It was reported this week that Chris Bangle, the somewhat infamous head of design for the last 16 years at BMW, has resigned. This was a shocker since Bangle has been the primary visionary behind all of BMW’s major releases including the X5, Z4, the new MINI, and of course the 7 Series and its massive caboose, unaffectionately referred to as the Bangle Butt.
Love him or hate him, no one can dispute the mark he’s left on 21st century auto body design. You name the manufacturer and I’ll show you one or more of their models that bites off the Bangle. He says this was a planned exit and he wants to move on and solve bigger design issues both in and outside of the auto industry.
Bangle leaves his protégé, Adrian van Hooydonk (awesomest last name ever) as Design Director for the BMW Group. He’s best known for his work on the 6 Series, the Z9 Concept Car, the BMW Concept CS and the M1 Homage Study. I also discovered that he was the designer behind the 1997 ACV 30 Show Car for MINI… the unique predecessor to the current generations of new MINIs.
Kinda cool, kinda fugly, I know.