The world as we know it,

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by Texas Forever, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    has come to an end.

    The NYT has officially proclaimed Mr. Bangle as the winner.


    A Flood of Imitators Flatter a Once-Mocked Rump

    A CIRCLE will be closed next week at the Geneva auto show, when BMW introduces its new Z4 coupe, a production model based on the X coupé design study unveiled in 2001.

    The X coupé was the first full statement of a new design language for BMW from Christopher E. Bangle, the company's chief of design. He has completed the restatement of BMW's main model lines — an array he described as "one sausage, three lengths" when he took over in 1992 — in that language.


    Mr. Bangle is arguably the most influential auto designer of his generation — and he is not yet 50. He has certainly been the most vilified, inspiring letters of outrage to editors and indignant postings on Web sites.


    In his work, the American-born Mr. Bangle has tried to convey that a car's shape can be expressive as well as functional. To relieve the bulk and express the dynamism of the previously stolid 7 Series, he sculptured the sides, creased the hood and separated the rear deck from the fenders, producing a look widely mocked as the "Bangle butt."

    Critics focused on what seemed an ungainly afterthought, a committee-ordered addition. But — wonder of wonders — customers were less offended than the press. That most-derided feature is today one of the most imitated. Many Korean and Japanese models now feature similar rear ends. The 2007 Toyota Camry is one; even Mercedes-Benz, BMW's archrival, seems to have taken a page from Mr. Bangle's sketchpad for its new S-Class flagship.


    "We have been one of the few trying to move this industry out of the doldrums of simple branding and engineering," Mr. Bangle said. BMW is leading, he boasts; competitors focus so much on the rear because they are looking at it from behind.

    Mr. Bangle has been critical of retro styles. This has set him in opposition to designers like J Mays, vice president of design at Ford, who has been circumspect in speaking to American journalists about Mr. Bangle but was more forthright in a recent interview with a German magazine, Auto Motor und Sport.

    "There's no doubt Chris Bangle has had an influence," Mr. Mays said.

    But, he added, "What I see at the moment does not please me. I don't like the 7, and there is not much at BMW that looks German to me. Germans were always famous for the most highly developed cars in the world, but the current design does not communicate that."
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  3. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Kill him before he designs again.
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
  5. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    Didn't they say something like that about Oswald? Where's Jack Ruby when you need him?

  6. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Internet Poseur
    Suburban kids imitate rappers' style too, but its still crap.
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  8. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 7, 2003
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    Sales are up, customers are happy.

    Bangle will be around for a while.

  9. switchcars

    switchcars Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2005
    Full Name:
    I remember when the X coupe was the ugliest thing on the face of the earth. However....the Z4 coupe, in comparison, doesn't look that bad. Really.
  10. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Internet Poseur
    I admit the new coupe is passable, and the new 3 series sedan is actually pretty nice.
  11. MARQ

    MARQ Formula 3

    Feb 9, 2002
    East Coast US
    Full Name:
    Once again, clear evidence that there is no accounting for taste. How sad.
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  13. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    Austin, TX
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    Slow down, let one pass you, and you'll think differently.
  14. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    The new 3 isn't bad looking, and BMW had huge brand momemtum before the Great Bangle Cataclysm - so they'll sell tons of them. But Audi has surpassed BMW design.
  15. vraa

    vraa Formula 3
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    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Mr. A
    That's subjective (the latter part of your post). Some folks can debate that the massive grill is a turn off..

    I don't care. At my age a V8 M3 or a RS4 would be an amazing car!
  16. alin13

    alin13 Karting

    Jan 1, 2006
    Love it or hate it doesn't matter, it's undeniable his cars sold well and his designs has influenced many other designers in the world. Interesting comments from J May, but before critisising about other designer's work he really should have a look at his own folio first, current fords are bland or retro (which IMO is uninspiring and pure lazyness)
  17. GT Fan

    GT Fan Formula Junior

    Jun 25, 2005
    It shows that many of BMW's customers, particularly of their highest priced cars, are simply conspicuous consumers, rather than having any appreciation for good design.

    For them, distinctive is good, and driving a $100,000 car that looks like a dog turd is fine, as long as everyone knows it's a $100,000 dog turd.

    You will note that the Bangle influence seems to be reduced in each subsequent version-- for example, the spy shots of the next 5-series are very conventional compared to the existing car.

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