This week’s ‘what were they thinking?’ breaking news is brought to you – it feels not for the first time – by BMW

Yesterday I saw a new X7 photographed by a colleague, and later passed an actual, in-the-metal, new 7 Series on the road

That meant seeing them both far from the attentions of a professional photographer, someone who might try to capture them in the right settings, or at the right angle – from the back is the best, I find – to minimise the shock and awe of the new, oversized front grille some new BMWs seem to be sporting. 

I’ve been trying to think of the word that best describes the feeling you get on seeing it. I’m currently going with ‘horrific’, but it’s a developing theme. 

What I know is that both times I saw that nose, I winced like I was watching a replay of a grisly sporting injury. These are genuinely painful cars to look at. 

Why would you design a car to look like that, I wonder? Did it look amazing on paper, with something going distinctly awry during the production process? Or was it just a design office joke that got way, way out of hand because nobody once quietly put their hand up and said: “Er, boss, this car; very nice and all, but isn’t it a bit, y’know, absolutely minging?” The only thing I think it cannot be is because everybody looked at the finished thing and said: “Perfect, I think we really nailed it there.”