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      11-28-2020, 02:14 PM   #45
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Former BMW design chief Frank Stephenson, who has been called "one of the most influential automotive designers of our time" by Motor Trend and designed the original X5, Ferrari F430 and FXX, Maserati MC12, McLaren MP4-12C, P1, 676LT, 570S, and 720S, has completely torn into BMW's new design language, starting with the new 4 series. It is very rare for a highly regarded designer to rip on his colleagues. It is only done when the design is so repulsive and repugnant that there is no way to sugar coat things. I.E., it is not politically correct to do what he did unless the offender (BMW) is being offensive.

He stated that "the huge grille is unrefined", the design is "difficult to understand", and the grill "doesn't go with the proportions of the rest of the coupe". These grills have been widely regarded as pig nostrils, which is not a good thing. In addition, he states that "it's weird that the positioning of the front license plate doesn't seem to have been considered when designing this car" and that "You can't forget about the registration plate".

He goes on to say that he regrets that BMW seems to have nearly eliminated the company's iconic Hofmeister kink and says there's "a lot happening" at the rear. Overall, he states that "BMW tossed the baby out with the bathwater."

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      12-01-2020, 11:07 AM   #46
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"BMW Design Boss 'Fine' With People Customizing New 4 Series"
"Everyone hates the new grille. Now it's official."

https://www.motor1.com/news/457457/b...e-with-tuning/
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      12-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
Exactly. I would want a more horizontal grill, not an Edsel behemoth. Give me a grill like MB has and I would not be complaining. So it is not change, it is ugly change that bothers me.

The Edsel grill actually looks understated next to the new BMWs.

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      12-01-2020, 12:18 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by rlmesq View Post
The Edsel grill actually looks understated next to the new BMWs.

Yes...but at least Ford only foisted one on us; BMW is foisting two on us. The Edsel grills are multiplying.
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      12-01-2020, 03:07 PM   #49
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The Edsel at least had a congruent design them. The 4 series does not. This is in ADDITION to the fact that the grill looks silly.

I don't know why BMW is so desperate to change every aspect of their design language when that language was working!
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      12-01-2020, 05:42 PM   #50
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      12-02-2020, 08:23 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebmw View Post
I don't know why BMW is so desperate to change every aspect of their design language when that language was working!
Marketing gib: To lead and stay forward, you have to break new grounds, even if it means widespread resistance, we will be pioneers as we bring our brand forward to the next generation. Pioneers and those who break the mould are remembered, followers are forgotten (remember, marketing gib, it doesn't have to make sense)

Reality: We want to sell more to those who likes to display their wealth, ie. One country in Asia, with a flag that is mostly red with some yellow stars
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      12-02-2020, 09:35 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by kyriian View Post
Marketing gib: To lead and stay forward, you have to break new grounds, even if it means widespread resistance, we will be pioneers as we bring our brand forward to the next generation. Pioneers and those who break the mould are remembered, followers are forgotten (remember, marketing gib, it doesn't have to make sense)

Reality: We want to sell more to those who likes to display their wealth, ie. One country in Asia, with a flag that is mostly red with some yellow stars
I don't buy the "blame Chinese consumers" line. For many years BMW has offered different front ends -- the MSport being very different from the luxury or sport lines front ends. If the Chinese argument were true, BMW could offer both front ends.

But instead BMW designers are sticking with their design and choosing to insult its historic customers. Coca Cola faced a similar crisis years ago and immediately came out with "classic coke" while still selling "new coke" for a while to save face. When is the last time you heard "new coke"?

Coca Cola is thriving. We will have to see if BMW is on a downward spiral.
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      12-02-2020, 11:49 AM   #53
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Yeah, the whole "blame the Chinese" is a cheap jab.
They bought BMWs when the grills were small.
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      12-02-2020, 11:55 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
We will have to see if BMW is on a downward spiral.
From a design and marketing standpoint, they are headed in the wrong direction. Problem is, people will still buy their cars...maybe more as they are trying to reach a whole separate segment that may think being obnoxious and insulting is cool. That crowd seems to be the majority nowadays.
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      12-02-2020, 11:59 AM   #55
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Badge whores must love the new grills. Now everyone can tell that they are driving a BMW from a mile away. I thought the MB light up star was tacky, but this takes it to another level. Saw a white G11 7er LCI in my rearview and that grill is just terrible.
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      12-02-2020, 12:20 PM   #56
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stein_325i I just saw your status "Blocked from G80/G82 for having an opinion"
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      12-03-2020, 08:41 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
But instead BMW designers are sticking with their design and choosing to insult its historic customers. Coca Cola faced a similar crisis years ago and immediately came out with "classic coke" while still selling "new coke" for a while to save face. When is the last time you heard "new coke"?
BMW has had a history of completely breaking traditions though too out of the blue, and then proceed to water it down, so your Coca Cola analogy may just be exactly what's going to happen in 4-5 years.

