BMW Will Tone Down Crazy Styling On Electric Cars

OCT 18 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 25

Time for BMW to get back to reality.

It’s true, the BMW i3 and i8 are pretty futuristic and ultimately unique. However, while they may appeal to some, they aren’t necessarily cars built for the masses. BMW may have had a goal to attract consumers to the brand by offering EVs that are “different.” But now, as the automaker moves forward in its execution of more electrified models, the goal will be to dial back this styling that some see as absurd.

BMW i head designer Adrian van Hooydonk revealed that as time moves forward, BMW has plans to take a more conservative design approach with its upcoming EV entrants. While the i3 was somewhat of a global success early on and is still popular overseas, not to mention the very distinctive i8, it’s time for BMW to become much more realistic regarding its electric car offerings. van Hooydonk told Autocar:

Electric mobility will spread through our entire vehicle range in quite a short space of time – to the point that electric or plug-in hybrid is just another option box you tick as you order the car.

The fact is that BMW customers want a dynamic car, whether it is a battery-electric vehicle or not, and so there’s is increasingly less reason to make these kinds of cars look different.

Still, van Hooydonk did remind that the BMW i brand has been and continues to be about the utmost in innovation. He shared:

The i brand stands for inspiration and innovation, and electrification is not the only area of our industry that marks a significant change. It’s pretty clear that there will still be i cars, and that the designers will be able to search for different things.

With all of that being said, we can clearly see that products like the iNext are more than bordering on extreme futuristic vibes, but that’s just another BMW concept. Meanwhile, the BMW i4 (pictured at the top of the page) may be a bit less polarizing. Moreover, the iX3 SUV, which may be the next big BMW EV, is considerably more mainstream.

Source: Autocar

Categories: BMW

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25 Comments on "BMW Will Tone Down Crazy Styling On Electric Cars"

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Mike

Better question… Will BMW survive long enough to tone down crazy styling on their electric cars? /s

Tell me, do you have some inside information. Otherwise, BMW shows no signs of slowing down:

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/article/detail/T0283066EN/35th-consecutive-quarter-of-sales-growth-for-bmw-group?language=en

This fantasy that car manufacturers will all go bankrupt is silly. They will all transition electric as battery prices drop, governmental regulations require them, and competition grows. Right now there is a wild west mentality to EVs, everyone is dipping their toes, while R&D is running in the background. It will be a slow process, since vehicles have a 10-20 year lifespan say versus phones with have a 2-4 year lifespan. Think about it, there are 88 million cars built every year. Currently, Tesla sells 0.2% of all vehicles, even at their best in ten years, they will only be a few percent of total sales, there will be plenty of competition.

arne-nl

“This fantasy that car manufacturers will all go bankrupt is silly.”

Why? Companies go bust all the time. Due to a variety of factors. That some can not make the switch fast enough and fall by the wayside is not a silly notion at all. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But the possibility is certainly there.

Steve

What happened to Saab?

Cars weren’t desirable enough… they sold less and less… and went bankrupt.

BMW is already executing on some of that

John Doe

GM was just too slow to sell SAAB, or else they would have still been in business.
They make some chassis still under NEVS brand or something. . But GM could have sold them to a consortium with Koenigsegg and Baard Eker design (among others). GM was way too slow, and the deal fell apart.
Sub brands are never the main concern for the main brand owners.
They would have made an EV translation pretty soon too.

viriato

You can bet for that.

Lawrence

It’s based off the German Manufacturers’ words about how EV’s will destroy their business and Germany’s economy with it. Their own words.

Viking79

My personal opinion is that the i4 is more polarizing than the i3. The i3 is a compact hatch; they are always a little quirky. That monstrosity above is misproportioned and not a clean design (not saying it is bad, but it definitely isn’t toned down or anything). My 13 YO would like it.

Mike

2019 will be interesting to see if the BMW 3 series can come back in strong numbers for more than 3-4 months after the refresh.

Trackdaze

True, they will get a bump from the always had a 3 series BMWmust get the new one set but once the loyalist are out of the way it’s likely to go quiet.

The PHEV will have to knock it out of the park for electric drive thrust and range for it to in effect save the BMW 3 from itself.

MikeG

We will know that BMW is serious about EVs when:
1) They stop using prismatic cells and start making battery packs using cylindrical cells. If you want max range, you will only get it using cylindrical cells. Period.
2) They build an EV from scratch rather than as a combined platform with their gas cars. Again, max range is only achieved when you do this.
3) They source the batteries to build >10K EVs a month.
4) They build EVs people want to buy, not the fugly i3. This car was made purposely ugly to not cannibalize their gas sales. Instead they would rather give up market share to Tesla.

Unless these things happen, BMW will remain on the sidelines without a desirable EV and losing share to Tesla.

deine Mutter

1) Cylindrical cells are no indication. Hyundai can fit nearly 70kWh in the tiny Kona.
2) The i3 is build from scratch.
3) not an issue
4) The i3 sells very well. Production volume was increased twice. There are more i3 on the road than Model X.

christoff.19

On 4) a quick reference to the cummulative sales in the September article here (https://insideevs.com/us-plug-in-electric-car-sales-charted-september-2018/) would show that there are a lot more Model Xs (~59k) than i3s (~38k)

alohart

Those are U.S. only numbers.

Trackdaze

They’re selling over 10,000 per month

Viking79

Cylindrical cells have nothing to do with Tesla’s advantage, in fact have been a heartache in its production. However, they seemed to have worked through those issues they had with battery pack production.

The i3 wasn’t made purposefully ugly, they designed it to target to Europeans whom like hatchbacks and also to green friendly people. So it might have been designed to appeal to a small audience, yes, but there is nothing wrong with that as a way to start slow.

Tesla took a riskier solution that will reap much larger rewards.

alohart

Small cylindrical cells have several disadvantages to large prismatic cells. There is almost certainly more cell case material in a battery pack made of cylindrical cells which would likely make the pack heavier than an equivalent pack with prismatic cells. There are far more potentially troublesome electrical connections and cell monitoring circuits in a pack made of many small cylindrical cells. More space is wasted packing cylindrical cells into a rectangular pack.

Advantages of small cylindrical cells include the ability to create packs of different capacities using the same cells by merely changing the number of parallel strings of series-connected cells. Transfer of heat from within a cylindrical cell to its case might be more efficient than with a prismatic cell, but that might depend on the prismatic cell thickness.

Whether a vehicle looks ugly is purely subjective.

sir_tech

Who cares about their styling when they are expected to sell 85% ICEs even in 2030?

Chris O

Agreed, in fact why bother with EVs at all? It’s just a fad that will go away. The few strange and different people that are interested can get these glorified golf carts from a boutique brand like Tesla. Certainly no need to build a dedicated Model 3 rival, since that car is clearly just filling a small niche and no threat to BMW’s bread and butter 3 Series whatsoever.

SJC

The i3/i8 seemed a bit much, all they needed was a 3e.

Victor

It’s time BMW gets rid of the fake Grill. Let’s keep it real!

REXisKing

This car could compete with Porsche and Jag in beauty, if it were not for that grill.

Lauri

To even have the starting point that EVs need to look different (read ugly) has been silly. Even that aspect required a Tesla to show how it is done.

Benjamin

I am not fan of recent BMW’s beaver look. The grill on the X7 is ridiq.

Formula V

Most beautiful BMW.