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  #1  
Old 04-08-2002, 03:25 PM
SchwartzBlack SchwartzBlack is offline
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Unhappy New 5-series to be even more controversial than the E65

Quote from the article on Drive - "Whichever way BMW jumps with the new 5 Series, you can be assured you won't miss its arrival. As one insider put it, if you thought the 7 Series was controversial, you ain't seen nothing yet."

E60 design
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2002, 03:31 PM
TD
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My god, there isn't a single item in that article that gives me any cause to hope. It's just a parade or horrors, down to the references to more "by-wire" systems. My god...

BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2002, 03:55 PM
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Thumbs down

Well I guess my first BMW was great, sad its going to be my last... oh well, maybe someone somewhere someday will realize it..
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2002, 04:07 PM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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I find this article promising, much more than prevously reported. It says, to me, that the big guns at BMW are not sold on this "take people where they don't want to go" design philosophy.
It says...push a bit but DON'T lose sales.

Aside from that I like the technological improvements such as the EVT engines, I've wondered for quite some time when engines would be designed without the drag and problems of a mechanical valve timing.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2002, 05:03 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Can't read it... 10060 - Connection Timed Out
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:09 PM
pod13 pod13 is offline
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The article

Bunch of 5s on the nose
By Georg Kacher
Sun-Herald
Monday April 8 2002

Inside the distinctive four-cylinder office tower on Munich's Petuelring that is BMW central, the debate is now white hot. A few kilometres away in the sleekly modern Research and Design centre, American Chris Bangle, BMW's chief of design, is guiding a crucial new car through its final phases.
The BMW 5 Series won't be seen until September next year, but crunch time is now. The company that made style its signature element can't decide on its next move.

The 5 Series is a highly profitable model. It can't afford to fail, but there is a lot of nervousness about the design direction.

The new car is said to be even more radical than the recently released 7 Series flagship, a design that polarised opinion from day one.

The success of the new 7 Series is determined mainly by its performance in the US and in Asia. The new 5 also needs to do well in Europe and, above all, in Germany.

This explains the unease within BMW's sales and marketing department. Incoming orders for the new flagship sedann send a clear message: German demand is poor; pan-European orders are not as good as expected; and North America and Asia are slightly above target.

The new 5 cannot afford such a lukewarm reception.

That's why the Bavarians would love to put an end to the design debate which drags on, and not only in Germany.

BMW is in a quandary. The current 3 Series was deemed not adventurous enough when it arrived, but has sold very well. Under Bangle's design direction, BMW then rolled out a series of radical concept cars. The X9 coupe, shown at the Detroit Motor Show last year, received a panning.

Then the 7 Series arrived and critics labelled it too "out there" for its rich buyers.

Those who have seen project E60 (as the new 5 is codenamed) reckon many customers will take even longer to get used to the new midliner. Even BMW loyalists may be shaken by such nonconformist cues as the Chinese-eye front end and the Japanese-looking tail.

Although the fourth-generation 5, due to appear at the 2003 Frankfurt Show, can be instantly identified as a BMW, the design language will change dramatically.

There's a new interpretation of the trademark kidney grille, which assumes the shape of a symmetrically split vase. Quad round headlamps are installed at a cat's-eye angle. The characteristic BMW belt line gives way to a concave lateral groove.

Even the so-called Hofmeister kink, that unmistakable signature element at the foot of the rear side (C) pillar, has lost its crispness.

Clear and geometric cutlines divide the slab-sided flanks, but the standard 16-inch wheels look tiny on such a broad-shouldered and visually heavy car.

Early this year, top and middle management saw the car in BMW's penthouse viewing area.

The dark grey model looked almost black in the dim light, recalls a guest. It was easy to see the inoffensive silhouette, but more difficult to read the cutlines.

