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BMW i EVs increasingly influence design of broader line-up

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BMW i3
i3 design marked a radical departure from BMW's design language. Now, it's setting the tone
Company design chief reveals how the styling of its electric vehicles is having an impact on mainstream models

The BMW i models have revolutionised design across the board at BMW and will continue to do so in the future, according to design chief Adrian van Hooydonk.

“When we launched i3 and i8, they were quite radical and far from the norm for BMW but now they’ve become an integral part of our brand,” he said.

“The design of the i3 and i8 opened doors for us that we didn’t even know were there for the design of our general cars, I think you see this in the 2018 models - the 3-Series, X5, 8-Series and so on. It’s a cleaner form language and that was all triggered by the first i cars.”


Von Hooydonk confirmed design of the i4, an electric equivalent to the 3-Series arriving in 2021, has been signed off. “It has to look cleaner [than the 3 Series] because it is clean, it has to look super modern. As part of the i brand it needs to be at forefront of what we are able to offer.”

He added that where there is big technological change in cars, BMW will mark it with bigger design changes. “Autonomous driving will be an even bigger trigger for design change than electric cars,” he said.

Talking about BMW’s design philosophy, Von Hooydonk said the brand no longer think in generations of cars. “BMW used to make bigger changes every 10 years. Now, we see every new vehicle as opportunity to change. Tempo has significantly increased in the industry so we need to step up the pace.”

Read more

New BMW Vision iNext previews 2021 autonomous SUV

New 2019 BMW 7 Series gets X7-inspired styling and more power

Updated BMW i3 gets longer range​

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