New BMW 5-series Bungled?

BMW’s new 5-series has been shown to the press ahead of its launch.

I’m left underwhelmed, though, as with most BM’s these days, I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic drive. The problem I have with it is that it appears to have been styled apologetically. Let me explain; the previous E60 version had a certain brutish elegance with chiseled surfaces, evolving from Bangle’s trademark flame-surfacing;

That muscly look matched the 5’s performance credentials well – you understood BMW’s message with the car. You may have not liked the message, and to many it epitomised the fast-lane-hog stereotype of BM’s, but it had a certain clarity about it. BMW and Chris Bangle received a lot of stick about this car from the BMW faithful so it’s perhaps no surprise that this latest version is more about consolidating the new BMW style rather than push it into yet another new territory.

But this new model looks a little weak-chinned…like BM wanted to convey a softer, more caring style. Fine, but it leaves this new car looking more like the E34-generation car which had a softer front-end. ie. confused.

Some rough Photoshop tweaking;

Bangle quit as BMW chief of design in Feb2009, which means he will have been totally responsible for this latest evolutionary direction. My guess is that these tentative softer style cues are suggestive of  some more fundamental changes that we’ll see in some of the less-conservative vehicle segments in the near future. Lightweight eco sports coupe?



  1. The Tarantulas · November 27, 2009

    Nice piece man – caring beemers like a salad at mcdonalds – aint foolin no one.

  2. The Face · November 28, 2009

    Ha – great analogy. And no-one ever buys a MaccyD salad.
    It’s like a gangster with a pin-stripe suit wearing sandals. It ain’t right.

  3. The Tarantulas · November 28, 2009

    Unless you’re notorious Vincenzo ‘Sandals’ Schillaci……

  4. dtrack · December 5, 2009

    agree 5 diluted, what is wring with them now like a set of russian dols 1357 pi55 poor, at least a bit of visual interest with the kinetic range, lower, larger grills, light treatments etc, these bms are not a patch on mercs or audis now design wise, as bmw designers continue to leave for merc..

    • The Face · December 5, 2009

      Funny thing is that Audi have done the same with the new A8 – looks as though there’s a German strategy shaping up…

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