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



  • pfolkpfolk Posts: 70
    Is it just me or does the re-designed trunk of the '06 7 series, just announced with breathless press releases by BMW, look a lot like the back end of a Ford Taurus when they had a squared-off trunk?

    It's a definite improvement from the first edition of the Bangle-designed 7, but still a disappointment.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Nah. Looks great. GIMME! GIMME! ME WANT!
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    I thought the BMW boys would stick a good looking rump on the re-designed 7 series. But the new rump is just as ugly as the original Bangle bungle.

    Maybe the awkward design of the 7s rear end made it too difficult to execute a good looking posterior without major surgery.
  • draqdraq Posts: 18
    what is more important looks or substance? to me the new BMW 7 series does not look all that bad in fact I know in time the new look will grow on me, but what's important to me is comfort, reliability and power. I think, the new 7 has it all. I just wonder about the iDrive improvement. I have a 7 and i can't see how will they improve it. From the pics it look the same to me!!!
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    The problem with magazine testers (or people taking a test drive) is that they have no time to get really familiar with a car, so any control or feature that is out of the ordinary they tend to view as "wrong". For years, BMW motorcycles have used switches for the turn signals that are rather unique in the way they operate and nothing like the UJMs. Magazines always criticize them for this, but anyone who has actually owned one of these bikes gets used to them within a few days or weeks, and then operating them is simply automatic.

    So any computer-type control or NAV system is likely to get roasted by a tester who has only a couple of days to drive and evaluate it.
  • bpraxisbpraxis Posts: 292
    Maybe that is why so many of us are having such a hard time acclimating to Bangles new design language.

    It has been proven that we are attracted to people who shared a mathmatical symetry and precision of facial shape.

    Bangle has lines that are disjointed, syncopated, convuluted, and sometimes very interesting. I like the new Z4 very much.

    The current generation of the 3 series is so right to my eye that the new body style just misses the mark. It is somewhat nondescript and derivative of many designs.

    A shame because I really want to buy a BMW but cant get past the design for the new 3 series which would be my car of interest. Z4 is too small.

    And the competition is producing some very nice designs. I like the pics of the new Lexus iS and the new Infiniti M35-45. Very nice.

    Maybe they can do a better job the upcoming 3 series coupe.
  • sellerseller Posts: 1
    New design philosophy is bold, daring, ingenious and yes beautiful( and this is an opinion ). Critics of Bangle ......who cares...the guy has pinache and dare I say BALLS. If you don't like the looks of our cars and looks are your number one reason for buying a car don't choose BMW. Your loss.

    BMW is about progression, innovation, we aren't in the market to do what everyone else is doing.
    BMW invented ABS, traction control....I-DRIVE....which is , in case you didn,t notice, showing up in other high end brands.
    Maybe less expensive(cheaper) vehicles out rank us on the odd test here and there.....we are not for these prices. You get what you pay for.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Bangle has lines that are disjointed, syncopated, convuluted, and sometimes very interesting."

    That come together to form a work of art. If one looks at pointillism an individual dot means nothing. But as a whole pointillist painters have produced classics.
  • mikarmikar Posts: 6
    If you are employed in the auto industry you should know that BMW did not invent ABS or traction control. Robert Bosch did some fundamental work on ABS in the 1930's but Heinz Lieber (first with Teldix & then Daimler-Benz) created the first working automotive ABS system in 1964.

    Opinions vary on who invented traction control (depending on whether it uses brake or throttle control) but Robert Bosch's name comes up most often.

    Ten million monkeys playing with CAD systems invented iDrive.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I like BMW too, but they surely didn't invent traction control or ABS.

  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Was not FIAT which sold the ABS patent to Bosch? Could you please let us know more on the process?

  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    This is a general question. Fuel for Diesel engines is usually cheaper than gasoline here in Europe. Someone has recently told me this is just the opposite in the U.S. A. Please, will anyone confirm it to me?


  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    That is correct in my area (southeast USA). Diesel runs at or as much as $.10 above the cost of 93 octane gasoline.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Let's stick to BMW styling. If you need help finding your way around the Forums, let me know and I'll help!


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  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    BMW motorcycles have used switches for the turn signals that are rather unique in the way they operate

    Unique, yes; better, no. I mishit way too often and have to look at the switches way too often.
  • mikarmikar Posts: 6
    This is the first time I've heard of Fiat being involved in ABS development. Bosch had a bunch of ABS patents by the 1950's but they might have acquired some variations or enhancements elsewhere. Fact is I don't know.

