The Big Problem with BMW

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The Big Problem with BMW

What’s going on with BMW?

In this video that’s exactly what I’m going to explore. I’m going to show you the golden era of BMW design and then compare it to today's cars and show you why BMW is heading in the completely wrong direction with its design.

I’m not just gonna say that they’re ugly and totally lack the spirit of what a BMW is, I’ll show you why that’s the case by going back in time.

Growing up, BMWs were some of the coolest, most confidence inspiring, beautiful cars on the roads. They were instantly recognizable thanks to the very strong and congruent design language all across the board from the gorgeous E38 7-series to the E46 3-series not to mention my favorite M3 of all time, the E46 M3 CSL and I can’t leave out the magical E39 BMW M5.

What a fantastic time it was for BMW both in performance, overall confidence and of course design. BMW used to have a face that communicated strength and purpose. A face that said I will get you there.

No matter the distance and even if we have to go through thunderstorms and blizzards, I will get you there. That’s the feeling I got when I was facing a BMW growing up. If you saw an E39 M5 in the rear view mirror, you did the right thing and moved over.

The design was filled with passion and strong, unbroken lines connecting the front and the rear. Beautiful, powerful volumes that looked both muscular and athletic at the same time. To this day, I don’t think there’s any full size luxury sedan that looks nimbler and more agile than the sleek E38 7-series.

It’s one of the best looking sedans of all time. This passion for automotive design spread all across the lineup of the time even to the more exclusive models such as the gorgeous BMW Z8 which was of course inspired by the classic BMW 507 of the late 1950s. The rear end of the Z8 has to be one of the top rear ends of any BMW and would still work great today.

Then you have the introduction of what was called flame surfacing and the first generation BMW Z4. This design was penned by Anders Warming and has a beautiful flow to it. Experiential and bold for sure, but it’s still clearly a BMW.

Warming also designed one of my all time favorite BMW concepts of all time - the 2006 Mille Milja which is also heavily inspired by the flame surfacing treatment and the 1938 BMW 328. The beautiful flow in the body lines and how it’s built up by long curvatures shows you it was sketches by hand.

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