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Chris Bustle's latest design (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 7-series Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by john on June 26, 2001 at 18:25:13:

Much of the new 7 series looks good. It seems to have a presence, epitomized by fine detail and careful design. The overall proportions look good and the front and rear overhangs look relatively a bit shorter and crisper. The rear bumper line isn't too bad and the idea of wrapping the front light housing around the fender has potential. Overall, the front end looks blunt and purposeful.

The interior breaks new ground in redefining itself as living room furniture, which is probably the right direction for the 7. The joystick is also a great idea. However, in several areas the design doesn't go quite far enough. For example, the central layer of switches in the dash and quasi-central console could be cleaned up.

I don't mind the ample rear end, but it seems decorated with contrived surfaces. The idiosyncratic crease that runs front to rear is arbitrarily broken at the rear door cut and then mysteriously appears again to strangely intersect the tail light. (If you really wanted to make the design consistent, there should be an uptake of the crease in front of the wheel well as in the E39 - which is perhaps the weakest point of its otherwise excellent design.) Also, I'd sure like a continous rub strip to protect against parking dings, although that might be considered déclassé.

The scalloped headlights are a bit silly (it would be interesting if BMW really took a close look at front end aerodynamics above the bumper line or considered active surfaces). Most of all, though, the shoulders at the rear are even less successful than Volvo's attempts (which have a certain limited logic). The overabundance of parallel horizontal lines echoes the busy sides of the new Ford-Jag. Cadillac did similar things with its attempts to mimic a classic Rolls-Royce tail. In many ways, the mules look better, especially when they mask the creases and arbitrary cuts. I don't think this is Teutonic.

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