    Trivia (yawn) - The first operational ABS was used in 1858 in an attempt to lay a telegraph cable across the Atlantic. Apparently the cable kept snapping whenever the brake was applied to the cable feed spool and a form of ABS helped prevent this.
  • newbmrnewbmr Posts: 26
    All: I would enormouly appreciate your insights and any help and guidance you can offer on this.

    Kyfdx: I would love to hear your suggestions.

    I have a 2004 X3, and I now want to buy 2005 3-series with the following:

    -BUY (not lease)

    2005 325i w/:
    -auto trans
    -alpine white (w/ black or dark grey leatherette)
    -undecided on premium package

    The questions I have are:

    1) for 2005 what is a good/great deal to shoot for a purchase? (I am in San Fran Bay area)

    2) given that 3-series gets a total makeover in 2006 model (available in September '05), should I

    - wait till September when the new redesigned models are available hoping that BMW will make discounts to clear 2005s?

    - buy now,i.e. no meanigful upside to waiting till Sept.?

    - buy 2006 model in Sept as 2005 would have taken a big hit due to depreciation (i.e. 1 yr older model) and due to "obsolesence" of the old 3-series styling?

    I would really appreciate your guidance and insights on this matter.

  • turnbowmturnbowm Posts: 76
    You might have better luck on the "3 Series" forum.

    Martin T.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    It really is a challenging task trying to figure which BMW is ugliest, but on my scorecard the Z4 takes the cake. It subverts everything a sports car is supposed to be in all manner of styling. Can you imagine Porsche, Ferrari or Lambo trying to pull off something like this? All BMWs considered, no one is more off-mission than this poor excuse for a sports car which, by nature, is supposed to be the torch bearer for styling.

  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Should I go to the therapist? As different from many of you, I like that new Z4 and I also like all in all the new 5 Series. I do not like however the former 5 & 3 Series styling.

    This new Z4 recalls me some British MG and particularly those Triumph TR3 and TR4 of many decades ago. By the way, are those 3 & 4 numbers merely a coincidence in the BMW Z Series? In any case, such cozy cars are not to be compared with full-size/engine sport cars like Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini. I believe they belong to a different line of sports cars.


  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That is one gorgeous car. While I don't own one, I know people who have these cars and love them.

    If anything, the only criticism is the too-taut suspension.
  • peakpropeakpro Posts: 65
    I completely disagree. I think the X3 is the uglies BMW in production now. With the new 3 series a close second.

    But to each his own.

    I have driven BMW's for the past 30 years. (3 and 5 series, I also own a 325i with Sports package) No one has evey said a word to me.

    In Oct I purchased a Z4. It is incredible how much positive reaction this car generates. In a few months I have had dozens of compliments. Not to mention horn toots and waves.

    I won't even get into the driving pleasure.

    Sure its looks are not for everyone. That's a plus for me since I don't have to see one at every corner like with the 325i I own.

    And it's no Ferrari but for 1/3(?) the price it does it job nicely.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I completely disagree. I think the X3 is the uglies BMW in production now. With the new 3 series a close second."

    Cool. I did say it is a challenging task picking the ugliest BMW, that's why we need a vote. So chalk up one for the X3. IMO they're all tied for second except the X3 which I think is the best looking one, mainly because most SUVs are ugly anyway and it just blends in with none of its features screaming for attention. I also happen to love the X3 ride which IMO is the best-handling SUV out there.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Gad, the ugliest BMW is nicer looking than most beautiful Infiniti, Acura or Lexus. Hey, even amongst the most beautiful, someone has to be the ugliest.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I have never been a fan of the "new" styling in the 7 series. I still can't get used to the awkward rear styling. I have a 1999 740i with 42,000 miles on it (silver) and I think it looks better than anything "newer" that BMW has offered. In addition, mine is paid for.. hence I plan on keeping it a long time! Mike
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Wow, I take off for a few months and the Bangle debate is still raging among the usual suspects.

    My vote for the most Bungled BMW is without a doubt the e60 5-series. It's the equivalent to a former beautiful starlet who's had one too many nips, tucks and, ahem, misproportioned silicon implants [hope the moderator lets this one slip through].

    I know there's a beautiful car somewhere underneath all those scalloped lines and unexpected bulges, but it's tough to find.

