Petrolheads’ strop gear over BMW designs

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CAR lovers and designers have hit out at BMW’s latest designs.

The German car manufacturer has been the target of criticism for some of its most recent models.

Some former designers have even weighed in on the debate, saying that BMW have “lost their mind.”

Some of the comments on the reveal video for their XM concept, which has had some tweaks before entering production, were brutal.

Petrolhead and YouTube commentor Andy Neocleous said: “BMW obviously an inclusive employer in their design dept. No qualifications required.”

Some comments were more positive in their assessment. Another car lover, Stewart Walraven said: “The production version will be toned down most likely. I don’t mind it overall. The rear taillights are a bit weird though…that interior on the other hand is absolutely mint. Well done.”

BMW’s head of design Domagoj Dukec said when defending their contemporary designs: “Some people are convinced that if you just make something beautiful, everybody is going to love it, but that’s not how it works.

“It’s much deeper than a superficial look. Other cars, which just take a superficial approach, will work in the beginning but will fade, you will forget it.”

2021 BMW M4

The argument from BMW is that whilst cars like the 3 and 5 series will play it safe to appeal to most consumers, models like the 4 series and the new XM need to be bolder to attract those looking for something that makes a statement.

In a video earlier this year on his YouTube channel, Frank Stephenson – the world-renowned car designer and the man who penned the original BMW X5 – said of the XM concept: “BMW have really lost their f****** mind.

“The side view has to be, for me, probably the most ridiculous side view I’ve ever seen on a vehicle up to today. And that includes more than 100 years of automotive design.”

2023 BMW XM

In a previous video breaking down the design of the current 4 series, Stephenson gave his views on that car’s distinctive and massive kidney grills: “I’m not even sure if BMW designed this. I don’t know where it came from.

“It’s very difficult to understand how you could put a grille so different than the rest of the car on it, with the intention of obviously creating a very characteristic element. But it’s just unrefined.”

The designer does however give BMW a lot of credit for trying something new and moving their design philosophy forward. He said: “Standing still is like going backwards in car design.”

The current BMW backlash is similar to the criticism it received in the 2000s and early 2010s.

Chris Bangel, BMW’s Head of design at the time, was often criticized for his designs, with fans saying that BMW was destroying its legacy.

Back then people wondered if BMW had forgotten how to style cars, the consensus now is that the answer was no.

BMW have been contacted for comment.

Do you think BMW have lost their way? Let us know in the comments section below.

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