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



  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    i dont know much about leases so i cant help you on that one, but the dealer in my area said the xi version wont come out until early next year, and they seemed pretty sure about it.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    I finally got down to my dealer and looked more closely at an E90. To me it is an OK replacement for the E46, but nothing that is going to make me wish that I had waited an extra year to get an E90 instead of my E46 325. Since I spend far more time looking at my own car from the driver's seat instead of from outside, the view from that position is very important to me, and that's where I was a bit disappointed. The interior looks very nice, and reminds me of what I would expect to see in an Audi. And that's the rub: the "cockpit" style driver's seating has been one of the unique features of the 3-series from the E46 on back to the E30 and even earlier, and now that's been given up for a more luxurious but more generic design. It just doesn't shout out "driver's car" like it used to.

    I also think that it's probably impossible for the designers to keep coming up with something new every few years, and for each design to be "better" than the preceding one. In my opinion, BMW's designers may have "peaked out" with the E46 to the extent that any attempted "improvement" only detracts from it. At least that's the way I see it for now...
  • jadeedukejadeeduke Posts: 4
    I have driven the 7 '05. And it was everything I expected and so much more!!! The look of the outside is awesome and different.............. not like the same old thing you see all the time. Sort of like a painting by Picasso none of them are ugly but maybe just not your style but........... they still are Piscasso's............ just like they still are BMW's!!
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    I have just 'komt' across this link in other Forum. Some interesting information and pictures for helping ourselves!

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    While I've always liked BMWs they have slipped behind Audi in design, imo. My favorites of the past are the original 6-Series Coupe, 1989-1995 5-Series and the 1991-1997 8-Series, which I'm most likely in the minority on.

    The current models:

    2006 3-Series - Not nearly as bad as the 2002 7-Series and about tied with the current 5-Series. Since I know a coupe and a convertible are coming I'll wait to see what they look like since I really don't like sedans as much. Still though in the right color with the right wheels this new 3-Series look ok I guess, nothing to write home about like say the current E46 Convertible or M3, now those are truly "good looking" with no excuses needed about color or wheels size. The interior without the idrive/nav setup looks incredibly plain and bare, but then again BMW interiors have always looked this way to me, only the 7-Series has any real flair to interior, imo.

    5-Series - Again, in the right color with the right size wheels (sport package) the car looks edgy, aggressive and ultra-modern. The interior isn't anything to look at either, but BMW's have always placed function first the new cockpits are no different, even though they took away the driver-angled characteristic of the previous generation interior/dashboard/center console. A Black 545i or soon to be 550i (360hp!) looks downright mean and intimidating on the highway. I caught a Saab 9-3 Aero and a 545i Sport playing tag the other day, the other drivers really cleared the lane for the BMW.

    7-Series - Well what can I say? I can't stand it, even after the nip/tuck it has been through. This is still a very ugly and ungainly car to me. The rear is too high and square and the front end looks like something is missing. Best BMW interior going of course. That said, the 7-Series has that BMW presence though. I mean it looks mean and aggressive, but now it just doesn't look "good" when it exudes this character.

    Z4 - To my eye, Mr. Bangle nailed it here. The car has the perfect old-school roadster proportions (cab backwards) and dimensions. I can't wait to see what the facelift will look like. This should include a Motorsport version.

    E46 Coupe/Convertible/M3 - Get them while you can. These are the current lookers in the BMW family, especially with the ZHP package 330i models. The M3 looks as good today as it did when it first debuted.

    I've seen Z8s before, but I finally saw the Alphina version about a week ago. The Z8 was classic sports car for real. Huge wheels look like blades. The only fly in the buttermilk was those center mounted gauges. The Z8 was a gorgeous car that Bangle obviously had nothing to do with?

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “The Z8 was a gorgeous car that Bangle obviously had nothing to do with?”

    As we know, Bangle takes much credit and blame for the current generation of BMWs. Good or bad, they are his legacy forever. However, it is hard to say exactly how much influence he has over the designs because he does not pen them himself in his position as design director. BMW’s design process is a whole subject in itself and Bangle is at the root of this process since he has absolute power, probably more power than his contemporaries at other companies from what I have read.

    That said, the designs of individual BMWs can be attributed to specific staff designers. However, since we don’t know the level of Bangle’s participation and that of others in the company, the significance of their signatures is questionable.

    The Z8 was designed by Henrik Fisker who also designed the DB9 and V8 Vantage, and who also was design director of Aston Martin. Is it a “Bangle” design? Good question. In the sense that we know “Bangle” designs I don’t think it will be remembered as such even though it appears to come under his tutelage. The mainstream BMWs are a separate design movement while the Z8 was supposedly a retro effort, modeled after the 507 roadster. Different approach.