The main criticism was related to the tall and angular rear end, which one insider described as an oddball mix of 7 Series and Subaru Liberty styling elements. The front end is determined by the wraparound bonnet, boomerang-shaped eyebrow indicators, a sagging-cheeks air intake in the bumper and that swoosh in the front mudguards just ahead of the door openings.

There is no doubt about it: the new 5 looks different. But is it still a proper BMW? And how does this offbeat appearance comply with the classic BMW design genes once so homogeneous and coherent?

Inside, the E60 continues to break with tradition. In the past, BMW cockpits were driver-oriented and ornamentation-free. In the new 5, form threatens to dominate function.

An internal pamphlet says the instrument panel "combines tension and calm", but it apparently impresses more with up to six layers of colours and materials than with tangible ergonomic innovations.

The biggest step ahead is perhaps the second edition of the iDrive information controller, allegedly much easier to use than the 7 system.

The designers have cleaned up the countless menus and submenus to make access a lot slicker.

The iDrive controller looks different and a master switch gives instant access to key programs. The in-dash monitor is less prominent, better integrated and easier to read from the passenger side.

Beneath the skin, the new 5 is a downsized version of the new 7. Like its predecessor, E60 relies on a spring strut front axle and a multi-link rear axle, but the revised suspension elements are now made of aluminium, not steel.

Options include adjustable dampers and adjustable sway bars. Among the most important dimensional changes are a longer wheelbase, wider track, bigger wheels and brakes.

None of the present engines will remain unchanged in the new 5. The petrol-fed power plants will combine Valvetronic with direct-injection, but current displacements are rumoured not to change.

Mid-term, say by late 2005, BMW wants to establish the electronic valve train (EVT) across the board. EVT will revolutionise engine design by replacing camshafts with individually controlled electro-mechanical intake and exhaust valves.

The first BMW EVT engine is rumoured to be going into low-volume production next year. Also, late next year, the Bavarians are expected to show the new 5 wagon, due on the market in the northern spring of 2004. It's not clear if BMW will fit electro-hydraulic brakes (EHB) or will be the first to go to electro-mechanical brakes (EMB) in late 2004.

What EMB needs is a separate high-tension electric system, which would also feed the starter-generator. Such a system is in the works for the E60, sources say.

In addition to brake-by-wire, BMW is also looking at steer-by-wire, but the active steering which would automatically maintain a chosen course in crosswinds or when lanes narrow is more likely to debut in the new 7 Series.

Whichever way BMW jumps with the new 5 Series, you can be assured you won't miss its arrival. As one insider put it, if you thought the 7 Series was controversial, you ain't seen nothing yet.
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD
My god, there isn't a single item in that article that gives me any cause to hope. It's just a parade or horrors, down to the references to more "by-wire" systems. My god...

BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
BRING BACK REITZLE!!!
Just earlier today you were bashing the new Range Rover, which was designed and convieved under Reitzle
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  #8  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:40 PM
TD
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Originally posted by nate328Ci


Just earlier today you were bashing the new Range Rover, which was designed and convieved under Reitzle
Ah! You interpreted that comment wrong.

You can tell Bangle worked on the Range Rover, just like you can tell Bangle had a hand in the original E46. But you can also tell that there was another hand telling the first hand that the styling traits that define the brand had better be there. That's Reitzle's hand. It's hideous Altezza-style lighting treatment is all Bangle.

But it does look like a Range Rover. Thanks to Reitzle. Who knows what it would have looked like had Bangle not had Reitzle there. Aztek perhaps?
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:46 PM
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Sean Sean is offline
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$hit, $hit, $hit! Someone get me a short rope. I'm going to hang someone.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:48 PM
TD
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Originally posted by Sean
$hit, $hit, $hit! Someone get me a short rope. I'm going to hang someone.
Actually, I think this board lets you say "****".
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2002, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD


Ah! You interpreted that comment wrong.

You can tell Bangle worked on the Range Rover, just like you can tell Bangle had a hand in the original E46. But you can also tell that there was another hand telling the first hand that the styling traits that define the brand had better be there. That's Reitzle's hand. It's hideous Altezza-style lighting treatment is all Bangle.

