His styling themes have generated intense controversy among automotive designers, and have had a polarizing effect with respect to their visual cues. There are a lot of unanswered questions about this rolling art project. While the E39-generation was a model of understated design, its replacement took on a much more expressive form with wide kidney grilles and headlights that stretched into the fenders. The company’s survival depended on the 3’s continued success. As the controversial designer prepares to launch a new car, we take a look back at his career so far. Bangle acknowledges that his designs do not look good in photographs, suggesting to critics that they should see the cars in real life before judging them on their looks. He instead joined Samsung in 2012 as the company’s master designer. The 1 Series’ basic design spawned two hatchback models plus a coupe and a convertible, showing the elasticity of Bangle’s pencil stroke. The car's toaster-meets-city-bus design is the brainchild of Chris Bangle, a vehicle designer responsible for some of the more daring designs of the last 20 years -- … In 2009, after functioning as a lightning rod for criticism in seemingly everything he did there, he left BMW and formed Chris Bangle Associates in Turin. ... my wife and I started a design company in Italy. It was a tall order – no pun intended. It's an electric car made for sitting in traffic in China with friends, as near as we can tell. At the time, the company’s line-up consisted of the 3, 5 (pictured), 7 and 8 Series, all of which wore a relatively conservative family resemblance. ... tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products. He styled the interior of the Junior, a concept car introduced at the 1983 Frankfurt Auto Show. Simply put, there was little wiggle room to try something too new and risk screwing up. You’d better not screw up! Never dull: the car designs of Chris Bangle. Most auto enthusiasts will be familiar with the name Chris Bangle. Autoweek participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More than 72,000 … Biography The fame of American designer Chris Bangle (1956) is associated with the long period of automobile design (1981-2009), in which he designed numerous models for Opel, Fiat, and BMW characterized by innovation and an ongoing process of revisiting the language of modern automobile design. The 1 Series took BMW into a new segment of the market and, to no one’s surprise, it looked a lot like the CS1 concept. BMW appointed Adrian van Hooydonk, a Dutch designer who worked side by side with Bangle on several projects, to fill the newly-empty position. Christopher Edward Bangle (born on 14 October, 1956 in Ravenna, Ohio), is an American automobile designer. But that is just where Bangle … If you read about the electric car Chris Bangle presented in 2018, you’ll remember that REDS – … Or one of those early drive-through windows of burger joints where you paid your money through the little window. The original car had evolved considerably since 1959, becoming more high-toned and trendier, but its basic shape had never changed. The E60-generation 5 Series left no one indifferent; people loved it or hated it. ... Bangle was the first American to head design for the German luxury-car maker and had been in charge since 1992. BMW: Driven by Design Chris Bangle and his design gurus are the creative engine inside the hottest car company in the world. The design channeled the Z9 Gran Turismo concept introduced two years earlier, especially out back. 2 talking about this. 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Car design is a ubiquitous but often overlooked art form. BMW gave Bangle a clean sheet of paper for the Z9 Gran Turismo concept. BMW appointed him as its head of design in October of 1992. While Joji Nagashima styled the Z3, it was the first BMW designed under Bangle’s leadership. A car designer Chris Bangle can be considered one of the most influential professionals in his field in recent decades. Chris Bangle, the maverick car designer and ex-BMW Group creative director, makes a compelling case for an urgent need to radically rethink and deconstruct car design … Chris Bangle is not a man in need of an introduction. It also looks a little like an air-traffic control turret. The first Z4 was the best example yet of flame surfacing. The Last New Car With Under 50 Horsepower? The rear deck of that 7-Series, in particular, was referred to by some as “The Bangle Butt.” The name stuck. Bangle was BMW’s head of design at the time and the figurehead for the brand’s styling. By Greg Migliore. As chief of design for the BMW Group, Chris Bangle has overseen cars that have been seen … The designer told him, ‘Every bone in my body refuses to do this.’ He said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and he got sick, literally sick. It wasn’t merely a scaled-down X5, either. That range is supposed to be “supported by the largest solar-panel roof in its category,” but those solar roof panels provide very little actual electricity -- in another statement, the roof panels are said only to run the air conditioning (and again, what IS the category? Born in the USA, Ohio, he started his career as an auto designer in 1981. That car, known as the Fiat Coupé, was notable for the angular exterior design that Bangle penned, and even featured an interior styled by Pininfaria. We don’t know, but here it is. He came down with a bad flu and he spent three days in his hotel room eating soup -- and drawing what I asked him to draw. Never at a loss for words, the media quickly coined the term “Bangle butt.”. It wasn’t as slab-sided as other models like the then-current 3 and 5 Series. As BMW’s bread-and-butter model, the 3 Series got a less radical re-design than its bigger siblings. We are a family owned construction company in Saint Louis Missouri. First, it represented an early attempt to surf the SUV wave with a sportier model that qualified for the “coupe” label. The loathers may have outnumbered the lovers, though a fair vote was never held (and the loathers probably couldn’t tell you the difference between styling and design). Adrian Von Hooydon, the new BMW Head of Design Chris Bangle’s hit: 2003 BMW 5 Series (E60) America's Chris Bangle (born 1956) is that rare car designer who has become a household name, at least in BMW-owning households anyway. Yes, that’s what Bangle himself said, or at least he is quoted in his own press material as saying that. But for the first time in BMW’s history, and to Bangle’s credit, the 5 and the 7 Series looked markedly different. Here is how Bangle described the creative process to our sister publication Automotive News (It’ll help if you read it in the accent of Hans und Franz or that guy on SNL who used to say, “Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance”): “He related a story about one of his designers, a veteran stylist whom Bangle asked to do something quite radical. 126. Even though specifics are sorely lacking from this thing, Bangle’s material suggests that it’s coming soon: “It is not a concept car, a research program or a design exercise for an indefinite future; Instead it is the first phase of a program with the aim to start manufacturing in the near term.”. How did they come up with this particular shape? Chris Bangle revealed his first car in eight years: the REDS. Even today, some argue his approach to design produced the most unpalatable BMWs in the company’s history. 7. Officially dubbed GINA Light Visionary Model, this roadster was a 22nd century-esque concept car made with a shape-shifting cloth skin. Still, Bangle and his team ensured it had a look of its own rather than morphing into a smaller rendition of the 5 or 7 Series. Born in Ohio, Bangle began his career in automotive design in 1981 at GM's Opel headquarters in Germany. Controversial and opinionated, he’s made a name for himself by supporting his team and creating emotional designs. Bangle left Opel for Fiat in 1985. In 1992, he was named the first American Chief of Design at BMW where he remained for 17 years, with … As BMW forayed deeper into SUV territory, Bangle insisted the company couldn’t return to the Russian doll styling it happily rested upon in the 1990s. Designers led by Bangle toned down the front and rear ends but retained the sculpted sides and the arched rocker panels. Most recently, he has been working with Chinese company, and the first fruits of that will be seen at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show. “We aren’t copying anyone else’s design language, not even our own, and I think that makes some people uncomfortable,” Bangle pointed out in an interview with author David Kiley. Up front, the lights fell in line with the ones found on the E46-generation 3 Series. Beyond that, things get vague. Objectomy would be the key to winning the minds and hearts of new consumers. The two men briefly worked together at Opel in the early 1980s. And when he came out, he had created something no one had ever seen, and he said to me, ‘I am liberated.”