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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 06-12-2011, 10:49 AM
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BMW changes need time to grow

This is a very good article from BMWBLOG. For those of you who may be lurking on this site unable to pull the trigger on the F10 because you heard it was soft or the steering was $hit. Be mindful of the epicenter of these complaints and critiques. Drive the car and figure it out for yourself.
Remember the Golden Rule: Those with the gold, make the rules.
Quote:
BMW changes need time to grow
Posted on: Jun 11th, 2011
Author: Manny Antunes
This always happens. One iteration of a BMW ceases production and another takes its place. But the changes are almost always met with resistance; the replacement is hailed as “not as good”, “not as aggressive,” or “doesn’t look like a BMW.”

I have seen it happen many times before. I have been embedded within BMW world since the mid ‘90s and have heard all the comments made about how wonderful the previous generation of any model is compared to the new one coming to market. Take the 3 Series for example, BMW’s bread and butter car in terms of sales units, it has a winning formula that BMW tends to stick closely to when it comes to design, performance, and function.


When the E36 was replaced with the now highly-acclaimed E46 in 1998, BMW fans were up in arms at the radical changes BMW had brought to its darling 3 Series. The styling differences were significant when it came to its rounded edges, scalloped headlights and new rear end treatment. The car grew in size and weight which did not go over well with the purists. New technologies were being implemented such as Navigation Systems, Xenon lighting, and for the first time in decades, the 2001 E46 saw the return of the all-wheel-drive system.

That last addition really had everyone questioning BMW’s direction, as if the addition of an SAV in 2000 didn’t have them all scratching their heads already. After all, BMW had spent countless marketing dollars and years explaining why rear wheel drive was the sporting choice.

“But BMWs aren’t supposed to be all wheel drive” – I must have heard the same very phrase a hundred times a day. BMW forged ahead with all wheel drive and eventually making it an option across its sedan and coupe model range. As of September 2011, BMW will have xDrive available on the 3, 5, 6, 7, and all the four SAVs offered around the world. Unofficial numbers say that BMW sells just as much if not more models with xDrive worldwide than in rear wheel drive form.

Just in time for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, BMW launched the E39 5 Series. Met with great result from the motoring press and customers, BMW had a successful car in the new 528 and 540. Especially the 540i Sport with a 6-speed manual transmission, 17 inch 7-spoke 3-piece wheel, and sport suspension. The chassis was amazing, the brakes spectacular, but that was not it…. BMW dropped the bomb on us with the power upgrade: a 392 horsepower V8 in the E39 M5.

The E39 M5 is still hailed as the holy grail of midsize sedans. Its perfect balance on and off the track, makes it a favorite even today among the BMW performance crowd. So how was BMW going to top the E39? Well, they launched the “Bangled” E60 5 Series.


That’s when the “you know what” hit the fan! Chris Bangle had since taken over as BMW’s design chief and decided, with BMW’s board approval, to take the company’s future design in a totally new direction.

The E60 5 Series was born. Although not the first offering from Bangle; 2002 E66/67 7 Series was the first one, the E60 outraged BMW fans worldwide. A petition was floating on the internet demanding BMW to get rid of Bangle. As any company that stands behind its people and exceptional talent, BMW did nothing. In fact, Bangle also penned the “flame surfacing” Z4 and the resurrected 6 Series. To this date, other automakers use flame surfacing when drawing their new cars.

So how was the E60 5 Series received? Not well, not well at all. Even though the sporting character of BMW was still present, the look of the new front end was likened to “Dane Edna” and her famous glasses. The design was way ahead of its time. Sales of the E60 showed that even though the purists didn’t like the look, they were coming out in droves to buy this latest 5.

Surely BMW had a sales success with the E60.

In 2010, BMW launches the latest 5 Series, known internally as the F10. Already a success worldwide and responsible for the largest first quarter earnings in BMW company history, the F10 will no doubt shatter the E60 as the best selling 5 Series. But the new softer and rounded looking premium sedan went through the same purgatory: fans did not warm up to the car immediately and now the Van Hooydonk’s design direction was being questioned. Fast forward a few months later and BMW community not only embraced the new F10 5 Series, but began to praise the aggressive look and luxurious interior.