    But if you ask me, one thing is for sure. The Z8 has “collectible” written all over it.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    I could not agree more! Z8 is beatiful and instantly evokes all kind of trip adventures.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The Z8 was designed by Henrik Fisker who also designed the DB9 and V8 Vantage, and who also was design director of Aston Martin.

    You know I knew that but never put it together. I can't wait to see what he designs under his own company. The first cars are supposed to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show next month. They'll probably look too much like Aston-Martins to Ford/Aston execs.

    I agree, the Z8 will most likely be a classic years from now, which ironically I think kept it from being more popular when it was on sale.

    I'm just waiting to see the next "special" car BMW comes up with. What did you think of the 90's 8-Series Coupe? I loved that car. Mercedes may have far more commercial success with their current SL, but it won't be a collectors item because of that same success in the showrooms. BMW has a way of producing a more "special" top end car from this perspective, though the 8-Series of the 90's won't be a collectors item, imo. These BMWs are just rare, always...whether or not BMW wanted them to be that way or not.

  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    I have read that some of you do not like the E60 headlights. Sorry, I cannot remember just now the post and forum where I read that.

    Personally I think the headlights are one of the more appealing traits of the E60 exterior styling. Not only at daytime but also (and specially) with lights on at night, when the yellow brows shine above the circles of light. Have you noticed at the driven mirror one E60 with lights on approaching your car from the rear? Or just passing over when you stands at the street/road? (hpowders, you may as well take a picture of your 545 then ;) )

    The worst part of the E60 design is, to me, the way in which the car body merges with the trunk, as observed laterally to the car. That is a mess of lines that always confuses me.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Yes. Agreed. The lateral rear lines where the body merges with the trunk is the worst part of the E60 design.
    Mine is the only E60 I ever see around here which suits me just fine.
    As I previously said, I have never seen such a contrast of a car's body between photos(not good) and reality(breathtaking and aggressive). The headlights are a perfect example.
    I hope they re-think that "mess of lines" as you so aptly put it. Looks like a jigsaw puzzle where the parts don't exactly fit flush to each other.
  • I recently tested both the 2006 325i and 330i, before ordering a 325xi for my wife.

    We have ordered the Mercedes R Class for family trips and hauling my daughter and her friends around... and also for me to 'play' with.

    The 325xi has been ordered with Metallic Black/Black interior with Poplar wood trim.

    Premium Pkg
    Auto trans
    Cold weather pkg ( my wife wants heated seats for the cold mornings) and I wanted the fold down seats in case I use the car to carry golf clubs.
    Adaptive Lights
    Comfort access ( although I am afraid we will park in a garage and forget to leave the key for the attendant.. taking a chance there.. .. I wish there were a feature where you could set the car for valet parking so they could access the car if you forget to take the key out of your pocket)
    NAV - A MUST!!!
    Rear Sunshades

    My wife doesn't want Sirius.. so we left it off.
    Their premium stereo is not premium at all... it's just a gimmick. Not sure why they don't put quality systems in their autos.... they seem to think these stereos systems sound good... but they don't.... they are good for talk radio... that's it... just my opinion!.. also, if you order the premium stereofor $1200, you still have to pay more for the cd changer. Also, it would be nice to know thw power ratings, etc for this additional $1200 they want...

    There is one disturbing fact about this particular model year... ipod option is no longer available.. they have included an input in the armrest for generic audio inputs... the problem is the ipod's display is no longer viewable through the instrument display... and the ipod will not charge itself while in use... this is just a glaring ommission!!! I guess they figure the audio input is enough,,, it is NOT!!!

    We have previously owned a 2000 740iL and two 5 series wagons... the latest being the 2002 540iT. So, the 3 series is a downsize. I was concerned about interior room, up until the 2006 version came out. Now there is plenty of room in the back for our 5 year old daughter.... and the times that I will drive the car will be few and far between ( I am 6'5"). At my height, I can drive the car fairly comfortably... but I doubt I would drive it for hours at a time.

    The overall styling of the car is very nice.... the back tail lights are hideous... but they may grow on me.

    The drive of the car is excellent! Although, the acceleration is not quite what i am used to, it is fine... even in the 325. Once you have the car over 45mph, you can get it up to 100mph with no struggle..... and at that speed, it rides like it's on a cloud.... lane changes are a breeze... brakes are excellent, although we didn't see any benefit of the soft stop feature... didn't feel soft to me....

    Cupholders are still a JOKE! Although better than in their other attempts.

    The rear seat armrest is fragile in appearance and feel... rear cupholders that eject fromt here seem to only be able to handle toddler cups... and nothing with more than 8 ounces of liquid in them. Even the fron cupholders seem to only be able to handle half filled 8 ounce cups ( without spilling).

    The backseat is fine for smaller adults... anyone under 6ft, I would say... but adults will not want to occupy it for too long.

    Rear seat sunshades make a lot of sense, because when iIdid ride in the back, the sun beating down from the back window was uncomfortable... to say the least.

