Chris Bangle didn’t hold back in critiquing BMW’s current design direction.

Apart from the stunning Z4 concept and equally alluring 8 Series concept, some would agree that BMW’s design direction, as of late, hasn't exactly been up to par with previous generations. Both the X7 iPerformance concept and the i Vision Dynamics concept that were shown in Frankfurt didn’t exactly evoke the signature styling the marque was hoping for – and one former designer was sure to call them out on it.

Chris Bangle, ex-BMW designer, was critical of the BMW stand at Frankfurt, according to Automotive News Europe. Bangle acted as BMW Group’s Chief of Design for 17 years before leaving in 2009 to form Bangle Associates, a design firm responsible for penning everything from liquor bottles to nursing homes.

"It's a wonderful stand, it has a wonderful amount of technology they are showing," said Bangle in an interview. "But as a designer I am used to a set of uniqueness and freshness and change. This will turn into a critique of [try to guess] and I really don't want it to be published like that, but for the life of me I can't find a new idea."

Gallery: BMW Concept X7 iPerformance

But Bangle’s criticism wasn’t aimed just at BMW. The 60-year-old designer continued on, suggesting that big automakers in general are "putting a sheen on what you already know that they'll convince everybody that it's new," and that, "young designers don’t know their own history."

Bangle, now working for Samsung, penned such designs as the BMW Gina concept car, and inspired everything from the 1 Series to the X6 during his time with the German automaker. 

But BMW isn’t just taking criticism, it’s also dishing it out. Senior Vice President for Asia and South Africa, Hendrik von Kunheim, said that Mercedes’ new X-Class pickup is "appalling" in an interview at the Geneva Motor Show. Von Kunheim even suggested that the company could build an even better pickup truck to compete.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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Gallery: BMW i Vision Dynamics official images

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