wizmos, BMW earns it's living by focusing on driving. There is no wrong side of this. Personally I hate cars with a zillion widgets, more to break in the long run.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    Their experience is "driving like no other". I'm afraid their emphasis is or will shift from driving to wizmos because their increase in volume will outrun the market for "Ultimate Driving Machines". Of course, BMW may redefine "Ultimate Driving Machine" from road worthiness criteria to 1000 watt stereos and plush interiors.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The half-baked 3 and facelifted 7 is a blatant admission that they blew the styling. We have to endure one more abomination—the 1—then hopefully a return to styling sobriety.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You think so? I happen to like it. I hope they never return to the old "dated" classic styling. It's a classic let it remain that way.

    The thing they need to remember is to provide a smooth creamy engine, power on tap anywhere in the band, and gobs of hp and torque, meaty/beefy steering and a car that inspires you to drive. Not to be afraid of it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You're funny... as tenacious as I am.

    "I hope they never return to the old "dated" classic styling."

    If they do, I have no doubt that you will be defending it.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    They won't so I won't have to worry. ;)
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The BMW X3 isn't made at a BMW factory. It is made by a Magna Steyr in Austria.

    second generation M5

    The BMW 850CSi, based on the 8 series which didn't sell well due to the economy, high price tag, and 'only' 300 hp (early 850i), looks better than the new 6 series.


    new 6 series

    new M6

    This green Z4 is a factory BMW color which is called "Urban Green." They no longer offer it.


    I would imagine that the wheels shown on this revised 7 series would be difficult to clean.

  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    from Wagner, Rob L. "Classic Cars" page 89:

    "The Rolls-Royce was not a particularly stylish car, reflecting the image of a conservative, well-mannered Englishman. And Rolls-Royce management disaproved of ostentatious designs by zealous coach builders."

    I'm not too sure about the grille of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It was ahead of it's time, but now it just sunk to the level of a classic. Funny thing is, I still see some on the road. However, prefer the stunning looks of the new 6.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    im on my own side in this case, i like the previous designs, graceful, muscular, but still classy and elegant.
    the current bmws are entirely different animals though, imo: more on the agressive and sporty side. they maybe not handsome, but still cool
    both are cool in their own ways, mostly...

    i do however make an exception for the x3, bad design inside out, overly firm ride for a bmw, and low grade materials.
    as for the old design, id say the facelifted 3er hatchback (e46) is the worst, just look at the dorky front end, ugh...
  • purplem46purplem46 Posts: 54
    I have owned a 1997 2.8 Z3 and a 2002 E46 M3 Coupe. Both had styling that had a hard to define sexiness quality. I was recently in the market for a larger car, and really wanted to take a serious look at the BMW 545. I just couldn't do it. The front looks like a pontiac with squinty asian eyes, and the rear, oh my, the rear. I don't buy cars just for looks, but I'm not ready to throw down big bucks for ugly either.

    This has probably been mentioned, but the new style seems to grow on more people that have never owned the older styles. Veterans seem the most disturbed about the whole thing. Again... beauty is a subjective thing, they sure sold more Aztecs than I would have guessed.
  • big_jimbig_jim Posts: 27
    I would agree. I have been reading and asking questions for some time now, and think you nailed it. Many of the BMW vets seem to hate the new styling, while us "new guys" seem to be quite smitten with it. In fact, I will go one step further and say that I think some of the *older* BMW's look very boxy and unattractive. Just to me, of course. However I am quite sure they are a blast to drive. But to be fair, most older cars do look dated to me (save for corvette's, old mustangs, etc.) But that's the way it goes, when you have a long love affair with a brand, you have a different perspective. My love affair is more recent. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and I thought enough of the new e60 to drop down a sizeable chunk of change to buy one.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    April 11 Advertising Age, pS-4; ...what makes a BMW a BMW? "BMW is the advocate for the driver. Our cars welcome drivers and passengers alike, but every important decision, function and level of equipment is based on: If the driver were making this decision himself or herself, what decision would they make?"

    James McDowell, former VP marketing, BMW of North america now taking over Mini

    Former is the key word.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Your point is well taken, but I never looked twice at BMWs (not appealing to me) until recently...and then I realized that I love the e39 5 series. Also the 3 series (e46). But I don't love the new ones at all and I hope they tone down the next incarnation or I'll be driving my 02 530 forever.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Here is a BMW Z4 in Urban Green. They no longer offer it.


    I think the M6 looks too bulky.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The Z4 itself I like very much. The color...what were they thinking?

    The 645ci...gimme, gimme, gimme.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm probably the only person on the board that thinks BMW nailed it with the Z4's styling. Its the classic sports car layout and correctly proportioned imo. Looks vicious on the road.

  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    You are not the only one on the board that thinks so!

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Definitely not the only person. :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Okay. So now we know there are three of you.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Three that do and one that doesn't. Not a bad ratio, or if one includes designman, three to two. We win.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,749
    Umm.... looks like a tie..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "if one includes designman"

    Sheese, the nerve of you! :confuse:
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    hasn't aged well
This discussion has been closed.