Chris Bangle - C or D?

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Notorious Chief of Design for BMW Group, who ushered in the age of the Bangle-butt and "flame-surfacing" with the E65/E66 7-Series. Despite heavy criticism over the years, BMW has thrived with sales success, especially in the US.

I think he has nearly ruined the BMW brand with tasteless and haphazard styling where the form never speaks the function (formerly a BMW design trademark).

What say you I Love Cars???

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 20:50 (fifteen years ago) link


Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked the Fiat Coupe, but haven't liked any of his BMW designs apart from the Z4. The 7, 5 and 3s were complete botches -- the 3 is the cash cow, ffs, and he turned it into what Top Gear called "a saloon car" because they couldn't think of anything else to say about it -- and the 3-series compact is hideous.

The 6-series is nearly there, but it's like the angles all go to hell at the boot, in the same way a shrink-wrapped shirt looks nice at the front but is all clips and folds at the back. The Z4, though, I think is lovely. (run-flats aside).

I met him at a launch once, and he seemed to have this strange combination of pretentiousness and nerd.

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:03 (fifteen years ago) link

How did he manage to recreate the fucking Rover 45?

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:04 (fifteen years ago) link

here are my Bangle ratings:

7 Series = 0
5 Series = 2 (front is wearing granny glass and rear looks like Subaru)
6 Series = 1 (good proportions but ugly fascia and an affront to the 6 series of the 80s which is maybe my favorite car of all time)
3 sedan = 6.5 (good proportions but the details are all weird)
3 coupe = 8.5 (handsome car, the rear is tasteful)
z4 = 4 (odd looking lines, but sometimes I do like it. Like the coupe too)

My pre Bangle ratings:

7 series = 11
5 series = 11
3 series = 8 (I actually liked the boxier previous version from the 90s even more)
z3 = 7
z8 = 11 (but it no longer looks like it should cost $120K)

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:10 (fifteen years ago) link

how do we post/view images?

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:10 (fifteen years ago) link

should read "granny glasses"

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

The coupe only had to improve on that Z3 horrorfest (which Grimly Fiendish loves). It's amazing in the matt metallic silver colour. I've never liked the 7-series, but there's something pretty nice about the previous 5, I agree. Z8 is a dish.

xpost: what do you mean about images?

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:12 (fifteen years ago) link

oh, wait, mods don't see images for security, sorry. You'll might want a temporary account for now -- Keith's turning that off in the next code bump -- or just log out.

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link


Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:17 (fifteen years ago) link

What is that white Bimmer you posted? They don't sell it in the states with those headlights.

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:18 (fifteen years ago) link

It's the 3-series Compact -- a hatchback version of the 3. It's actually a great drive, but ugly as all hell, from all angles.

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, not good. They sold the 318ti hatchback here in the mid 90s, but it just looked like an abbreviated coupe.

Spencer Chow, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:20 (fifteen years ago) link
Looks like those hideous lights people put on 0.9l Citroen Saxos

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:25 (fifteen years ago) link

oh ye: D.

stet, Friday, 20 April 2007 21:39 (fifteen years ago) link

On the other hand, the CS Concept that was just unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show last week is pretty fantastic.

[Removed Illegal Link]

It hints a little too much at the last Maserati Quattroporte concept, but it's clear that they're going after the MB CLS (and winning too)

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 03:15 (fifteen years ago) link


(fixing code)

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 03:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I like the CS Concept very much too. The new 3-coupe and this are the first things I've liked from BMW since the Z8! I'm wondering who penned it (I don't think von Hooydonk is capable of such lovely proportions). I think the side profile looks exactly like the Aston Martin 'Rapide' concept.

Spencer Chow, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 19:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Ooh, that's nice! It's like the Maserati, but not too much. And the boot appears not to be rubbish.

stet, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 20:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Curse you, <em> tag.

Pashmina, Wednesday, 25 April 2007 19:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Nu-BMWs are just inexplicably hideous is all I've got on this subject.

Pashmina, Wednesday, 25 April 2007 19:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Have hated them all post-Z8, but they seem to have turned a corner with the e92 (3-series) Coupe:

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 25 April 2007 21:29 (fifteen years ago) link

One thing that Bangle did successfully do is shake BMW out of its Eurobox complacency that it was heading towards in the early 2000s. It's like they had to go crazy for awhile before being ahead of the game again.

Would Mercedes have introduced the CLS if BMW didn't go weird?

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 27 April 2007 02:55 (fifteen years ago) link

See, I didn't think the last 5 series and the previous 3 series (your old one) were complacent at all. The previous 7 was the epitome of BMW for me. The right thing to do is bold design, but still within the bounds of the brand.

Love the CLS and perhaps it was a reaction to BMW, but so is the ugly new S-Class.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 2 May 2007 21:27 (fifteen years ago) link

I think BMW needs to go back to the shark nose.

Spencer Chow, Friday, 4 May 2007 19:54 (fifteen years ago) link

Although maybe euro pedestrian safety standards would preclude that?

Spencer Chow, Friday, 4 May 2007 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

the CS has a touch of the shark nose about it. they interviewed the designer (not bangle) in the new issue of car, and he was making positive noises about bringing the shark nose back, so fingers crossed.

I still think the 5 is the best of the current bunch. (along with the 1, but that hasn't got a pre-bangle model to compare to.) 6, 7, Z8, X3 all horrid. (x3 shows how important the detail work is since it's not really that different to the x5 and yet cocks up most of the x5's good points!) the new 3 is a touch bland but it's always going to be. i haven't really liked the look of the 3 since the E30, to be honest.

haitch, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

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