Two cents worth: Bangle cars had personality
I'm jaded, so I'm joining John to joyfully justify my opinion: Bangle cars were my jam
Somewhere along the line two things happened. One, car shows became tech fests and two, global institutions determined we were only allowed to breathe once a day - so as not to emit CO2 of course - and we should stop doing anything and everything right this moment to save the planet. Cars were hit fast and hard. The institutional reaction is always the same: blame it on cars. And so they've been taxed and taxed and then taxed some more. And then more safety rules were implemented and emission regulations became tighter than an airplane bathroom.
Modern cars may be expensive and heavy, but they are at least boring. But we shouldn't blame it on designers. Whenever we look at a new car, we always have to remember that the team of designers that came up with it had to swim through an ocean of regulations, rules, limits and smallprint before they were allowed to use something that vaguely resembles creativity. This brings me on neatly to Chris Bangle.
With the exception of the X7 and the 1-Series, I struggle to tell which modern BMW is which. But when you close your eyes I bet you can remember every single Chris Bangle BMW. The 5-Series, the one with the slanted eyes; the 7-Series, the one with the oddly shaped rear end; and then the Z4 and the 3-Series and my personal favourite, the beautifully awkward 6-Series. And that's before we get to other cars he designed like the Fiat Coupe or the Alfa 145.
Each BMW designed by Bangle had its own personality. Partly, this is probably because he was allowed to do more because there were fewer regulations back then but it's also because he had ideas and he wasn't afraid to see them through.
For once, I have to agree with Mr Coleman. Regular service with banter about Richard Mille will be resumed shortly.