So what about all the hoopla? All the complaining from the purists, the petitions demanding BMW build cars for them? Well, nobody likes changes. Change represents a departure from what we are used to and familiar with. But change is good, it keeps designs fresh, contemporary, and drives the demand for new vehicles. BMW is after all a car company, they build exciting cars that people want to drive. BMW must forge ahead into new market segments with new offerings and fresh vehicles that re-ignite the love from purists, but also bring fresh buyers to their showrooms. Because that’s what funds all the Motorsport programs and builds all the neat M cars we love to thrash.

And the new BMW 1M was just the beginning…
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:43 AM
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Great article. Thanks for postiing.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2011, 12:03 PM
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Great article
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:16 PM
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I saw that article, and there is a lot of truth to it. Enthusiasts already have in their mind what the perfect car is, so any deviation from that won't go over well. However, if BMW (or any other car manufacturer for that matter) were to not change a winning formula, those same enthusiasts will still bemoan them.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:04 PM
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Yes, great article post.

The F10 is the first BMW to serve as my daily driver. I began saving for the next iteration of the A6 in 2008. I felt sure there would be nothing better.

Previously, I did not seriously consider a BMW due to the higher relative cost in the segment, the personalities of the sales staff at my local dealer (if you negotiate much, you are viewed as a homeless), and my frustration at the high residuals the leasing company puts on the cars. (it's great for lessees, but sucks when you want a good deal on a CPO off-lease).

The drive event last summer with the V8 changed my attitude toward the brand. The combination of engineering and creature comfort, and a quick comparison with EU pricing, had me reevaluating the value proposition. I thought Audi was as good as gets in that respect.

Here's one customer they stole away with the new 5.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:16 PM
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As a B'fest member for several years, I have noticed that the the super-critical remarks almost always come from a small group of very opinionated individuals and are not based on any rational thinking. Very few people pose any rebuttal because it is senseless to rebut personal opinion. The success of BMW is all the response that is necessary.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:10 PM
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Well, to play the role of someone critiquing a good (and true) Article, for the sake of it. The E60 was (rightfully) lambasted for looking "un-BMW", and all that complaining DID work.... As the F01 and F10 has proved. The F10 caught enthusiasm from seemingly all who stuck to their guns in disliking the E60, and those who miss the E60 days, have questioned the soul/character of the F10's styling, but they are fewer in numbers than those who are happy that BMW is "back on track".

2: The criticism from the enthusiasts group regarding the F10 isn't so much style based, as it's all about the driving. Given that the E60 feels like a finely-tuned Muscle-Car in comparison, they have a point in their arguments. I've seen skidpad numbers of a base F10 come in at .82-.84 which is enough for a BMW enthusiast to cry about. Although, obviously the Sport, equipped up F10's will perform great in those "Tests", whilst providing a softer luxurious side that some purists dislike.

3: Bangle IS VERY MUCH the head Designer of the F10. This is a common misconception, as since the F10 appears "un-Bangle", it must be. Very false, Bangle was very very much in charge of the F10 Design, just as much as he was the E60 design. Even the upcoming 1-Series was penned during Bangle's leadership. What "Post-Bangle BMW" will look like actually remains to be seen.
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Last edited by K-A; 06-12-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
3: Bangle IS VERY MUCH the head Designer of the F10. This is a common misconception, as since the F10 appears "un-Bangle", it must be. Very false, Bangle was very very much in charge of the F10 Design, just as much as he was the E60 design. Even the upcoming 1-Series was penned during Bangle's leadership. What "Post-Bangle BMW" will look like actually remains to be seen.
Huh? Not sure where you got this information. Jacek Fröhlich penned the exterior of the F10 and Adrian van Hooydonk is head of design and in charge of it's current form.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:10 PM
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Of course the lead designers don't usually pen the actual designs themselves, Bangle penned neither the E60 or E65 himself. They are simply in charge of, and have final say from the design team standpoint (then of course upper Mgmt have final say from that, etc. etc.).

Bangle resigned just a couple of years ago, and car designs are usually "frozen" 3-4 years before the Design comes out. The F10 was frozen way before Bangle left. Also, the F01, which the F10 carries the language of, was also done under Bangle's leadership. I've read somewhere that he sent Karim Habib (an exterior designer of the car) to Italy to study Coachwork, to apply it to the car.

