Get ready to see more of the larger kidney grilles that has been appearing on new BMW models of late, as the automaker is going to introduce even more of them in the future, says BMW VP of design Adrian van Hooydonk. This is part of the carmaker’s design direction intended to reflect its progress with technological development, reports BMW Blog.
“I would say we are in a constant transformation because the speed of change in terms of technology has picked up dramatically, so we feel that our speed of change and design needs to grow accordingly,” van Hooydonk told the website.
We are now in a period of where we want to make a form language that has fewer lines; the lines that we do have should be super-sharp and meaningful, and we try to actually express a stronger character with fewer elements,” he continued.
That approach of reducing elements has been demonstrated on the BMW iX, says BMW Blog, where the lines are simplified, yet more prominent overall. BMW wants each of its products to have a stronger character of its own because each of those has their own rivals to stand out from, van Hooydonk said.
One such example is the G42 2 Series Coupe that made its debut in July. “That was a deliberate choice to go single headlamps, single tail and [slightly harking back] to the BMW 2002. We felt that car’s character should be like that. Then, of course, for the major line-up we have double round headlamps, but it’s all evolving,” the design VP explained.
That evolving look means that while the brand’s signature kidney grille will continue to grow in size, it will do so in different shapes depending on the car it is part of. While the grille on the G22 4 Series takes on a vertical orientation, the grille on the G42 2 Series Coupe has grown too, albeit in the horizontal direction.
BWM will continue to evolve its designs, and the carmaker wants to keep its “strong characters,” van Hooydonk said. “I think the brands will develop faster now. With BMW i, we started a cleaner form language for the electric cars and now that electric is going to be a part of the core of the brand, you’ll see that the design of i products will begin to influence the core of the brand, so it’s going to be a cleaner look,” he said.
It has often been said that change is the only constant, and this can be applied to BMW’s approach to design. “I think each of our cars needs to be continuously developed. [The] 3 Series, I would say is a benchmark in this category, the X5 and 5 Series too, [which] has been the case for many generations,” van Hooydonk said.
The design VP noted that there will always be people who remark that they prefer the design of a certain generation of the past, “but the fact of the matter is, the product like the 3 Series has found more and more customers with each generation. So I think you do have to keep moving, as a brand, with all your products.”
To that end, BMW does not want to do retro design, van Hooydonk said, adding that the G42 2 Series Coupe is about as “retro” as current BMW design will go, with its single-headlamp reference to the 2002 as far towards retro as it will go, he said.
BMW is also well aware of public opinion whenever it releases a new product, say BMW Blog. “First and foremost, people care about what we do. And that’s always nicer than when you work very hard and nobody cares,” the VP of design said.
“So, you have to say that cars are part of popular culture. And that means that people care. Mobility is something that a lot of people, not only have strong opinion about, but also a strong relationship with. Today, it is very easy to get instant feedback.”
“We do notice it, and it is sometimes controversial, but the difficult part of my job is that in 2021, we are making design decisions for products that will come out in 2025. And those cars that come out then, will still be in market in 2032,” van Hooydonk explained.
Plenty, then, to consider when deciding upon what a future car, or range of cars will look like. Which of BMW’s current models wear your favourite look?