But it does look like a Range Rover. Thanks to Reitzle. Who knows what it would have looked like had Bangle not had Reitzle there. Aztek perhaps?
It has been documented that Reitzle wanted the E46 compact to look different from the standard E46, right? It happens to have Altezza style tail-lights, as does the new Range Rover. Both of which were designed under Reitzle. Coincidence?
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:04 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Re: The article

Pod13,

Thanks! That was very nice of you! :thumb: I was still trying to access that URL without any success...

Alex. :thumb:

Quote:
Originally posted by pod13


Bunch of 5s on the nose
By Georg Kacher
Sun-Herald
Monday April 8 2002

Inside the distinctive four-cylinder office tower on Munich's Petuelring that is BMW central, the debate is now white hot. A few kilometres away in the sleekly modern Research and Design centre, American Chris Bangle, BMW's chief of design, is guiding a crucial new car through its final phases.
The BMW 5 Series won't be seen until September next year, but crunch time is now. The company that made style its signature element can't decide on its next move.

...
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:04 PM
TD
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Originally posted by nate328Ci


It has been documented that Reitzle wanted the E46 compact to look different from the standard E46, right? It happens to have Altezza style tail-lights, as does the new Range Rover. Both of which were designed under Reitzle. Coincidence?
You're not getting this...

Bangle and Reitzle... Good and bad... Yin and yang... Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde... Calvin and Hobbes... WHATEVER...

The ultimate example of them working in their push/pull environment, IMO, is the E46. Attractive and modern yet still linked to the marque's heritage. Bangle wants to push modern while Reitzle seeks to retain the heritage and, more importantly, the attractiveness. It's a good balance.

Interestingly, without Bangle, Reitzle can still be successful. The same cannot be said of Bangle. On his own, he has no idea where the line is, as in how far he can successfully push things.

I think the Range Rover is, largely, a successful Bangle/Reitzle co-creation. And, honestly, had we all seen what was to come, none of us would have called the E46 Compact ugly. In hindsight, it's gorgeous. (Granted, beauty is relative.)
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:10 PM
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Re: New 5-series to be even more controversial than the E65

Quote:
Originally posted by SchwartzBlack
Quote from the article on Drive - "Whichever way BMW jumps with the new 5 Series, you can be assured you won't miss its arrival. As one insider put it, if you thought the 7 Series was controversial, you ain't seen nothing yet."

E60 design
Gurp. That's no good at all. Interestingly, this tells us that the spy photos/artist renderings are way off. Most of the pics we've seen so far show a car *less* radical than the 7, not more so. The descriptions of the exterior are of course in unflattering language, but it's hard to paint a mental picture of anything that looks good from Kacher's summary.

FWIW, a Subaru Liberty=Legacy in the US, as seen here:

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  #15  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:13 PM
AF AF is offline
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I'm confused by this line

"The BMW 5 Series won't be seen until September next year"

I thought the new 5 was coming out Sept 2002 as a 2003 model
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:28 PM
SchwartzBlack SchwartzBlack is offline
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More pictures of the new 5

... at this German website. Looks suspiciously like a P'shop'ed 7'er though.

Pics of the E60
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2002, 08:31 PM
TD
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Re: More pictures of the new 5

Quote:
Originally posted by SchwartzBlack
... at this German website. Looks suspiciously like a P'shop'ed 7'er though.

Pics of the E60
Actually, based on the descriptions I read in your original link, that looks dead-on. Here's the pic-

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  #18  
Old 04-08-2002, 09:19 PM
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Re: Re: More pictures of the new 5

Quote:
Originally posted by TD


Actually, based on the descriptions I read in your original link, that looks dead-on. Here's the pic-

I think this depiction is too much like the 7er. Frankly, most people wouldn't be able to detect the rather subtle changes made to the pic with PhotoShop; my guess is that the 5er is much more radically different than can be accomplished with basic PS techniques.

