BMW’s Future EVs to Adopt a More Conventional Exterior Aesthetic
BMW’s i3 and i8 vehicles stand out in the automotive industry due to their electric powertrains. Another distinguishing feature of these models are their futuristic design aesthetics.
However, according to BMW, the automaker’s next wave of electric models will have a more conservative look to them.
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Adrian van Hooydonk, chief design director for BMW, described the change in exterior aesthetics for BMW’s EV lineup. In his words, as electric vehicles become more commonplace, the need to give them distinctive designs will become less of a concern.
“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,” van Hooydonk declared.
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When the BMW i3 and i8 were first introduced, BMW wanted to design them with an unusual look to reflect their unorthodox powertrains. Moving forward, BMW wants to make its electric-powered models more closely resemble its standard lineup of cars and SUVs.
That design shift may already be underway. Preliminary concept art for the upcoming BMW iX3 electric SUV shows the vehicle will look extremely similar to its standard X3 counterpart. Meanwhile, the upcoming i4 vehicle will reportedly also possess a less radical design than the i8.
That isn’t to say that BMW is abandoning a diverse design portfolio for its lineup. van Hooydonk stated that designers would still be able to “search for different things” when conceptualizing the aesthetics for BMW’s upcoming vehicles. Indeed, the BMW Vision iNext concept has a design that is unlike anything currently in the German automaker’s family of vehicles.
By 2021, electric vehicles and hybrids are set to make up a large portion of BMW’s fleet. As EVs become more of an industry standard than a novelty, the need to make them stand out on the road will likely dissipate.
News Source: Autocar