Currently reading: BMW to gradually tone down electric car styling
Future models don't need to stand out like existing i3 and i8, according to design boss
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
16 October 2018

The styling of BMW’s electric cars will become more toned down over time, compared to the styling showcased by the current i range, according to the firm’s design director Adrian van Hooydonk.

Reasoning that the current i3 hatchback and i8 sports car needed to stand out from the petrol-powered competition, using their design to draw attention to their innovative powertrains, van Hooydonk added that, as electric powertrains enter the mainstream, so the design of the cars will also start to confirm to more established trends.

“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,” said van Hooydonk.

“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.”

However, van Hooydonk stressed that this did not spell the end of innovatively designed BMWs. “The i brand stands for inspiration and innovation, and electrification is not the only area of our industry that marks a significant change,” he said. “It’s pretty clear that there will still be i cars, and that the designers will be able to search for different things.”

This change in approach can already be seen in the iX3 SUV, which is set to become the next addition to the i range. The concept revealed at the Beijing Motor Show used a more mainstream design that takes inspiration from the standard X3. It will be followed by the i4 saloon in 2021, which is expected to use an adapted version of the next 4 Series platform.

Dramatic styling may be saved for the Vision iNext, an X5-sized SUV due the same year. The concept showed a significantly different kidney grille from anything BMW has used before.

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405line 16 October 2018

What I think BMW are saying is..

...electric cars are no longer avant garde, they are a mainstream product now, no longer any need to "flatter" prospective electric drivers into buying one, they now will buy one because it makes "good old fashioned sense".   

yvesferrer 16 October 2018

"...good, old-fashioned sense"

on what planet, pray?

£ for £ an ICE car offers so much more of everything (comfort, range, gadgets...) that comparisons are invidious at best, pointless in practice.

I am not a green engineer/know-it-all so I won't go into the overall emissions debate: out of my depth there; however I know that until EV cars are comparable to ICE on the things that matter: comfort, range, gadgets... for a SIMILAR price, they will remain a fringe/statement sector of the industry, flashy exteriors or not.

That is 'good old-fashioned sense', not some city-bubble dweller vision of 'plastic pods gliding along elevated highways unclogged by traffic (the M25 on stilts sort of things?)

Maybe next generation? I will be watching from above!

X1X3 16 October 2018

Toned down ?

If they toned them down any more wont see them in rearveiw mirror!!!. whats wrong with BMW is they got greedy and over priced them ,they expect you to pay up to and more than £40.000 for a EV than can hardly do 100 miles.I like the i3 but the short range is of no use to us that lives in the  country side ok for town dewlers.EV need to have at least 250 minimum range in any weather to make them more compatible to petrol /diesel .

LP in Brighton 16 October 2018

Priorities

Quite. Styling is not the i3's problem, value and functionality are. If manufacturers spent less time on trendy styling, big wheels etc and put more effort into satisfying customers with reliable well built and good performing products then all would be well!

LP in Brighton 16 October 2018

Design should be linked with function

So EVs do not need long bonnets and dummy radiator grills, but they may need to be taller due to optimal positioning of heavy batteries. To try and make them look like combustion cars isn't the best idea may be good for marketing, but technically it's not the best ideal. Let's have more adventurous design!

Peter Cavellini 16 October 2018

Rise of the White Goods......?

 

LP in Brighton wrote:

So EVs do not need long bonnets and dummy radiator grills, but they may need to be taller due to optimal positioning of heavy batteries. To try and make them look like combustion cars isn't the best idea may be good for marketing, but technically it's not the best ideal. Let's have more adventurous design!

. I’ve said it before, when Ev’s take over the World of Transport, what they look like on the outside doesn’t matter anymore, they’ll be cold ,efficient ,quietly getting us from A to B they’ll be taken for granted, you’ll sit inside in comfort watching Tv, maybe doing work , sleeping even, and of course you won’t need to buy one, what a terrible view of the future, a bit “Bladerunner” , no, I think not making transport appealing to us will kill off a lot of brands if we don’t make them like Cars used to look.

Sonic 16 October 2018

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

. I’ve said it before, when Ev’s take over the World of Transport, what they look like on the outside doesn’t matter anymore, they’ll be cold ,efficient ,quietly getting us from A to B they’ll be taken for granted, you’ll sit inside in comfort watching Tv, maybe doing work , sleeping even, and of course you won’t need to buy one, what a terrible view of the future, a bit “Bladerunner” , no, I think not making transport appealing to us will kill off a lot of brands if we don’t make them like Cars used to look.

We're already well into the era of white good cars. If an autonomous electric future (a relaxing living room on wheels) is the alternative to driving something as bleak as a Qashqai diesel in traffic, then I'm all for it... Even as a driving enthusiast. Autonomy will mean less cars on the road and less traffic, and true drivers cars will never go extinct, even if they become electric. No need to panic. ;-)

Peter Cavellini 16 October 2018

More Transport on the Road....?

Sonic wrote:
Peter Cavellini wrote:

. I’ve said it before, when Ev’s take over the World of Transport, what they look like on the outside doesn’t matter anymore, they’ll be cold ,efficient ,quietly getting us from A to B they’ll be taken for granted, you’ll sit inside in comfort watching Tv, maybe doing work , sleeping even, and of course you won’t need to buy one, what a terrible view of the future, a bit “Bladerunner” , no, I think not making transport appealing to us will kill off a lot of brands if we don’t make them like Cars used to look.

 

We're already well into the era of white good cars. If an autonomous electric future (a relaxing living room on wheels) is the alternative to driving something as bleak as a Qashqai diesel in traffic, then I'm all for it... Even as a driving enthusiast. Autonomy will mean less cars on the road and less traffic, and true drivers cars will never go extinct, even if they become electric. No need to panic. ;-)

yes, yes there could be more transport on the Roads, heard if Road trains?, there’s a trial on just now with Lorries we’re they travel nose to tail three of them, Lorry driver at front is in control of it, so, quite possible on Motorways for Cars to do the same....