. Bangle worked closely with Chris Chapman on the original X5. Join us as we look back at some of the cars he either drew himself or presided over. The company is called Redspace, and the vehicle shown here is its new electric city car. Chris Bangle was born in Ravenna (Ohio) in 1956. So did the REDS come from the flu? Designing a Mini for the new millennium was easier said than done. More information on Chris Bangle's resignation and the reasons behind this move. It also hinted at the turn BMW’s design language could have taken had Bangle remained at the helm of the company’s design department. It would have been nice to talk to him in person, but our invitation to the design shindig of the year was lost in the mail between here and Turin. Its tall trunk lid was subtler than the 7’s. How will they do in a crash? He’s also an undeniably polarising figure in design, in equal measures praised and vilified for his work while serving as chief of design for BMW, a 16-year tenure that ended in 2009, after which he established Chris Bangle Associates. The REDS is meant not so much for driving as for sitting in traffic, specifically traffic in China. Working under Bangle, Marek Djordjevic proved the quest for elegance and timelessness didn’t need to lock Rolls-Royce into a bygone design language. Bangle’s team - which included Frank Stephenson, who also worked on the X5 - successfully conveyed the icon’s essence in an all-new package. The CS1 Concept introduced at the 2002 Geneva Auto Show helped explain why BMW needed to overhaul its design department. Chris Bangle was born in Ravenna (Ohio) in 1956. ); it has “excellent crash-test results thanks to the aluminum spaceframe surrounding the batteries” but how about whatever’s surrounding the passengers? While the Z9 concept influenced the E65-generation 7 Series, the born-again 6 Series of 2003 was its most direct descendant in terms of styling. The firm was preparing to expand its line-up by entering new segments and returning to segments it had abandoned in the past. In profile, a continuous line stretched from the hood, above the headlights, through the front wheel and down the side of the car, where it reached its lowest point below the dash before zig-zagging back up. Second, many of its design elements seeped down to production models in the following years, including the flame surfacing theme. In an interview with Form Trends, he reminisced the Turin-based firm hired him to work on a replacement for the Panda. Bangle unexpectedly resigned from BMW, and stepped out of the automotive industry altogether, in February of 2009. His tenure as head of design at BMW was marked by controversy. Since, Bangle has worked independently through Chris Bangle Associates, the design consultancy set in an idyllic spot in the Piedmont region near Italy’s car capital, Turin. Chris Bangle, who as head of design for BMW became one of the most famous — and reviled — auto designers in automotive history, has abruptly resigned after 16 … More than yet another SUV, it represented a pioneering dive into a segment no one had previously explored due to a lack of boldness or a surplus of common sense, depending on your perspective. Chris Bangle designs a bigger-than-it-looks electric city car Jeff Glucker December 1, 2017 Comment Now! It was he who took the initiative to break established standards, but like many renowned designers, he started to work on cars at the most romantic spot. His unique approach to design already permeated the sheet metal. They needed to apply the design ethos of one of the world’s most respected auto-makers to a completely new type of car that, by its very nature, fit into the line-up like a square peg in a round hole. Chosen over a Pininfarina submission, the Coupé was a cross between retro styling cues like the round tail lights and more contemporary elements such as the diagonal lines above the wheels. Presented at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show, the carbon fiber-bodied coupe prepared the firm’s design language for the new millennium with a sculpted look that incorporated convex and concave surfaces in equal amounts. Chris Bangle On The Problem With Modern Car Designs. But one thing is certain: This ain’t no mainstream anything. It continued through the rear wheel until it reached the back bumper. Others insist his brilliant pencil strokes finally lured BMW out of the styling rut it was stuck in while inspiring scores of rivals to take new design approaches of their own. But, in truth, every design is a car design. Or an ice cream truck that serves marijuana ice cream. From the 1980s to the early 2000s, BMW sedans followed the “one sausage, three lengths” approach to car design. Bangle-led designers re-worked the proportions to accommodate the 6’s shorter footprint and left the gullwing doors in the design studio. The Coupé was Bangle’s most notable project at Fiat. If having three cars that looked the same was bad, having seven or more identical models was a lot worse. Chris Bangle: I had more than my share of luck no doubt, but luck is also, in the words of that great car designer Vince Lombardi, “When preparation meets opportunity”. The combination of a sporty yet handsome design and BMW’s spectacularly lucid predictions about the SUV segment’s growth helped make the X3 a resounding success. Bangle is known best for his work as Chief of Design for BMW Group, where he was responsible for the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars. “His contributions to the company’s success have been decisive,” BMW wrote in a statement, “and together with his teams he has mapped out a clear and aesthetic route to the future.”