Friday, April 20, 2007

New BMW CS Concept


Caught this on Uncrate. It's rare I get even slightly exercised about concept cars but I'll make an exception in this case. BMW have done an excellent job here of attacking a very difficult styling goal: creating a next generation set of design cues whilst still keeping existing elements from models being sold today recognisable & well-integrated. To keep things fresh (and, you suspect, keep their lives interesting!) designers will sometimes throw everything out and start again to create a complete new direction for a given marque or model. However, to keep some semblance of brand continuity - and hence their jobs - they still have to incorporate cues from earlier models in order to "bring their buyers along with them". Often, this will start and stop with the front grill (Mercury anyone?), making the whole thing look like a token exercise, which of course it was....

Here, BMW have obviously brought their "flame surfacing" forwards, along with, for example, the 6 series boot treatment. But let's not focus on what is old, instead let's embrace the new! The shark-like front overhang above the classic BMW grille is the exact opposite of what has been seen in the past three generations of BMW's 3-through-7 series cars, and looks stunning. The pronounced rear haunches owe more to Bentley than Bavaria, providing presence and poise to the overall look. Only thing I'm not sure about is the treatment of the fared-in tailpipes, but it's hard to gauge the actual proportions from the photos posted here.

Knowing BMW, this "concept" should more accurately be called a pre-production study, so expect something not too far removed from this design appearing in a showroom near you in 2009. Can't wait.

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