Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby mo-i » December 7th, 2012, 4:58 am

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A great iteration on the ever same 3series theme, that we have seen since E36 times.

I like it a lot. Proportion and fluidity of the sculpting are spot on.

It puzzles me though, how the "vent" went into the front fender. From some angles it
looks like a scar that was knifed into the clay at late hours after a VP meeting.

Not sure if marketing is really to blame for that again. I am sure a designer knifed it
in. When cooking, one of the most difficult things is keeping a recipy clean and not getting
carried away with what you are doing.

As far as the door "handles" are concerned. Those won't make it into production, but are
a nice bow to the southern neighbour.

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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Mr-914 » December 7th, 2012, 8:12 am

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I think this is where they stole that stylin' side vent:

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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby choto » December 10th, 2012, 12:05 pm

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Love the detailing going on in the head and taillights, BMW designer Hussein Alattar posted a development sketch over on his tumblr hopefully he'll be posting more work.
http://husseinalattar.tumblr.com/

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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby slippyfish » December 10th, 2012, 9:04 pm

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I like the layering that is going on with the headlights, the way the hood looks like it overlaps or leaves a gap to the lamp lenses. It feels more material, treating the sheet metal as such, rather than sculpting an abstract form.

Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby TaylorWelden » December 11th, 2012, 11:24 pm

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slippyfish wrote:I like the layering that is going on with the headlights, the way the hood looks like it overlaps or leaves a gap to the lamp lenses. It feels more material, treating the sheet metal as such, rather than sculpting an abstract form.


A bit awkward how the grille, sheet metal of the hood and the headlights all join together in that corner. But I couldn't agree more about the beauty of the gap between the lamp housing and the hood. Architecturally inspired, clever, great looking. You can really imagine how that would feel to run your hand down the edge of.
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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Mr-914 » December 12th, 2012, 8:00 am

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Something even more wild...BMW i8

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Seems like the front has been toned down. The windshield no longer goes all the way down the hood (expected), the doors are no longer glass (expected). However, it seems like they've kept the funky flying C-pillar and weird tail lights.
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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby rkuchinsky » December 12th, 2012, 10:44 am

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I don't like the direction BMW is going. I thought these i cars were just silly concepts....

I'm not sure who is responsible, but BMW moving towards a design style that looks like it was made by a gundam influenced 10 year old boy to me just seems wrong. What happened to the refined teutonic rationalism. Hyandui is more BMW than BMW these days.

/sigh.

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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Cameron » December 12th, 2012, 3:38 pm

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I hear you, R. I guess the ultimate driving machine of the future is an organic alien feline shape. I think this design is pretty sweet on its own. I wish one of the classic German brands would go back to simplicity and geometry, though.

I am also glad it's not too Ashton Martin inspired. I'm a bit disappointed in Ford for going more Ashton/Hyundai hybrid (seen the new escape?). Although, I saw a new fusion in person the other day and it looked quite nice. Ford felt like a nice blend of ordinary and fresh, but now it's gravitating toward everything else.

I wish BMW or Ford would make simple shaped cars, like the Flex. Basic shape, cool grille details, etc. Or Dodge for that matter. It just feels like such an opportunity if you do it right. I don't want to drive an insectoid alien spaceship, just a car!
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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Cyberdemon » December 12th, 2012, 3:51 pm

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I think the I series cars are purposely going into left field. I think they're realizing if you're in the market for a high end electric vehicle you want to feel like you're driving a space ship, and I don't blame them.

I love the conservative stance that Audi has taken, and I think if you look at the general BMW lineup (The 3, 5, 7 series) they've actually brought the cars back from a lot of the flame surfacing and other things that Bangle-era haters despised. They've kept the surfacing very simple and while there are still some surfacing details, they don't overpower (I don't like the vents in particular, but thats a new element they've introduced going forward on some vehicles).

I think if you look at the rest of the cars they've done a nice job of keeping their elements without over surfacing them like Hyundai has gone and done. I think the Hyundai language actually works rather well in most cases.

There's always 2 ends of design and the Flex is a nice vehicle, but to some people that's just painfully boring.

I like what BMW is trying to do with the I because it's the opposite of what Tesla is trying to do. The Model S is a nice car, that just happens to be electric. The i8 is a space ship that just happens to be a car. I'm glad someone in the mainstream is pushing that boundary.

In 2002 everyone screamed at how much they hated the new 7 series...and a few years later that same back end is on a Toyota Camry. If that doesn't show that "radical" auto design can push into the mainstream very quickly, I don't know what will.

Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby slippyfish » December 12th, 2012, 8:08 pm

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rkuchinsky wrote:I'm not sure who is responsible, but BMW moving towards a design style that looks like it was made by a gundam influenced 10 year old boy to me just seems wrong. What happened to the refined teutonic rationalism.


R, in your opinion what car best sums up this 'refined teutonic rationalism'? Are you sure that was the driving factor in the design of the car, or could it have been a limitation of the technology at the time? And is this 'rationalism' inherent in the styling itself, or combined with the marketing/brand associations one might have with German cars?

Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby rkuchinsky » December 13th, 2012, 12:29 pm

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I don't have time to pull up tons of sample photos, but I do think BMW (and MB to an extent) had a kind of rationalism to the design ethos. Very controlled surfaces, balanced, timeless design.

Look at anything including a 2002 to an e28.

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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby mo-i » December 14th, 2012, 9:31 am

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If Richard can't be bothered, I can.

German Rationalism as done by an Italian (Bruno Sacco):

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I'd say the single most influential limousine design of the last 30 years. Every limo that Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln,
and many other brands did since that was a remodel of the W 124s lineage and architecture.
Audi is most heavyly borrowing from the Sacco phase Benzes, but they play that card well.

German Rationalism as done by the French (Paul Bracq):

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And the most succesful of them all, again Italian (Giugiaro):

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Of course all those designs also transport emotion. But the lineage is always toned down
and logical. There are almost no adornments. Only the radiators on the BMW and Merc.

The generation of designers who did that was heavily influenced by Bauhaus, Ulm and BRAUN.
Sadly they were replaced with an international bunch of stylists, who do not have a connection
to at least a European ethos and approach to design. As some of you might recognize I am
very critical of that as it in long term blurres brand values and at least in my recognition also
harms stock value. Handelsblatt even did a piece on Mercedes Benz design being in the
doldrums.

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A most bizzarre puzzle of elements, that have no connection with each other whatsoever. The exterior
and interior are not even on the same planet.

Sorry I have to end this rant. It is utter useless, also

mo-i

P.S.: I have less of a problem with the i3 and i8 as they are first creations for a highly radical subbrand
of carbon fibre made electric cars. That has to show somehow in the design as well. Wonder how they
will be branded BMW i-series or I-cars by BMW ?
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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Mr-914 » December 14th, 2012, 10:40 am

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Also German and rational, and designed by Austrians.

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I agree completely with mo-i. That's why I complain so much about German cars. Design-wise, they are a mixed bag. However, their business model today limits the impact of bad design decisions on the balance book.
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Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby Cyberdemon » December 14th, 2012, 10:44 am

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How much of that design Ethos was also a limitation of the engineering and tools of the time?

It was easy to design cars with very simple surfaces when you were working off of tape drawings and drafting tables. The tools couldn't form such complex sheet metal, and the engineers certainly had issues designing and molding such complex parts.

I can't find the article, but I remember reading a story on the side vents of the CTS, where they talked about how challenging it was to stamp the side vent detail where they have these 3 creases coming together.

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It's a rather nice detail IMO, but it's one that wouldn't have necessarily been possible without break thoughs in the engineering and tooling.

So when we go back to the mid 80's and say "this is what all cars looked like" how much of it was due to the fact that they couldn't build a car like this, so why would they design it?

Designers should be there to push the limits...if in 30 years we're still designing cars that look like they came out of a sketchbook from the early 90's whats the point?

I think BMW and Audi are doing the best job of keeping their designs as a tightly knit family. Look at some of the monstrosities Porsche has created recently...compare a 6 series Gran Coupe to a Panamera and that difference should be clear.

Re: BMW 4 Series.... BMW is back!

Postby slippyfish » December 14th, 2012, 11:37 am

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Good points mo-i and rk.

I don't disagree, but was trying to dig deeper into the semantic of formed sheet metal, vs the larger brand association. Also trying to separate the pain of nostalgia for those "authentically German" older cars with the modern company designing cars for the future.

Bangle's detractors were most certainly BMW enthusiasts and prior owners... but most of them did not understand that he was not designing the new cars for them, but for a newer, larger, international audience.

Hand-craft and solidity are evident in the sheet metal, but the Teutonic and precision notions are reinforced in the brand messages and a whole host of subconscious references. You can't deny that there is a trace feeling of a 1940's German war machine in the older BMWs, M-Bs, and VWs, and the relative dilution of those formal references is a cause for alarm in "Teutonic" design adherents.

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(Mercedes IMHO especially is a mess of cross-referenced details and vintage-y country club references...even the high-end cars like the SLS are not immune.)

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