Whilst there was nothing wrong with how the F82 BMW M4 looked, what upset the purists was the name. Not for a moment. As long as it has that badge on the front, eh? Chris Bangle was responsible for the dramatic ‘flame surfacing’ used on the aluminum body. This convoluted process meant BMW missed the chance to compete in Group 5 racing, and instead created the M1 Procar. Built at BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the original X5 shared numerous parts with the E39 5 Series to keep costs down. Expect buyers to like it in spite of the looks, rather than clamouring for this one because of them. Are you as passionate about cars as we are. "owtowmobile" and "schport") … BMW Concept CS. If customers are telling companies they want coupe versions of SUVs, then who are they to argue with them? His styling themes have generated intense controversy among automotive designers, and have had a polarizing effect with respect to their visual cues. Bangle is known best for his work as Chief of Design for BMW Group, where he was responsible for the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars. We wonder if he used the large grille on the Garmisch as inspiration for the current crop of BMW products? Many consider BMW’s E39 the last good looking 5-Series before Chris Bangle’s horrid “Flame Surfacing” arrived on the scene for 2003. The latest 4 Series Coupe, revealed in June this year, previewed the colossal kidney design idea. We’re sorry, Chris. Design influences came from the CS1 concept car, and included copious amounts of flame surfacing. But just look at the front bumper. Ignore the styling for a moment, and concentrate on the fact that the 2 Series Active Tourer was the first front-wheel drive vehicle sold by BMW. It featured advances like body panels made from lightweight materials, and even an M6 version with a V-10 engine. There is the issue of another large front grille but, that aside, the latest BMW hatchback manages to appear rather anodyne. It is based on the same platform as the new 1 Series, meaning there is no rear-wheel drive action here. Instead the M3 would become a four-door sedan model, whilst the M4 took the coupe and convertible role. BMW's top designer, Chris Bangle, describes the effect as ''flame surfacing.'' It packed a number of classic Bertone features, with plenty of straight lines and a curious honeycomb cover for the rear window. The fitment of Lexus IS200-style rear lights also meant this version of the Compact looked just as divisive from behind. Since the X Coupé concept car in 2001, BMW design has been dictated by the flame surfacing theme introduced under Chris Bangle. For most of the 1990s, BMW concentrated on its core sedan models, with only the Z3 Roadster standing out from the range. Interview: Chris Bangle, BMW's Design Chief ... and all those convex and concave curves and sweeping lights that melded to give Bangle's signature flame surfacing? I've got a couple of bones to pick with BMW designer Chris Bangle. While emphasising that flame surfacing is not consigning to the history books, BMW says, “It has been developed to enhance its effect further.”. In essence, the 5 Series Gran Turismo was aimed at customers who didn’t want to commit to a 5 Series Touring estate. What stood out most where the piercing round headlights, separated by overlapping hood elements. BMW’s motivation was to compete with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, by offering a luxurious compact MPV. The first model in BMW’s electric vehicle sub-brand, the i3 was truly revolutionary when first revealed. Yes, but at least the new 6 Series fastback looks slightly less controversial than the preceding 5 Series GT. The all-new 2021 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe are packed with performance technology, including optional all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. BMW has undergone a rapid expansion of its model range in the past two decades, but not all of the styling efforts of those models have been universally loved. Chris Bangle. Even viewed today, the looks of the E65 are still polarizing. flaws yes, but that was typical for a front driver from that era. It meant a lot of potential customers were shocked when the E60 first appeared in 2003. Their hard work turned the new X7 into a luxurious five-seater pickup, with space to carry a BMW F80 GS motorbike. With up to 503 horsepower in Competition specification, it promises to be devastatingly effective on road and track. In terms of styling, the steeply raked lines give the impression in profile that the driver of the 2 Series has stomped on the brakes, pitching it forward. The design was completed under the direction of Chris Bangle, and led to the enlarged trunk lid being branded as the ‘Bangle Butt’ by outraged BMW fans. Chris Bangle was responsible for the dramatic ‘flame surfacing’ used on the aluminum body. The most controversial cars of modern times, These are the most controversial Ford cars. Christopher Edward Bangle (born on 14 October, 1956 in Ravenna, Ohio), is an American automobile designer. 2003 saw a double dose of controversial BMW launches, with the 6 Series badge reappearing after 15 years away. BMW is not a follower. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. BMW has been able to find numerous buyers for the X4, so much so that it launched a second-generation version in 2018. Confusing? The elongated kidney design is said to be needed to supply the upgraded engine with cooling air. Novelty came in the fact that the Z1 could be driven with the doors dropped. By Autoweek While emphasising that flame surfacing is not consigning to the history books, BMW says, “It has been developed to enhance its effect further.”, Haymarket Media Group, publishers of Autocar takes your privacy seriously. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Army soldier arrested after military spouse murdered at Hawaii barracks, Vaccine reserve was already exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access. First, I reckon the "flame surfacing" design style that he's inflicted on the brand since the 2002 7-Series has trashed the sina qua non of German automotive elegance. BMW fans should really have been well-prepared for the giant grille on the brand-new M3 and M4 models. Worried as to whether Lamborghini could complete the project, BMW took things back in-house. In more naming gymnastics, BMW opted to call the new large five-door fastback model the 6 Series. Bangle’s design language could be described as "quirky" and "individualistic" if you’re feeling charitable. Unlike its rivals, BMW also blessed it with rear-wheel drive to keep the classic driving experience. From the side the new Elantra shows off what Hyundai’s design team calls “parametric-jewel body surfaces” – it’s a bit like Chris Bangle’s infamous flame surfacing at BMW, or basically three lines that meet at one point. Bangle acknowledges that his designs do not look good in photographs, suggesting to critics that they should see the cars in real life before judging them on their looks. This would become his trademark during his tenure at BMW, and set the scene for many of the cars which follow later on this list. Design director Chris Bangle took the heat for the E65 and for the Flame Surfacing design language in general, but the design was actually penned by … A facelift in 2016 helped things, but it was still hardly one of BMW’s design masterpieces. Sir Mixalot might have been a fan of the new 7 Series launched in 2001, although many others were put off by the sight of that big butt. Gore my eyes out with hot forks was what auto journalists were unanimously chanting when the last generation BMW 7 Series was introduced in 2001. BMW’s management were said to have been reluctant to produce the coupe model, but finally relented. In hindsight, the big front grille should have been a warning as to the design direction the company was heading for. His most recent draft, however, is devoid of shear lines and flame surfacing: It’s a novel. Login to reply It has a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, producing 625 horsepower and is capable of running from 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of BMW North America being founded, BMW wanted to build a special concept for the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 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