It's common sense, but I also have heard this from sources in automotive design, and people involved directly with BMW.

Edit: And I do realize that BMW shift the credit of the F10 to Von Hooydonk, however, this is common sense from them as a marketing tactic. Naturally, they aren't gonna credit the guy who just left, as they want people to believe that the new head of Design is responsible for current winning Designs (and it works, as he gets credit for doing essentially Bangle's job: Head of Design for the current Designs). Even after Bangle left in '09, he was an external consultant for BMW's designs, so we'll be seeing his "work" or influence at least, for a little bit to come.
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Last edited by K-A; 06-12-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Of course the lead designers don't usually pen the actual designs themselves, Bangle penned neither the E60 or E65 himself. They are simply in charge of, and have final say from the design team standpoint (then of course upper Mgmt have final say from that, etc. etc.).

Bangle resigned just a couple of years ago, and car designs are usually "frozen" 3-4 years before the Design comes out. The F10 was frozen way before Bangle left. Also, the F01, which the F10 carries the language of, was also done under Bangle's leadership. I've read somewhere that he sent Karim Habib (an exterior designer of the car) to Italy to study Coachwork, to apply it to the car.
It's common sense, but I also have heard this from sources in automotive design, and people involved directly with BMW

Designs are not frozen what kinda of nonsense is that? Fröhlich has publicly stated he started the design in 2005 and it was a slow process till he finally got it right, all the way up until production started.
I don't care who started what. Ultimately it's the head designers call, and that is van Hooydonk. The French may have started the Panama Canal. But the Americans finished it.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:56 PM
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Good article but no "Grow Time" will help the Run Flat tire idea
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:24 PM
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My current car is an E92 M3 and my previous was an E46 M3. When the E92 came out, the crying regarding styling/steering/"too much weight and luxury" from the forums was deafening. Now, the E92 is considered "the last of the great M3's" because of the NA engine, etc.

There will always be a segment of the forum population that hates change and predicts the sky is falling for BMW. For them, the goalposts are in eternal motion.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:35 PM
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most people will hate on the next generation of the cars... until they drive them or give it some time for the new evolution to sink in.
there were only few instances where i liked the new designs from the start.
when the E60 first came out, i was like ew wtf. but within a couple years, i love that 5er. the F10 took only a month for it to look desirable to me.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:13 PM
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The noone like change is just a load of bs invented by politicans and corporate leaders to make people accept worsening conditions. If you don't accept it, don't worry it's normal and just the change cycle. It's pure crock and the same crock is now repeated by car owners that wants to quite the complaints of their darlings. I have never in my life heard anyone complain about really good changes how matter how big or small. I give you 50% higher salary, it's a large change, will it cause anxiety and discontent? Whatabout cutting your salary and move you into a cubicle? Ah, no worries it's just a cycle to adapt, it's just that no one like changes but our management knows what's best for you so don't worry. I promise you that if the F10 was more of a drivers car than the E60 I would not have complained about that change. Stop buying this change BS constructed to supress and quite criticism.

Last edited by solstice; 06-13-2011 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post

Designs are not frozen what kinda of nonsense is that? Fröhlich has publicly stated he started the design in 2005 and it was a slow process till he finally got it right, all the way up until production started.
I don't care who started what. Ultimately it's the head designers call, and that is van Hooydonk. The French may have started the Panama Canal. But the Americans finished it.
You seriously believe that designs get modified all the way up until production? I'm sorry but that's . You've never heard the term "Frozen" when describing the automotive design cycle?

So, when Fröhlich started the design in 2005, who was the head Designer? Bangle was there for 4 more years during that time. Which means that he was in charge during the F10's design. Not to mention, he was in charge during the F01's, which the F10 is practically a resize of. The F10's Design was probably "frozen" in 2007-2008.

