BMW AG design chief Chris Bangle remains controversial. Most rival designers are critical of the new BMW shape. He talked with Staff Reporter Luca Ciferri at BMW headquarters in Munich, Germany.
The new 3-series sedan looks like the model in which the design language that started with the 7 series achieved its final balance.
With time we all mature. Perhaps we designers have matured. Or perhaps it's the public that is now ready to appreciate this new design language.
Is the 3 series the end of a design cycle or the forerunner for models to come?
It ends the revolution we began with the 7 series, and we progressively evolved on the Z4, the 5 series, the 6 series, the X3 and the 1 series. We now start again from scratch, in preparing for the next revolution.
Why does the world accuse you of high treason against BMW design?
I don't know, and I don't care. I've been designing cars for more than 20 years and have seen the industry from inside numerous automakers. The top management of no other carmaker in the world is as deeply involved as at BMW.
What is your point?
That I didn't sit down one night all by myself and single-handedly change the direction of BMW design.
Why was the current 7 series such a radical design change for BMW?
It's the model that BMW used to celebrate the first 100 years of the car and the passage into the third millennium. More important, it's larger outside, much more comfortable inside, and incorporates the state of the art in automobile technology.
But the car is anything but attractive.
I'm sorry you don't like it, but our customers do - very much so. The mission that marketing gave us was very precise: The new 7 series must not only appeal to the 60-year-old who is driven around by his chauffeur, but it must also win over the successful 45-year-old who wants a large car that's also dynamic and sporty to drive. It also needed to have dynamic lines.