    I actually like Bangle's angel eye concept, but he really screwed it up on the 5. The eyelash is too thick, makes the eye (headlight) too droopy and IMO looks more like badly applied clown makeup instead of a proper eyelash.

    But to each his own, I hate it, some people love it.

    Designman's choice the Z4 is atrocious as well, but I cut it some slack because the Z4 is the de rigeur car of choice of the "midlife crisis, tan saloned, hair transplanted, 2nd trophy wife, I can't afford a Porsche" market.

    That target market dose not reward taste.

    IMO, the reason the Z4 is so successful in this market is that it is, without a doubt, the most PHALLIC car I have ever seen.

    I wouldn't be caught dead in a Z4 because I would not want people thinking I was compensating for nonexistent inaequacies.

    IMO, the debate over whether Bangle's controversial designs were worthy or whether they sucked is over.

    Bangle got booted upstairs and the X3 and the new 3 series, which are BMW's bread and butter, have not been Bangled, except for the cheap interior of the X3 but honestly, that might be the beancounters and not Bungle.

    It's clear to me that the BMW board gambled on Bangle, didn't like the results, and pulled back before he could Bungle the entire lineup. I think some Dutch guy Hoodvynk has been assigned to clean up Bungle's mess.

    Re the I-drive debate, I've come to like i-drive not because it is any good (I still think it sucks and it's an answer looking for a problem), but because:

    a. my brother is making a killing at his garage fixing all the stupid electronics and useless gizmos BMW threw in; and

    b. my sister dumped her 645 for an X3, partially because she hated the i-drive, and it sits unused in my parents driveway, so I get to drive a chick magnet car every time I hit my parents home in NJ.

    So thanks Chris, keep up the good work. A few more i-drive like innovations and my brother will be in the next tax bracket!

    There's a lot of discussion on the exterior of Bangle's cars, but what about the interior? What happened to the classic cockpit design? What's with all the cheap crud in the new designs?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Well no doubt your bro-in-law is making a killing fixing them. I have a friend who sells BMWs and he says he's making a killing selling them. So I guess if they sell a lot, your brother-in-law will fix them. :)

    Clearly BMW has polarized the camps, which I think is great. This is what they needed to do. The new styles 7/5/3 are a great step forward. They must take care though their legendary road handling is never compromised.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    while we all agree that styling is subjective and some will love/hate any design, it seems safe to conclude that BMW has definitely turned off many long time advocates (including moi) with the current, polarizing "Bangle styling" (yes, no doubt some new fans will have been created). In my humble opinion, if BMW had simply evolved the E39 styling and added goodies like the new 3L engine, sales would have been significantly higher than for the current E60. I am a very good example. I bought my E39 in June 96 as one of the very first models out in that series and as a strong devotee of BMWs had planned for a couple of years to trade it in on a new E60. I almost died when I saw the interior/exterior of the E60 coupled with the I-drive debacle. They lost me right there and I am now in the midst of a drive/comparison between the new M, GS, RL, E350, and A6 for my new car. No doubt the E60 is still a great driver's car, but I won't even sit in one based on its looks. That, BMW, is really too bad.
  • BMW has always stood for classic designs and driver oriented cars. I think the new designs are to "cutting edge" which will date them very very fast. The interiors of BMW's have always been classic but now they are looking more like something from Detriot.

    My biggest problem is that I see to many compromises in the designs and just can't get myself used to them. I really wanted the new 5 series but could never really get used to the styling. I mean, it has grown on me a little, but it just doesn't jive as a complete package. From some angles the new designs look good to me but from others they look terrible and confusing.

    I think this will be a time period that BMW will be seen as losing their identity in styling. The technology used inthe cars are very advanced and the ride is, as usual, awesome. The design leaves much to be desired in my book.

    Take a look at older BMW's and you will see the classic look to them that has been proven over time. This new look will date itself quickly.

    The new 3 series has some hope in the design department although I am somewhat concerned about the back end. I am sure it will be a blast to drive as are all the new BMW's...
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I think BMW made the 7 series bearable again! It looks closer to the 1995-2001 series than the 2004-2005 "mutants". BMW got an earful from the automotive press, customers ect. I was at the dealer various times in the 2 years after the 745i intro, and they always had a huge demand for pre-owned 2001's for the styling on the newer 745i's was in total, not a favorite. I think the evolution from the 1994 7 series to the 1995 was more palatable. They made a significant update to the platform w/o making the 1994's look like dated "pigs":).
This discussion has been closed.