Upon reading Kacher's description, I envisioned the grille as looking something like the Z22:



The finished product struck me as looking something like this (which is actually a picture of an early 7 rendering from an older website):



Here is the rest of that site, FWIW. http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/D...bmwfuture.html

Last edited by JST; 04-08-2002 at 09:21 PM.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:10 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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That article is pretty depressing...doesn't give much hope towards design improvements. Or does it? Perhaps BMW is now realizing that their mistake was not so much to go forward with the new 7 design, but that they hired Bangle in the first place. Whats the logic in having an American design German cars?? God knows, some of the ugliest cars on the planet come from the USA. Interestingly, the article points out that the 7 sales are slightly above expectation in the US, but far below everywhere else. Does BMW think they can survive on US sales alone? Seems the rest of the world is sending the message - the design sucks. If BMW keeps Bangle, then why don't they just remove the Roundel and slap on a FORD or CHEVY badge instead?

If the new 5 flops, then that'll be the end of Bangle, and BMW can get back to it's true design roots.

Last edited by geomax; 04-09-2002 at 08:14 AM.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:14 AM
TD
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Originally posted by geomax

If the new 5 flops, then that'll be the end of Bangle, and BMW can get back to it's true design roots.
It's not quite that simple. BMW wouldn't likely survive as an independent company were the new 5er to flop.

The good news is that then Reitzle would be in charge again and we'd see BMWs that look like BMWs should look.

Hold on. Is that a bad thing? How has independence benefitted US, the consumer? It hasn't. And cost considerations have prevented us from getting vehicles like the 330iT and 540iT 6-spd US DOT certified. That wouldn't be an issue with Ford's deep pockets.

Maybe it's time to change my tune... GO BANGLE!!! RUIN BMW!!!
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Old 04-09-2002, 08:17 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD


It's not quite that simple. BMW wouldn't likely survive as an independent company were the new 5er to flop.
I agree..check back to my post.
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by geomax
Whats the logic in having an American design German cars?? God knows, some of the ugliest cars on the planet come from the USA.
It isn't an American problem, some of the most gorgeous cars ever were American cars. Take a look at classic cars from Detroit, gorgeous. I seriously am concerned about how bad GM has gotten. Ford is going in the right way though.

But, you are right about the 5. If it fails, BMW is in serious trouble.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:35 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Originally posted by nate328Ci


It isn't an American problem, some of the most gorgeous cars ever were American cars. Take a look at classic cars from Detroit, gorgeous. I seriously am concerned about how bad GM has gotten. Ford is going in the right way though.

But, you are right about the 5. If it fails, BMW is in serious trouble.
I agree that some classic American cars are attractive...but what about todays cars? What American car on the road today would you consider "beautiful"?

Fords new GT is awesome - but only so because it's based off a classic design rather than being contemporary.
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by geomax


I agree that some classic American cars are attractive...but what about todays cars? What American car on the road today would you consider "beautiful"?

Fords new GT is awesome - but only so because it's based off a classic design rather than being contemporary.
I don't think there are any right now that I can think of as drop-dead-gorgeous, but there are quite a few attractive cars. The PT Cruiser, the Mustang (despite the fake scoops), for example...
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2002, 08:46 AM
TD
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Originally posted by nate328Ci


I don't think there are any right now that I can think of as drop-dead-gorgeous, but there are quite a few attractive cars. The PT Cruiser, the Mustang (despite the fake scoops), for example...
That's too funny. I saw a PT Cruiser on my walk to the subway yesterday evening and thought to myself that it might actually be worse than the E65. As a design, it is far more harmonious than the E65 but it is just SO KITSCH as to be flat-out laughable. I don't think there is another vehicle out there that screams CHEESEBALL quite as loudly. I mean, this car will be a mainstream laughingstock in just a few short years. The used market will be awful. It's going to be worse than the market for used Cimmarons.
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