#CelebrateBangleDay: Top 5 craziest concept cars designed by Chris Bangle

The ex-BMW designer really has what it takes when it comes to designing a car that stands out

6w ago

Chris Bangle is best known for his time spent designing cars. He went around lots of different companies but spent the majority of his time at BMW where he designed cars such as BMW Z3, X5, 7-Series, and many more.

However, he is also responsible for designing some of the most outrageous-looking concept cars known to man and that's why we love him so much here at DriveTribe. He wasn't afraid of what people thought and we rate that.

So here are five of the craziest concept cars he ever designed:

1. The Opel Junior from 1983

Funnily enough, Bangle didn't actually start his automotive designing career working for BMW, instead, he started working for GM's Opel headquarters in Germany once he had finished college. During his time here, he designed the interior for something called the Opel Junior – a concept car first shown at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The dashboard layout was so peculiar and square and the seats were so interesting looking, that this is pretty much the very car design that put Chris Bangle on the map.

2. The BMW X-Coupe Concept from 2001

While at BMW, Bangle designed many weird and wonderful concept cars and this is one of them. It's called the X-Coupe and was first seen in 2001.

It was actually based on the X5 at the time and is very important for two reasons. Firstly, this is a car that demonstrated early attempts of sporty SUVs or off-roading sports cars much like the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato.

Secondly, it featured many design cues seen in later BMW models such as the flame surfacing technique used in so many cars since.

3. BMW GINA concept from 2008

Since Bangle had designed the BMW Z3, he figured he'd have a go at designing something to sit above the Z4 (which he didn't design) called the GINA.

Its official name was GINA Light Visionary Model and it was a futuristic-looking roadster made from a shape-shifting cloth skin. This meant the headlights opened and closed like real eyes and the spoiler would raise up when needed as a human muscle would.

This was an incredibly advanced piece of design and one which was way ahead of its time and would be even by today's standards.

4. BMW Z9 Gran Turismo concept from 1999

When asked to design a luxurious GT car, Bangle came up with this: the BMW Z9 Gran Turismo concept was first shown at the 1999 Frankfurt motor show.

This was a carbon fibre-bodied coupé that aimed to boost the German car brand into the 21st century by using old design language with a modern twist.

While this concept didn't make it into production, its design was used in the reborn 6-Series that first appeared in 2003. Can you not tell from its face?

5. The Redspace prototype electric city car from 2017

After his BMW days, Bangle moved around various other companies but never really stuck. However, in 2017, he came out with a prototype electric city car with a Chinese company called Redspace.

This is like most other EV city car concepts in that it's small, quirky, and easy to use. However, Bangle being Bangle, he had to make it look extra quirky with the addition of the massive windshield and wild orange accents.

He really is one of the most innovative car designers of our time and one who we wish was taken more seriously during his career.

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Comments (18)

  • Not a fan of Bangle's work.

      1 month ago
    • Me either, personally think he's created some of the ugliest cars that have been mass produced

        1 month ago
    • I concur, he's got originality and all that and he's definitely influential, but the influence has been to make every car built after that 6 series look very dull and unimaginative

        1 month ago
  • Kudos to Bangle for Gina!

      1 month ago
  • I don't understand why we celebrate someone who made cars that were disgusting to look at

      1 month ago
  • dear , stop it already with Chris Bangle.

      1 month ago
  • The Gina is the only not bad looking car on this list.

      1 month ago