*Maybe when the top brasses realize Dukec is wrong and no amount of marketing will correct their mistake.
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      12-03-2020, 02:21 PM   #58
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I really like the new Coke analogy on the grilles. Very good.


I dont think SUV or not SUV matters. As that link with Frank Stephensen video saying - you can have this look, but - smooth out the edges, widen them apart a bit, integrate the plate better. It can be done.


Everyone forgets that 328 Homage concept had same tall kidney grilles but narrower, and the single round headlight was the ticket. These new cars abandoned those, but I really would love a round pair of headlights on a BMW again. Porsche, Mini, Bentley, - all pull off that rounded headlight look good.

BMWs always need to have some aggressive face, and while it worked in past now it is trying too hard and looks insecure. Tone it down.
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      12-03-2020, 03:30 PM   #59
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A couple of thoughts on this subject:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Sometimes an 'upgrade' can be perceived as a 'downgrade', especially when a manufacturer tinkered in a way you personally dislike, with aspects that matter to you, despite improvements of several other aspects.

Most people usually like their comfort zones, points of reference, familiar quirks ('iconic' aspects). It's about connection. Hence the preference for incremental 'upgrade' changes, rather than for radical 'upgrade' changes (except if the existing iteration was conceptually not OK and definitely required a change for the better: an overhaul or redesign).

M3 (nowadays M3/M4) is the flagship of BMW M, the pet of the M class, the pars pro toto. Needless to say that the all-new G80 M3 / G82 M4 got, and keeps getting, polarizing reactions. BMW seems to be well-aware of that. BMW M must have known that some of its latest choices risked to stir emotions amongst its fanbase, but likely thought that those would cool down as time goes by.

Admittedly, my first reaction to the new M3/M4 was a big sigh. But that's perfectly normal: it's a new generation of the car, not an LCI (Life Cycle Impulse version). However, what's less normal is the fact that, as time goes by, also my second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. reaction was a big sigh. And then, in my book, there's a problem: my current mindset is that I cannot see myself buying that car if, for some reason, I'd consider replacing my M2C (quod non).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Food: there are dishes you (instantly) like and dishes you (instantly) dislike, no matter how hard the kitchen did its best and no matter how much the restaurant keeps repeating how great the dishes are and that "you will start to like it" and that "it's better when it's right in front of you and when you taste it".

Personally I don't like the G80 M3 / G82 M4 dish. Can't see myself ordering it. At best, full black to obscure a little some questionable design choices. But still: too big, too bloated and design-wise too polarizing for my taste. Trying too hard to change for the sake of change, as if it's like an e-mail written in capital letters only (those get me a cringy feeling and "chill, brother/sister" thoughts).

Forcing customers out of their familiar comfort zone: remember Microsoft radically redesigning its Windows user interface with Windows 8 (including the 'sacrilege' of deleting the iconic 'start menu') or Porsche going 4-cyl only with lawnmower sounds on its 718 Cayman: many dissatisfied/disgruntled existing and potential customers + fixing this with a later iteration. Sometimes too much is too much.

And regarding design: car manufacturers should never forget 'the family factor': show pictures to your significant other or kids and ask for their opinion to test the waters. I also did that with the G80 M3 / G82 M4 and the response was outright negative. Quite a difference compared to their reaction to pictures of an F87 M2 or F87 M2 Competition.
Several months ago I posted (in a later deleted thread about the new M3/M4 grilles) this video of former Coca-Cola boss Donald R. Keough announcing in Spring 1985 the re-introduction of "Classic Coke" after a very bad reception of "New Coke":
"These people [criticizing the "New Coke" introduction] and thousands like them have gone public with their love affair for Coca-Cola [...] So what does all of this really means ? It only means what we say: that our boss is the consumer. Some critics will say «Coca-Cola has made a marketing mistake» and some cynics say that we planned the whole thing. The truth is: we're not that dumb and we're not that smart."


Let's avoid that also this thread spirals out of control. Refrain from scapegoating. Below are a couple of quotes of BMW designers made in Summer 2019 about the new grilles design language:
BMW Provoked Global Reaction To Oversize Grille On Purpose
Michael Taylor - Forbes - Jun 28, 2019,07:36am EDT - here