Here is a Thread that has some good info, check out the final 2-3 pages. A few of these guys are in the Industry, employed by BMW even, giving info (namely Posts # 169, 171, & 173):

http://www.germancarforum.com/1-seri...er-f20-12.html
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Last edited by K-A; 06-13-2011 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
Huh? Not sure where you got this information. Jacek Fröhlich penned the exterior of the F10 and Adrian van Hooydonk is head of design and in charge of it's current form.
The F10 was designed years ago when Chris bangle was Director of Design.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Bangle resigned just a couple of years ago, and car designs are usually "frozen" 3-4 years before the Design comes out. The F10 was frozen way before Bangle left.
You stated that the design was frozen 3-4 years before production. If the first deliveries started in Europe in March of 2010 that means the "frozen designs" in 2006/2007. If Frohlich didn't even start sketching until Nov 2005. You're telling me they were done with the design in a year or two. You're timing is way off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
You seriously believe that designs get modified all the way up until production? I'm sorry but that's . You've never heard the term "Frozen" when describing the automotive design cycle?
Yes they need to make adjustments all the way until production starts, I believe what the designer says, not some random comments from you.
"Flohlich: First sketch I started was in November 2005, and that’s the starting time of this new model. After the initial sketches, then you move onto the next stage, the clay model. It takes one year, and after one year you still need half a year to do everything exactly how it has to be, and then you go with your car to the production and there are still some small little details that you have to do. So to summarize, I started the car in 2005."
Exclusive Interview: Jacek Frohlich, BMW 5 Series Exterior Designer

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The F10 was designed years ago when Chris bangle was Director of Design.
I understand this. But ultimately he is not responsible for the current F10 as we see it now. Yes, it was started under his stewardship, and I'm sure he had a lot of influence regarding all aspects of the vehicle. But the ownership of the current form will always be with Van Hooydonk.
George Bush may have started the hunt for Bin Laden, but history will only assign credit to one president under which his capture was complete.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:44 AM
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Change is good.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:54 AM
L1Trauma L1Trauma is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
The noone like change is just a load of bs invented by politicans and corporate leaders to make people accept worsening conditions. If you don't accept it, don't worry it's normal and just the change cycle. It's pure crock and the same crock is now repeated by car owners that wants to quite the complaints of their darlings. I have never in my life heard anyone complain about really good changes how matter how big or small. I give you 50% higher salary, it's a large change, will it cause anxiety and discontent? Whatabout cutting your salary and move you into a cubicle? Ah, no worries it's just a cycle to adapt, it's just that no one like changes but our management knows what's best for you so don't worry. I promise you that if the F10 was more of a drivers car than the E60 I would not have complained about that change. Stop buying this change BS constructed to supress and quite criticism.
Wow, you missed the point. Hell of a rant, though.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:20 AM
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Wow, you missed the point. Hell of a rant, though.
"For those of you who may be lurking on this site unable to pull the trigger on the F10 because you heard it was soft or the steering was $hit. Be mindful of the epicenter of these complaints and critiques."

The F10 is soft and the steering is $hit. Over time you can come to adapt and accept it partly since your superior references start fading in memory. Relatively though the car will still be soft with a $hitty steering. So no, I didn't miss the point but my attempt to explaining was obviously not clear enough for some.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:50 AM
L1Trauma L1Trauma is offline
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"For those of you who may be lurking on this site unable to pull the trigger on the F10 because you heard it was soft or the steering was $hit. Be mindful of the epicenter of these complaints and critiques."

The F10 is soft and the steering is $hit. Over time you can come to adapt and accept it partly since your superior references start fading in memory. Relatively though the car will still be soft with a $hitty steering. So no, I didn't miss the point but my attempt to explaining was obviously not clear enough for some.
The point, which you missed again, was that there are those that agitate against the new and different for the sake of agitation. Conversely, there are changes that are worth agitating against, such as the perpetual weight gain of BMW vs. other luxury brands. Certainly the changes in the steering are worth discussion.

For you, it appears the steering is worth hanging around the forums, posting incessantly. Linking a discussion of the F10's changes to "a load of bs invented by politicians and corporate leaders" (oh, those dangerous elites!) shows you might be taking the Internet a bit too seriously. Do you think you're doing a public service? If that is your goal, you should know that your posts have passed the threshold of trolling. Your perfectly valid opinion about the steering is lost on any frequent reader of the forum because you're the angry guy who hates the F10. Understandable, since you bought a bad car that slipped through QA, but why the vitriol? Compare this to someone like pharding, who has expressed dislikes of the F10 that are taken seriously as he clearly does not have an axe to grind.

