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Thread: Beauty and the beast.....

  1. #1

    Beauty and the beast.....

    While not strictly on topic I think that many of you know that Designworks USA is the place that gave birth to our car. Well, I just spent a little time looking around their website, and noticed that even though the say Henrik Fisker was there I couldn't find a single word about the Z8. They have an intertesting clip showing the Z9 showcar, which in hindsight looks just like a new 6 Series. They make much of the iDrive in this clip too, as if making cars isn't hard enough, making computers is harder, but they dove headlong into the computer age, and dragged us all with them!

    Anyhow, they also made much of the Z4, a car I have never thought blessed with good looks, so I got to thinking if there is anything I could do in Photoshop to make it more attractive. What do you think?
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  2. #2
    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    Good Job, Andrew! I just posted your ideas on the german board zroadster.com ...

    http://www.zroadster.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20172

  3. #3

    That went down well!!

    Talk about letting a fox into the hen-house!!

    It's not surprising since those guys bought their cars because they liked them. Hearing from someone who doesn't think the Z4 is as beautiful as they do will be as welcome as trying to get someone to change their religion or politics. These guys are fully paid up members of the 'Z4 Fan Club', so of course they all love their cars just the way they are.

    My real problem with the car's design is the lower 'flame surface' line, but I thought this body kit shown on the website you posted the sketch above on was moving towards attractive style, although it looks very MB influenced. I did my own doctoring of it too, to get it to a place where I'd consider buying it.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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    DSC Off Gammaman's Avatar
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    I agree, Andrew, it certainly cleans it up. What you did, of course, is remove some of the much vaunted "flame surfacing" that Bangle was so enamoured with. Speaking of Bangle, I was at least a bit surprised to see him almost receiving praise in the latest Roundel, basically because Mercedes and the Japs are copying his "Bangle Butt" look.

  5. #5

    The one thing one must give Chris Bangle...

    is that his ability to persuade and reason, which really makes him a leader in promoting his (new) ideas. He was able to convince BMW that regardless of what their eyes might tell them, that his way was the future of car design. They believed him, and supported him. You have to be quite an extraordinary man to pull that off, so credit where credit is due.

    A man whose dress sense owes more to Fisher Price than fashion may not be the person I'd choose to dress my vehicles, but I've also never had to sit thru one of his famous presentations. I'm constantly reminded of the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes, Bangle is just like that tailor whose powers of persuasion were so convincing, BMW were persuaded, and gladly wrapped themselves in his new robe.

    Now, as to those who follow, every trend has followers. Fashion itself has very few shepherds, the flock is mostly sheep, I know because I worked in that world for 10 years. All I see with the followers of Bangle that Roundel are praising are others struggling to find a way forward. Geneva and Tokyo showed some great new directions from Lexus, Audi, AM, and most of all GM and Chrysler, none of which were afflicted with the bad madness of Banglism.

    Bangle's prot?g?e, Adrian van Hooydonk, is the man who actually drew up the cars. He is the one that Bangle guided, defended and promoted. I wonder in the fullness of time if this will be an era of design that BMW looks back on with pride, or prejudice. IMHO worst of all is the hideous new RR, but the Z4, the new 5's, 6'd and 7's are all cars that I think time will brush under the carpet. I don't imagine we'll see any of these designs at Pebble Beach in 2050, or gracing the halls of the great automotive museums, but who knows, I may be a hopeless classicist completely out of touch with the tastes of the future.
    Andrew Macpherson

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    DSC Off bummsbass's Avatar
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    I agree, Andrew. I would even go further and say that the new 5's, 6's, and 7's lost somewhat their BMW soul.

    Interesting experience: while my Z8 was in the service shop (exchange of soft top) I had the new 6 convertible for some days (last summer). I was just heading for a trip to Lake Constance ... when my wife entered the car for the first time she was asking: did you not get a BMW? This one seems to be a japanese car ... (she drives BMWs for decades).

