Blog: Dave LeggettBangle butts out

Dave Leggett | 4 February 2009

Will BMW design chief Chris Bangle be missed? His designs were 'marmite' designs and tended to polarise opinion initially. But love 'em or hate 'em, we got used to them. Evoking a car brand's 'design language' for years to come is quite a responsibility. And it's particularly tough when you're constrained by a conservative ethos, a 'look' that goes back decades and evolves slowly.

But, just as you needed to have punk to get new wave, BMW probably needed to have the Bangle shock to get to the extremely competent designs it has now (with the possible exception of the X6, but that's more about the vehicle concept than its looks, per se). The alternative was a rather flat way to go, especially for a brand like BMW that wants to be modern and forward looking.

There will always be some - in car designs as in life - who cling on to the present and resist change. Change is not always good, but in car design it generally is. Now that the BMW page has turned and a new 7 Series has arrived, he has probably concluded that his work at BMW is done and good luck to him. At least he didn't take the easy option.

And we're sorry, 'butt' we couldn't resist a headline pun. 

GERMANY: Bangle butts out


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