BMW - Independent Retro CS Concept

Should BMW go minimal again?

  • Yes, this is awesome!
  • Yes, but this is off the mark.
  • No, the Bangle look is necessary to compete
  • No, they should pursue some form of the i3/i8 look instead

0 voters

I’m a usually a minimalist at heart. I’d love for BMW to get back to basics. Love this independent concept!

  1. They picked the wrong car to go from. Should be the 3.0CSi or the CSL (“Batmobile”)
  2. No. Has none of the grace, lightness and appeal of the originals. I hope BMW never goes retro as much as I love the old cars. Retro never works for the reason alone that everything has to be 30% fatter due to safety regs. If you want a real comparison (I’ve seen this in person), look at a 1960’s 911 beside a new one. New one (I’d maybe take it), is bloated compared to the old. Plus chrome FTW :slight_smile:


I like seeing the new take on the BMW front. Overall, the concept lacks refinement, but it’s a great concept.

Richard: I was sitting behind a couple of new 911s this week and had the same thought. As a classic Porsche fan, it hurts. BTW: There was a guest appearance of a 914 in the Neil Degrasse-Tyson Cosmos series, episode 4. YES!

I want to like this. But I don’t. There are just to many unrefined details, and even the side silhouette looks awkward.
Front: Unibrow
Rear: Camry

There is something very Volvo-ish about the high belt line on these concepts, which to me doesn’t read very “bmw”.

want to like this. But I don’t.

Retro never works for the reason alone that everything has to be 30% fatter due to safety regs.


Me neither… perhaps a few visuals of the original are in order for comparison.

I was taught that “human indication” was a big part of conceptual realization. The 2002 was not a big car.

Actually… I’m pretty much done with the retro thing. Where’s Syd Mead when we need him?

Ha - and I thought you were serious when you called for that retro-communist trend earlier this week.

I am diggin’ some of the details on that last little orange Bm you posted though…

Well, wf, if you are referring to the Hongqi L5 post, I’m pretty sure the Chinese do not consider it “retro”.

The two details I always admired on was the hood [bonnet] and the trunk [boot] covers. The turn signal lights at the break lines were a nice touch.

In fact, I liked it so much I borrowed the detail for a project I was working on in 1980.

I imagine sidecars in general must’ve *been pretty uncomfortable & even terrifying at times. Sitting that low and alone, especially in fast moving traffic? (*they seem to have died in the 80’s?)
Perhaps if they were detachable with a reasonable autonomous capability , we might just see them again!

I imagine sidecars in general must’ve *been pretty uncomfortable & even terrifying at times.

I suppose that depends a lot on ones personality. When we were younger my wife and I logged thousands of miles testing this rig for the Vetter Company. Being able to stretch out aside, with all the extra space available we took along a lot of stuff that we would have left behind when we toured on the two-wheeler. I can’t count the times I have glanced down and see that she was asleep. Of course, she frequently fell asleep riding behind me on the two-wheeler as well.

Perhaps if they were detachable with a reasonable autonomous capability , we might just see them again!

The dynamics of a motorcycle/side car rig are nothing like either a motorcycle, or an automobile. Adding a sidecar to a motorcycle takes quite a bit of adjustment to the motorcycle itself. And due to the asymmetric configuration of the rig it also imposes considerable stress on the machine that it was never intended to bear; notably side loading the wheel bearings, and the affect on braking ability created by the extra weight. Since most* sidecar wheels are un-powered, the sidecar tends to try and lag behind the M/C when accelerating, and conversely, try and pass the M/C when decelerating; both of these effects are compensated for by the driver counter-steering the opposite direction. At a constant speed, the aerodynamic drag created by the sidecar causes the combined vehicle to pull to its side. Again, this is compensated for by the driver, or by “toeing” the sidecar in toward the center-line of the motorcycle.

For the most part, once a motorcycle has been converted to sidecar use it never quite handles the same as a two-wheel does afterward. But that doesn’t seem to matter much, the folks who elect to drive a sidecar rig are a unique breed and don’t tend to migrate back to riding tw0-wheelers anyway.

The European sidecar culture is a totally different scene than here in the States where it’s not uncommon to see the kids in the chair, and mom riding behind dad on the back of the motorcycle.

‘A unique breed’ sounds about right for folk who choose to ride uncooperative, sideways isosceles triangles for fun.
I get that they have sometimes been a cheap/convenient/agile/fun way for a motorbike to move three or four people or equipment though. I wonder if any are still performing a service in any modern military line-ups?

EDIT - ah, I see the Ural still has a place with the Russians…oops, no , that’s the Ural 4x4 I’m thinking of!

(P.s …I think we’re hijacking this thread!?)

EDIT - ah, I see the Ural still has a place with the Russians…

The URAL (M72) was copy of the German BMW R71 of WWII, and the Chinese CJ750 (ChangJian ) is a copy of the URAL … all in all, 68 years of production, unencumbered by technological improvement… not really, the URAL now incorporates Japanese electronics.

The Chinese Army does a demonstration where the sidecar wheel is removed while in motion, and then replaced. What this exactly demonstrates I’m not sure…

(P.s …I think we’re hijacking this thread!?)

Good point.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

I definitely think the BMW design language could take a larger evolution. The models are melding and the design language between BMW and Audi seems to be melding as well. We get it, your team can do awesome surfacing.

On retro, I think retro will never be “in” or “out”. It is not a question of what cannon of style you adhere to as much as a question of if it is done well enough. The original Miata was incredibly retro in a lot of ways, and yet it still feels fresh because it was eel executed.

As for BMW, I think there is something to be gained by referencing some of the boat like belt lined shark nosed forms of the past in a fresh new way. Doodle though below.

I dig the shark look. If retro though would love to see more chrome and real bumpers. That’s the biggest difference IMHO why the retro new styles don’t work.


Lew, the windscreen on that sidecar is awesome.

The Vetter has a Colonial Viper look to it.

Last year, I indulged myself with nearly a whole season of the British Sidecar Championship. I found it interesting that nearly all the competitive sidecars are now custom built on the Isle of Mann.

IMHO, if there was real justice in the world, the sidecar championship would still be part of the Grand Prix circuit.

I think there is some nice subtle referencing of their shark nose era on the new 1 series. I imagine going too pointy or boat like with the front end styling might cause aero problems. Pedestrian impact could be a problem too.

RE: shark noses
Figured I’d add these I snapped at the BMW museum in Munich.