    If a company like BMW wants to be leading in engineering and design its products should show. In the past the technical competence consequently was brought out to the cockpit and to the outside as well to create a "complete product". Today I have a hard time to see and "feel" such a completeness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    While not strictly on topic I think that many of you know that Designworks USA is the place that gave birth to our car. Well, I just spent a little time looking around their website, and noticed that even though the say Henrik Fisker was there I couldn't find a single word about the Z8.
    Henrik was in Munich when he designed the Z8 (AKA Z07) and was not transfered to the USA to run Designworks USA until after the design was complete. That would account for its absence on their website.

  8. #8

    Thanks for the insight.....

    I mistook the Westlake Village address on the US Patent to mean he was at Design Works at the time.
    Andrew Macpherson

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    A reasonable deduction

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    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    One more improvement?

    One of my biggest concerns has always been the radically short rear end. Looks goofy to me.

    Andrew, one more round?
     

  11. #11

    I think you're on to something here....

    that adds practicality and style all at the same time!

    Here is my altered version with your trunk - I really do like it!! Now all we need is for BMW to make it a 2,300lb 400hp Porsche GT3 beater and I'll put my name down for one!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  12. #12
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    And

    Aerodynamic benefits!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bummsbass
    I agree, Andrew. I would even go further and say that the new 5's, 6's, and 7's lost somewhat their BMW soul.
    Interesting experience: while my Z8 was in the service shop (exchange of soft top) I had the new 6 convertible for some days (last summer). I was just heading for a trip to Lake Constance ... when my wife entered the car for the first time she was asking: did you not get a BMW? This one seems to be a japanese car ... (she drives BMWs for decades).
    Hate to say it, but when I pulled up behind a new (white) 6 convertible the other day, at first glance I thought it was a Solara!!

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    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    to tell the difference between them...

    Do you know how to tell the difference between a 6 series convertible and a Solara? You never have to go back to the dealer for repairs if you have the Solara! (sorry, just had to vent- having some trouble with my local dealers who can't seem to fix my softtop).

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    Yikes..may need to do a duck and run here. Sitting next to my Z8 in the garage is a lovely 2003 sapphire black/red Z4! Pondering turning it into a 650 convertible at the end of the summer! Maybe I should just get a Hyundai and say to hell with it?
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    The Hyundai has a 10 year warranty. You won't need an extended contract like the Z8. And you can get one of each color that they offer and still get change. You could arrange them like Macfly sets up the Z8's for photos, too, and the're all yours! (sorry, but BMW management still didn't call me back to correct my situation- 5 months with a broken rear window zipper- and I'm just a tad bitter this evening)

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Saw the new Z4 M Roadster

    I was at my local dealer picking up a a rear-end/diff for a "project" that I have, and they had one of the new Z4 Ms in the showroom. The look is nice compared to the garden variety Z4 - especially the wheels. It was pretty hot in Imola Red.
    thegunguy

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    Styling - Bangel and others

    INHO, Chris Bangel is the worst thing to happen to BMW in years. I was shocked to hear that he takes the design credit for the Z8, the only really attractive car that BMW built since he arrived at BMW. The Z4, a nice little car, has been whipped with an ugly stick and the new 6 series are great cars but are sad to look at.

    BTW, my daily driver is a 2000 SC 400, which I bought new immediately after seeing the new SC 430. It seems that Lexus has some of the same problems as BMW when it comes to styling.

    Hap

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hapc
    I was shocked to hear that he takes the design credit for the Z8
    I'm not sure how you heard that Bangle takes credit for the design of the Z8, but I cannot image that he would do so singularly. Technically, the staff responsible for the design of the Z8 was under Bangle's direction. Bangle is repeatedly criticized for leading the design direction behind BMW's current line of cars, without any mention of the contributing staff designers. Well, if he's to be criticized for his same role in every other project, I think he deserves a nod for his role on the Z8. After all, his picture is the first seen in the design section of The Book, which starts out - "Head Desisgner Christopher Edward Bangle..." Don't get me wrong I'm not a big fan of his work, but fair is fair.

