BMW design boss defends conservative new 3 Series
They say if something ain't broke then don't fix it. And that's exactly what BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk thinks too.
The senior BMW stylist has defended his conservative evolution of what is the most important new car to be launched this year (and certainly the most important car in BMW's line-up) claiming it is actually "quite a big step forwards" compared to its predecessor.
Talking to Inside Line, van Hooydonk also highlighted that the main focus of the new 3 Series was to keep its relationship to the BMW family in the looks department.
"It remains identifiable as part of the BMW family. Even if you took the badge off, you'd know what it was," said the BMW head-honcho of design.
The brief for the new 3 Series was actually delivered to different design teams within BMW. The designs were whittled down to a final two with "the board only taking an hour to decide on the final design" according to van Hooydonk.
The 3 Series is "the core of the brand" and has been for bee-em for more than 20 years now. With its trademark double round headlamps a defining 3 Series feature, van Hooydonk reckons the new 3 "has more precision and is more dynamic than ever before." A little bit of car design speak for a few creases here, a new curve there, we think.
The Munich-based firm has been known over the years to produce some designs truly ahead of their time – remember the reception of the previous 5 Series and 7 Series? Luke warm at best was the general consensus.
After the Bangle-era bee-ems, the company seems to have toned down the styling of late, and there's no doubting BMW's newest compact premium saloon is a tighter, if more conservative design than the car it will replace.
But good business isn't selling cars when people have got used to their quirky looks, it's about selling units from day one. And with Mercedes catching up the blue and white roundel in terms of styling with its chunky yet svelte C-class and C-class coupe, it seems fairly obvious BMW decided to play it safe with the upcoming 3 Series.