    Also, the website says daytime running lights and vehicle key memory are not available at this time..... so each time a different driver gets in, they have to physically push buttons to adjust their seats/mirrors.... a mild inconvenience.

    The AWD option is the most important aspect of this car to us. Other BMW's we have owned were down right scary in the snow.... I could tell you stories.....

    All in al we look forward to taking delivery.... but have hedged our bets, by deciding to lease instead of buying.... I am sure in 3 years, BMW will have improved the vehicle even more or some competitor will attract our attention....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Your review of the 325i should be placed on the "BMW-3 Series 2006" thread.
    Many will appreciate reading it there.
    We are discussing styling trends here.
  • andyp96andyp96 Posts: 1
    With the last model Europe had a 330i Wagon as well as the 325i Wagon we had, does anyone know if we will get the 330i (or ix) wagon this time?

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    does anyone know if we will get the 330i (or ix) wagon this time?

    Nope! Just the 325xi.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    but that is just my opinion

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,506
    Actually... the angle you picked is probably the where the Z4 looks the best... ;)

    While I love driving them.... the looks from the side and especially the rear-quarter are a little disconcerting.. The angular "roll-hoops" behind each seat don't do anything positive for the looks, either..

    I'd never buy it... but, that color is interesting...



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The Z4 in the right color is gorgeous. But that seaweek green. Ugh.
  • Looks more like Army green to me. All it needs is another shade of green and some brown and it'd be camouflage. :P
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    The Z4 in the right color is gorgeous. But that seaweek green. Ugh.

    I saw a Seaweed Green Z4 on the street the other day. It was not a pretty sight.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    shown is "Urban Green."
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    This fixes the trunk of the current 7 series, but...

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't know what that is, but I've seen a few 750s and they are gorgeous. The trunk does not look like that.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    It's an 07 BMW Baja, was shown in Frankfurt and is coming to the states in the spring.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    LOL! I'm on the waiting list.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    This thread needs some action so it doesn't get lost in "read only" oblivion. Now that we've seen the next LS, I can't wait for the next 7. The next round of bimmers will be Bangle's last hurrah as he will be up for retirement after that. I wonder what BMW has up it's sleeve. Anyway, I hope Bangle enjoys his retirement.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What did you think of the 90's 8-Series Coupe?

    I loved it when it first came out and thought it looked futuristic at the time. I still like it but it has not worn on me as well as others like the original 3, 5, 6, 7 and M1. It's amazing to me when I think back at these cars because before them, BMW in the US was basically the 2002. Although the 2002 started the BMW frenzy in the US, I think it was the first 5, and especially the follow-up with the 3 then 7 that really made their bones here. Between 68 and 77 were the formative years for their success in the US. I remember them as being quite magical.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    BMW should give Chris Bangle a hefty raise and keep him around as long as possible.
    Every time I approach my 2005 545i, I am just beaming with pride.
    E60 sales are up. The car is a big success.

    Stick around Chris. We need designers who have the courage to come out with bold, aggressive and sexy new designs.
    The BMW chat-rooms are gushing with praise for Mr. Bangle.

    The E60. The only time this vehicle is boring is when it is slicing through the wind at 120 mph.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    In further defense of Mr. Bangle...

    I think some of the derision his designs have taken would've died down long ago if it wasn't so easy to 'adjectize' his name. If his name was Smith people would've posted, "I hate the new design of the BMWs," and then they would've gone on to other things. But people, being what they are, can't help but post things like, "OMG, it's been Bangled!" This has more resonance than "...Smithed!" so it bounced around the echo chamber more than it otherwise would've.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Actually, Bangle takes more abuse than he deserves. The owners, the Quandts, are to blame because they are the ones who demanded the heritage look be changed. However, ugly is ugly, so if Bangle was named Smith it wouldn’t have made any difference.

    Also, Bangle was in place long before Banglization or Quandtification (which is probably the reality of the matter and more appropriate), so he should get credit for the previous generation of bimmers.

    Hmm, I’ll have to think about this. If we started a Quandtification movement I don’t think it would catch on at this point. Thus, Mr Bangle is probably a victim of circumstance and, good or bad, Banglization is much of his legacy...

    Nope, it is what it is. Nice try but the proposal is rejected…

    Banglization = ugly

    Case closed, court is adjourned.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I am still a fan of BMW, the Banglized 7-Series and 5-Series are not even remotely to my liking. To take it a step further, to my eye at least, I think the E60 is one of the ugliest cars on the road and short of a significant face lift, I won't be having another 5-Series adorning my garage (unless an E39 540i 6-Speed or M5 finds itself in my possession).

    Personally I'm hoping that the next 5-Series ("E" one hundred and something?) will present a face much more to my liking.

    Best Regards,
This discussion has been closed.