    As far as Bangle being the worst thing to happen to BMW, I think their sales performance would suggest otherwise. So, I guess he's done something right from the public's view. Certainly I think it's fair to say that most critics and enthusiasts lie in the negative camp, including probably most members of this forum.

    Other than the Z8, none of his designs really appealed to me initially. It may be that there are particular elements of the designs that are distracting rather than the concepts as a whole (side cut on the E85, lights on the E60), but I do think his direction is looking better now that the designs have been toned down a bit (see the E90 and updated E65). Perhaps his design direction is finding its legs. This gives me some enthusiasm for the next round of models.

    Oddly enough, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Bangle last week, and I found him extremely personable and pleased to meet the Z8 owners at Villa d?Este. Love him or hate him, he seems to be nice guy.

    On another note, how about some pics of your car, and don?t forget your upcoming GT. I'm in total agreement on the SC400 vs the SC430. I can't tell the front from the rear on the 430.

    Also, please consider joining the Z8 Club. You?ll find information on the Club at the Z8 Club link on the left.

    Welcome aboard!
    thegunguy

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    A little more

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy
    I'm not sure how you heard that Bangle takes credit for the design of the Z8, but I cannot image that he would do so singularly. Technically, the staff responsible for the design of the Z8 was under Bangle's direction.
    Dear Gunguy, I am sorry that I was a little harsh on Chris Bangel, and I am also sure that he is a nice guy, but it does seem that the Z8 is such a beautiful and classic car while the other BMW offerings seem to come from somewhere else. I know that the Z8 was patterned after the earlier 507. I have seen a 507 next to my car and the similarity is remarkable. The Z8 really looks a lot like the 507 ? a real classic. But nonetheless, the new BMWs just leave me cold. Look at the old 633 or several others of the older cars. They were beautiful. They lacked much of the wonderful technology that is available today, but they looked great, and the look is an important part of the beauty of a car. So I apologize if I were too strong, but I wish that Mr. Bangel would reconsider some of his styling ideas. About my GT, I am supposed to take delivery in about 2 weeks ? I am anxiously waiting ? and I will be happy to post pictures of it next to my beautiful Z8. I do need to know the format and file size for submitted photos.
    Best regards
    Hap

  21. #21
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    No sweat - I don't think you were being to "harsh". I just think he should have some credit for his involvement in the development of the Z8. Certainly the Henrik Fisker's exterior design follows cues from the 507, but don't forget that there is more to the design than the general exterior concept. There are numerous details and that perfect interior. All of which exist in the most harmonous mixture that I've ever seen in a vehicle...perfection everywhere. As the Director of Design, it seems that Bangle's role was to coordinate the efforts of the individual designers to accomplish this perfection.

    I'm on board with your assesment of the current designs - they're cold. However, I think I'm most critical of the interiors. They just don't cater to the "driver's car" moniker of the BMW. Like I said in my previous post, I do think that the designs are improving, perhaps after so much critical response from the press.

    On pics, the gallery size is 750 pixels in width. JPG is prefered. Currently, you have to send them to Andrew, but I believe he's working on a more automated submission process as the site goes over to the Club.
    thegunguy

  22. #22

    Just had to add.....

    that I just saw my first Z4 coupe today. What an ugly little pug of a car. I always thought that the old Z3 Coupe was a gorgeous looking car, but this little thing is just plain ugly, and that was in black, the most forgiving of all colors.

    When is BMW's design department going to realize that beauty is desirable?
    Andrew Macpherson

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy
    After all, his picture is the first seen in the design section of The Book, which starts out - "Head Desisgner Christopher Edward Bangle..." Don't get me wrong I'm not a big fan of his work, but fair is fair.
    The "Book" was delayed in its publishing to delete 40 pages on Henrik Fisker who had the gaul to quit BMW/Designworks and join Ford just before the book was released. Several of us tried to get copies of the "missing" pages without success. Another example of being "written out of history." But WE know the truth.

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    Eye of the beholder, Mac. What can I say?
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