German premium brand BMW knew it the grille on its upgraded 7 Series this year would draw a massive reaction. And it did.
It is the grille that gave birth to a thousand memes and it continues to be pilloried in social media. Worse, it took the focus off the upgrades to the flagship limousine and then found its way onto the gigantic X7 SUV as well.
The image of BMW as a design leader took off in the 1970s with the 3.0-liter CS and the 2002, but BMW's embattled design chief Adrian van Hooydonk admitted he had steeled himself for a backlash to the work his team had done to the 7 Series.
“The briefing we got was to make sure people understood the difference (between the 7 and the 5) and notice it," the Dutch designer explained.
"We are not a start up. We are not looking for 100,000 new customers, but we have to bring two million with us every year.
“When we launched the car (the pre-facelift 7 Series) it was quite smaller. The feedback we got on that was that people couldn’t see enough difference to the predecessor.
“On the 7 I understand that people can be shocked. I notice the criticism. I think in a way it’s inevitable. My objective is to do something that everybody likes but it’s not always possible.”
van Hooydonk admitted he had been hurt by the criticism of the grille, which took the original kidney concept of BMW and turned it more into a set of lungs. From a racehorse.
He still argues, though, that the much-criticized grille was more at home on the gigantic X7, where the sheer size of the 5.2-meter SUV gave it a more natural home.
“It’s more a 7 Series discussion than anything else and the backlash is more or less the same as we expected,” he said.
“The X7 was launched at the same time and that’s why it’s thrown into that discussion but the X7 grill is proportional to the size of the vehicle.
“All the cars in that segment are typically quite big.”
That grille became a BMW fan lightning rod for what is perceived as a loss of grace and athleticism and design courage at the Bavarian brand, with the mainstay 3 and 5 Series models creeping forward incrementally, rather than pushing design forward.
In his defence, van Hooydonk suggested the car's awkward note was largely struck because of different customer priorities around the world, with the strongest criticisms coming from Europe.
“The 7 has always been the hardest to bring the expectations of the entire world into one shape. The customers are very, very different in China, the US, the Middle East and in Europe,” he explained.
In Europe, people don’t want to get noticed. They don’t like being asked what they paid for a car and they like things in black, like a stealth mode. They want the grille in black because they don't want people to notice it.
The rest of the world is the opposite. We tried to give the Europeans what they want as well but the strongest market for the 7 is not Europe.
The numbers back that up. Its strongest markets are the US and China, with Europe a distant third.
Welcome relief may be on its way, though. van Hooydonk insisted the world's customer tastes were converging, rather than pulling apart, and that the painfully obvious grille of the current 7 Series might not be needed on the next generation.
“For the next generation 7 our job will become slightly easier. It’s usually only in the 7 that these tastes are diverging so much but the customer profiles will be less different in five or 10 years. People’s tastes are converging.”
There's another upside for the most criticized design chief on any of the European premium carmakers. The BMW is selling more current 7 Series models than it did of the pre-facelifted versions.
Another point of defence from van Hooydonk is his insistence that the near future will be more about interior designs than exteriors. [...]
On a final note: paging BMW M execs out there: consider offering the option of grilles painted in body color until release of the G80/G82 LCI. Simple and cost-efficient measure for the time being.

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      12-03-2020, 04:39 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
Yes, if "future classic" means being on the list of top 10 failures in terms of turning a classic design into an abomination.
Just think of all the aftermarket bumpers that'll come out to minimize the pig nose... Instant classic due to available mods, for sure. Think of it like the Upside Down version of the E36?
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      12-03-2020, 04:41 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stein_325i View Post
Badge whores must love the new grills. Now everyone can tell that they are driving a BMW from a mile away. I thought the MB light up star was tacky, but this takes it to another level. Saw a white G11 7er LCI in my rearview and that grill is just terrible.
Thanks for reminding me of that MB abomination. I hate that light-up star so much.
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      12-03-2020, 04:55 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by spooner1sm View Post
Thanks for reminding me of that MB abomination. I hate that light-up star so much.
Yep, its so stupid, worst thing is dealers order them especially on the cheaper CLA's and GLA's because they know those people want the badge the most so I see them a lot on the road, not to mention it inspired BMW's stupid light up grills
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      12-04-2020, 10:43 AM   #63
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My god, that thing is ugly! I had to go see it in person. I actually think it's way worse in person. It just looks ungainly from every angel. It's extremely rare for a new version of a car to be released that doesn't immediately make the prior version look dated. But my 435 M-sport is just elegant, modern, and gorgeous and looks even more so now. It's not just the new grill that is an abomination; it's the whole car. The profile looks like a castrated Mustang. The lack of the Hofmeister Kink makes the rear quarter look like a Honda. The soft curves on the upper doors and fenders make it look really wimpy too. And the crease at the bottom of the door is completely misplaced. I like the headlights and the tail lights, but that's about it. I expect there to be huge discounts on the new 4. The design is just a complete disaster...What a shame...I think the value of my 435 just went up, not that I'm selling it...
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      12-05-2020, 11:41 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurns View Post
Whew! So many dissenting responses about the grill. Wow! Look across the entire product line (and not just BMW’s). Pretty much what one sees are larger grills. My personal opinion is that is the direction it is going. Factor in the number of electric cars coming on line over the next several years and how the front ends will look. Tesla’s model 3 early production versions looked like something out of a cartoon; not attractive to me. They now incorporate a grill of some sort. Change can be a hard thing to take.
Large grilles do not have to be ugly.
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      12-05-2020, 11:43 AM   #65
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stein_325i I just saw your status "Blocked from G80/G82 for having an opinion"
You can add me to that list.
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      12-07-2020, 05:45 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stein_325i View Post
Saw a white G11 7er LCI in my rearview and that grill is just terrible.
Not to mention, the G11's grill fits the car way better. Looks only 10% as offensive as the G22's front end.
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