Want proof? Try the new Z4, 8 Series and X7 concepts.
In case you didn't notice, the new BMW Z4, 8 Series and X7 concepts don't exactly look like the rest of the production lineup. Sure, they're clearly BMWs, but they all feature the next phase of the German automaker's design language. On top of that, they foreshadow a move upmarket. Speaking to Autocar, BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk admitted that changes are underway. "First, expanding at the top end of our range is something that we've been wanting to do for a while.
"We believe that there's room to do so – actually our customers are asking for more products at the top end – and almost at the same time we were plotting new cars like the 8 Series and the X7, we realized that when we came to 2018, we would hit a wave of new products, including the Z4 and a couple of other cars. In fact, six or seven new BMWs will be rolled out in the next year-and-a-half or so. I've been with this company a while and we've done a lot of product in the past, but I would say that we've never done so many new cars for one particular brand in such a short period of time. This number of new cars launching almost at once presented a rare opportunity to transform the brand.
"We also felt that it was the right time because we felt quite happy with the design up until now. But you have to keep moving. You don't want to become a sitting duck," van Hooydonk added. Interestingly, BMW will shortly return to the old black and white logo instead of the current blue and white, at least in print. It will also incorporate the company's full name, Bayerische Motoren Werke. Even BMW interiors will soon have fewer buttons, which makes sense considering cars, in general, are becoming more automated, so there's less input needed from drivers and passengers.
As for the new exterior design language, van Hooydonk said that BMW "came to the conclusion that it should be something that is cleaner, where we are trying to achieve a lot with fewer elements, and fewer lines. When you reduce the form language, the details matter more. In the luxury segment, where often more is more, we are offering luxury in a very modern way."