. Last night, Nov. 28, at his alma mater, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Bangle took the wraps off his latest creation, which he calls REDS. In hindsight, some of the Junior’s exterior styling cues (including the headlights and the silhouette) accurately previewed the second generation Corsa, which made its debut in 1992. There was a little Coupé competition between Fiat’s own design team and Pininfarina, and both presented exterior designs to Fiat brass for the new car. It featured the traditional long hood, short deck proportions of BMW’s previous roadsters but it looked appreciably less wild than the Z1, its direct predecessor. BMW’s acquisition of Rolls-Royce in 1998 gave Bangle another division to oversee. We use the same process when writing about cars. REDS has a distinct look not unlike the Airstream Basecamp trailer we tried out last summer -- if you turned it around and drove it backward. Autoweek may earn money from the links on this page. The X6 gave Bangle’s team a new challenge. His 2002 7-Series was loved by some and loathed by others. At some point, you have to manufacture them and make them go forward, turn and brake. How Winter Tires Are Different—and Important, 32 Junkyard Backgrounds for Your Zoom Calls, It’s made for the traffic you’re going to be sitting in anyway, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. This was partially done to reduce the model’s visual mass. The thoroughly Italian two-door was designed by native Ohioan Chris Bangle, a few short years before he went to work at BMW. Airstream Basecamp trailer we tried out last summer. But don’t let that stop you. The odd-looking 2020 Redspace REDS electric car is Chris Bangle's new automotive project, and in this story, we interview Bangle to get the fully story. 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Shortly after leaving BMW, he launched Chris Bangle Associates, a design consultancy that opened up new ways to apply his 30 years of experience designing cars to … The British brand had lost its factory and its V8 engine during its messy split from sister company Bentley, and it had to adopt a new design identity that wouldn’t upset its notoriously fastidious target audience. Controversial designer Chris Bangle leaves BMW. And The Bangle Butt is now not just the rear end of a car but the entire car -- an entirely new way of looking at transportation, even. REDS has seating for four adults when it’s moving and five when stopped; it has space for one or two suitcases and the driver’s seat spins around. Bangle no longer worked for Fiat when the Coupé made its debut in 1993. The flexible body allowed the headlights to open and close like eyes, the rear spoiler to raise when needed and the rocker panels to adopt a more muscular appearance. Car Design Chris Bangle 2017 frankfurt motor show frankfurt motor show BMW Apple car. When Christopher Edward Bangle was given the top design job at BMW in 1992, it surprised more than a few auto- industry insiders. Determined to change that once and for all, Bangle took the fourth-generation 7 Series in a completely new direction. The original, Italdesign-penned model introduced in 1980 wasn’t replaced until 2003, however. It also has a “suspension system designed by Italian race engineers,” which, again, could mean absolutely anything. It gave the industry its first look at the so-called flame surfacing that later characterized most of Bangle’s designs. Based on the X5, the 2001 X-Coupe concept left an indelible mark on BMW’s design history in two major ways. After attending the University of Wisconsin and graduating from the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California), Bangle began his career at Opel in 1981, and then four years later moved on to Fiat, where he designed the brazen Coupe Fiat. Rumors swirling around the internet in 2010 claimed he would return to Fiat, but they turned out to be false. The original X3 shared numerous parts with the then-upcoming fifth-generation 3 Series but the two models shared not a single styling cue save for the kidney grilles up front. Opel Junior (1983) Born in Ohio, Bangle began his career in automotive design in 1981 at GM's Opel headquarters in Germany. Christopher Edward Bangle (born October 14, 1956) is an American automobile designer. Christopher Edward Bangle (born October 14, 1956) is an American automobile designer.