Originally Posted by CTGuy
Well, I love the 8-series. But let's call a spade a spade here: people who are enthusiasts for a design such as the 8 series that is really iconic of the 90's BMW design are probably not going to be very quick to accept the Bangle designs. Don't get me wrong, I am not crazy about all of Bangle's designs. However, hardcore Beemer/BWWCCA people in the category that you are describing usually are not very open minded to innovative design. They cling to the tride and true and want slight upgrades and variations. A lot of features in his car are really ahead of their time and therefore have met with mixed reviews (like the dial thingy in the 745). Bangle is hated because his designs are radical and different. People who like the old designs will have to buy a used car *gasp* and take care of it.
Lets separate this into two: 1) My personal view 2) The general view of most die-hard BMW fans 1) Lets start out with my personal view:
Bangle’s designs are not good not ‘because his designs are radical and different’, but because they are poorly executed. Case in point, the Bangle Butt: 2003 BMW 745i:
2007 Mercedes S550:
Both are based on the same two-tier trunk design principle, but Mercedes pulls it off without looking awkward. Whereas the 7-Series looks like the top of the trunk came from another car, the top of the S-Classes’ trunk looks like it belongs there, its harmonious with the rest of the car. Also, I am not against change, nay I welcome a new design, a change towards the future, IF it is good looking and makes sense. Take the Audi shield grill for example. It harks back to an earlier time, to the time of the Silver Arrows, but at the same time looks good, and works with the rest of the car. Sure, some people (Audi fans) were a bit offset by the new design, but none of them got to the hate level that Bangle instills in people. Why? Because they made the design work, it wasn’t just making something for the sake of making it, for the sake of screaming ‘look at me!’; it wasn’t anti-designed to look like it was overly-designed. Another example is the current batch of Ferrari’s; sure they are more angled than the beautiful, curvaceous shapes that were found in the 90’s (575, 360, etc…), but they are beautiful nonetheless, because again they are well executed. There is purpose there, there is thought, and neither is there just to provoke. As well, I never stated that I completely dislike all of Bangles designs. I think that the Z4 is pretty well executed. Its proportions, to my eyes work better than those of the Z3 it replaced. And the new Z4 coupe is truly inspired, especially the homage to the classic British sports-coupe design (think E-Type). I also think that the front of the new 3-series (E92) coupe is a very good step forward from the previous gen (E46). The interior (like all the new interiors, except for the Z4) is utter crap, and is designed to be the ultimate ‘eh’ machine. Also, BMW noticed that the designs were too extreme and softened up the 7-series, just look at a 745i vs. a 750i : 745i:
Regarding the iDrive, I’ll post another post, since I’ll stick mostly to design and not electronics in this post. In addition: I test drove a 2006 325i when I was car shopping, and even though the BMW is RWD and has the engine behind the front wheels AND has more horse (albeit less torque than the A4), and because of this drives and handles a lot better than my A4, I still choose the Audi because: I didn’t feel I was getting ripped off with the quality of the interior, the 325 felt almost like BMW by Rubbermaid, it costs quite a bit less for a comparable car (pass-through seats are NOT standard in the 325, what kind of crap is that?), and I can look at the outside of my car everyday without feeling a little bit disgusted at the way it looks, which is what I would have felt if I had bought the BMW. 2)
You can’t blame them (die-hard BMW fans) from being more than upset regarding the sudden and abrupt change in BMW design. BMW’s have always evolved in logical directions, even if sometimes the designs weren’t gradual and leapfrogged (example: from the BMW E30 to the BMW E36), they still made sense and kept their ‘Germaneness’ about them. If you look at the other German car companies (save for design-crazy VW), they have all always taken the same direction towards making new models. Even departures from the norm were always well-executed and made sense. Now, take BMW circa 2001: every design, every car they had for sale was perfect, from the elegant 7 to the awesome M5 to the ever-so-rare Z8. All was well in the world. And then the new 7 came out, with its Bangle Butt, its odd headlights and ‘blob’ body. And then the new 5 came out, with its flattened sheet metal design, and truly FUGLY headlights. And then they had the audacity to mess with the 3, by disgracing the kidney grill and putting the oddest, inverted lines on the car. And then, for the final insult they came out with the 6, which combined the ugliness from all the cars together to make the final insult to all the loyal fans of the car vomit their guts out every time they saw one the street. And all the inspiration for Bangles designs came from where? Buildings! Not cars! But, buildings! WTF? Is BMW an architectural firm? A blind, deaf, and mute I.M. Pei, who has just been attacked by rabid dogs, could design a better car than Bangle, and Pei is an Architect, not a car designer! Jon.