Let's remember that it's pretty much only car sites like this and buff mags that found his designs controversial or outrageous. Bangle's job was to draw new buyers to BMW, whose sales were stagnating, in part due to their ultra-conservative designs. BMW had record sales during the Bangle design era and their age demographic went down 10 years - his designs brought in new money and new buyers. That success is why so many other companies bought into flame surfacing.
His true legacy is that people now talk about BMW design. I don't recall anyone, even BMW fan sites, talking about it before - the discussion was always about the latest engines and handling characteristics but they were all the same industrial-looking 3-box shape in black. There was the occasional blip - the flares on the E30 M3 which people accepted due to pedigree, the Z3 coupe that was pretty much hated - but for the most part the average person the E34, E36, E38, E46 and E39 blurred together.
"Motorcycles - the cigarettes of transportation." Seth Meyers
In which case if all you do is move from one lease or car to another then no need to worry. Since BMW is in the business of selling or leasing out new cars or recent CPO vehicles from a dealer view then the worries of people worshiping a 15 year old car are meaningless.
And for the record at this point it doesn't really matter since BMW has decided to just follow the Audi sausages of different length look.
Sent from my tablet while sipping weak drinks over fancy brunch with a view
I believe he did. He revolutionized auto designs like it or not. His BMW's while not pretty were pretty polarizing and all manufacturers started copying his design elements. Flame surfacing, high rear end, stretch out head/tail lights, Idrive, sweeping dashboards etc.
You can say that he forced car makers to take more design risks. See Acura, Mercedes,Lexus, even Hyundai.
I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.
The "Bangle butt" on the 7-series was the origin of Chris Bangle hate. Add iDrive into the picture, and it just pissed TCLers and auto journalists off with BMW in general. The Z4 and flame surfacing came well after that initial wave.
I remember the first thread in TCL with pictures of the then-new Z4. There were many people hating on it, largely because Chris Bangle was involved with it, but not necessarily hating the 'flame surfacing' or the car in theory. I was one of the minority (maybe 30%?) that actually liked the Z4's flame surfacing and shark-like looks. It definitely wasn't a universal panning.
Nearly ten years on, not much has changed. Everyone still hates the "Bangle Butt," and flame surfacing still gets mixed opinions, although it is more prevalent.
i love the statements like "on his watch." as if the man was chairman of the freaking board.
he was HIRED HELP. drew pictures. coincidental to and timely with what his employer was doing at the time, he earned some notoriety. then it was over and everyone moved on.
i think the "bangle butt" led to "bangle humpers" who give him WAYY more credit than is due.
so much of automotive design is terribly derivative anyway. like a merrygoround with mirrors.
I mean, WTF? It is a desperate cry of impotence. Its like he wanted to do something different, but had zero ability to do something meaningful.
"You'll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company."