The head of BMW design says criticism of the company’s design language by outsiders is meaningless as it continues down its own unique identity path with the new Neue Klasse concept.
Speaking to Australian media at the launch of the Neue Klasse concept in Munich this week, head of BMW design Domagoj Dukec said the German brand will keep its designs clean, simple, and elegant regardless of what social commentators say or what other brands do.
Dukec likened the negative reaction of some to the new design language to what Chris Bangle experienced with the E60 5 Series launched in the early 2000s.
“At the time [of the E60 unveiling], it was the same reaction like today. I wasn’t at BMW at the time, and I couldn’t understand [why it looked like that] when the E60 came out, but now I see on social media that people take the E60 like it’s the best BMW ever designed, they forget that at the time they wanted to kill him,” he said.
According to Mr Dukec, the BMW design philosophy has always stayed true to its core, producing elegant shapes that have stood the test of time.
“Every designer tries to give for a certain era the right answer while understanding what BMW stands for… so you can see the perception of what is right or wrong and as a designer.
“You can’t listen to that, you have to understand for yourself. It doesn’t matter what Mercedes is doing or the Chinese OEMs are doing, you have to understand the brand BMW, what does it stands for and why is it so iconic?”
The Neue Klasse’s design language will go into production in 2025, first as an SUV before other body types follow.
Although it signals a reset for the brand’s design language, it will also bring a holistic change as to how BMW builds, engineers, and maintains cars in the future.
The Neue Klasse concept may look like a far-fetched design study, but according to Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, it is ready to go as a production car.
“I can promise you that the Vision Neue Klasse is close to standard production and will be on the roads soon,” he said.
Australia should expect the first of the Neue Klasse models to arrive toward the middle or end of 2025.