#CelebrateBangleDay: Top 5 cars designed by Chris Bangle

Which is your favourite?

2d ago

40.1K

If you are reading this on the 18th of October then Happy Bangle Day! This is a new day added to the DriveTribe calender to celebrate some of the brilliant designs Bangle has come out with over the years.

For those of you who aren't aware, Chris Bangle is one of the greatest car designers of all time and he's American. He is the one responsible for a few Fiats, many a BMW and some other bits and bobs. Without him, we wouldn't have some of the masterpieces we have today.

That's why we have created this day and why I have put together a list of his five greatest achievements (in my opinion.

5. The 'new' Mini

That's right, without Bangle we wouldn't have had this Mini. He is the one responsible for this shape and it can't have been an easy thing to do. Filling the boots of the iconic Mini would never have been an easy task but I think Bangle really pulled it off with this one.

It has some subtle nods to the older Mini in the way its eyes look up at you as if to say 'please sir, may I have some more?' It's also small, not as tiny as the original but suitably so in that it fits in with car sizes of the early 2000s. I think Chris did a good job there.

4. BMW 6 Series

Ah yes, the E56 generation of 6 Series. One car which you will see both I and John Coleman lust after. This is a car which a lot of people never liked but they are wrong. I think this is one of the prettier generations of 6 Series ever made.

I say that because I am actually a huge fan of Beluga whales and that is precisely what the rear end looks like to me, a Beluga's face. That is no bad thing, I should add as it just works so effortlessly well with the rest of the car. Some cars end up looking clunky and unfinished when trying this effect, but Bangle has smashed it with this one.

But I do wonder what he thinks of the new M3 and M4...

3. Rolls Royce Phantom

From its big menacing grille to its lengthy bonnet, the 2003 Rolls Royce Phantom has it all and this too was indeed designed by Bangle. You see, Bangle was working for BMW at this time and the late 90s was when they took on Rolls Royce which gave Bangle a whole new pool of fish to play with.

So he got to work and this is what he produced. But this was a bigger mission than it looks as RR had just lost its V8 to Bentley so they had to think fast and that's when the Phantom arrived with a 6.7 L V12, hence the extensive front-end.

2. BMW Z3

Now before you have a go at me, I know the Z3 was officially styled by Joji Nagashima but Bangle did the initial design work, and I'm glad he did as it turned out beautiful. Much like the Phantom, this too had a very long bonnet but it was nicely contrasted by its small rear which gave it a sort of clown shoe shape which we all know to love from the Z3M Coupe.

Its design also gently nods towards the iconic and astonishing 507 through its horizontal vents behind the front wheels. I do like discreet little details.

1. Fiat Coupé

Last but most certainly not least on this list is the ever-growing beauty that is the Fiat Coupé which will forever be a Marmite car and that's fine.

This Fiat is a very special car, not just because it looks good but it is also a secret sleeper. The 20V Turbo is a little gem throughout the car community. In fact, Richard Hammond once referred to this as being a 'little Ferrari' and he's right.

And what makes it even better, is that Fiat chose this design over the one sent in from Pininfarina, making this a very special thing indeed.

Honourable mentions:

As well as this five, I would like to mention a couple others which should've been in this list but I am a fool lead by love so I didn't choose them. The cars in question are the 2001 7 Series, Z4 and a whole load of concepts which never saw the light of day.

Why don't you now #celebrateBangleday by voting for your favourite car he designed in the poll below!

Join In

Comments (48)

  • I remember at the time, among the beying mob, there was a quiet minority who insisted Bangle would be remembered more positively in the future. And here we are.

      2 days ago
  • Six series BM 🤮

      2 days ago
  • Bangles 5 Series BMW. Would be my favourite. Still looks modern today

      1 day ago
    • Agreed. We own an E60 and the design still looks good 17 years after it debuted.

        1 day ago
  • That 6-Series is nice. I've always liked the 6 (and by that same token the new 8 series). Somehow it wears BMWs design language infinitely better than its stablemates

      1 day ago
  • Z3 rocks!

      2 days ago

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