I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but sometimes they don't realize when they've become one.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by L1Trauma View Post
The point, which you missed again, was that there are those that agitate against the new and different for the sake of agitation. Conversely, there are changes that are worth agitating against, such as the perpetual weight gain of BMW vs. other luxury brands. Certainly the changes in the steering are worth discussion.

For you, it appears the steering is worth hanging around the forums, posting incessantly. Linking a discussion of the F10's changes to "a load of bs invented by politicians and corporate leaders" (oh, those dangerous elites!) shows you might be taking the Internet a bit too seriously. Do you think you're doing a public service? If that is your goal, you should know that your posts have passed the threshold of trolling. Your perfectly valid opinion about the steering is lost on any frequent reader of the forum because you're the angry guy who hates the F10. Understandable, since you bought a bad car that slipped through QA, but why the vitriol? Compare this to someone like pharding, who has expressed dislikes of the F10 that are taken seriously as he clearly does not have an axe to grind.

I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but sometimes they don't realize when they've become one.
Thanks for sorting that out. I now know myself much better. It's good to know that there are helpful self appointed forum police and social workers like you at hand.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:57 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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I can understand why some people won't warm (ever) to this generation of 5 series. It is different, and a departure from past tradition. With the invent of the 1, as well as the upcoming i Cars, the 3 series is no longer the "small" BMW. As a result, the F30 will split the difference (I'm supposing here but it's not much of a stretch) between the current E90 and the E60 5 series. The F10 has clearly moved further up the line from the E60 more toward the F01.

For Solstice, this is a bad thing. For others maybe not so much.
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2011, 12:08 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
I can understand why some people won't warm (ever) to this generation of 5 series. It is different, and a departure from past tradition. With the invent of the 1, as well as the upcoming i Cars, the 3 series is no longer the "small" BMW. As a result, the F30 will split the difference (I'm supposing here but it's not much of a stretch) between the current E90 and the E60 5 series. The F10 has clearly moved further up the line from the E60 more toward the F01.

For Solstice, this is a bad thing. For others maybe not so much.
I agree and I think the 528i is one of the best values bar none on the market today. 7 series comfort for half the price. Unfortunately for me I'm not interrested in that segment. I also think it's a crowded segment while the mid size sports sedan is more or less a void after the E60.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:38 PM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
You stated that the design was frozen 3-4 years before production. If the first deliveries started in Europe in March of 2010 that means the "frozen designs" in 2006/2007. If Frohlich didn't even start sketching until Nov 2005. You're telling me they were done with the design in a year or two. You're timing is way off.


Yes they need to make adjustments all the way until production starts, I believe what the designer says, not some random comments from you.
"Flohlich: First sketch I started was in November 2005, and that's the starting time of this new model. After the initial sketches, then you move onto the next stage, the clay model. It takes one year, and after one year you still need half a year to do everything exactly how it has to be, and then you go with your car to the production and there are still some small little details that you have to do. So to summarize, I started the car in 2005."
Exclusive Interview: Jacek Frohlich, BMW 5 Series Exterior Designer

I understand this. But ultimately he is not responsible for the current F10 as we see it now. Yes, it was started under his stewardship, and I'm sure he had a lot of influence regarding all aspects of the vehicle. But the ownership of the current form will always be with Van Hooydonk.
George Bush may have started the hunt for Bin Laden, but history will only assign credit to one president under which his capture was complete.
Exactly, March 2010 would have the (let's say) 2-4 year time period of a frozen design to Production, if he started in '05, and finished in '07-'08, which gives "3 years" a good average.

You can credit whoever you want, but Bangle is responsible for the F10. He's the one who put Frolich on the exterior, he's the one who put his visions in motion, he's the one who oversaw it while it was being shaped, he gave direction, etc. etc. Von Hooydonk can steal that credit, but realize it's in name (and Marketing) only. Bangle hadn't even resigned by the time the F10 was set in stone. Some Bimmers coming out in the coming years were still overseen by Bangle.

Also, you do realize that redesigning elements of a car are VERY expensive, and time consuming right? It's not like, last minute, in February of 2010, they can say "Oh, let's change the shape of this". They have placed in orders for moldings, they've gotten things lined up, they have vendors already supplying the parts needed, etc. way in advance, and in March 2010, they've got their focus and design resources plugging away at the 2013+ models.
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Last edited by K-A; 06-13-2011 at 11:40 PM.
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