Designing a car is really, really hard. Not only do you have to come up with how it looks, but you also have to predict what consumers will want. Or won’t. And judging consumer trends two, three, or five years into the future requires a professional Nostradamus. One could have helped BMW avoid the backlash to its larger grilles after fans took to the internet to protest the bold move, though the styling feature could be coming to more BMW models.
A new BMW Blog interview with Adrian Van Hooydonk, BMW Group Vice President of Design, revealed the company could place the oversized feature on other models. He said, “We want to spread it out a little bit more” when asked about the large grilles. Some will have vertical kidney grille designs, while others will have horizontal ones. The company wants its cars to be instantly recognizable with a strong character.
Gallery: 2022 BMW iX: First Drive
“We want our customers to be able to recognize the BMW in the rearview mirror,” said Van Hooydonk, adding that people should be able to recognize it beyond just being another BMW. Large grilles have proliferated throughout the company’s lineup, finding their way onto the 4 Series, the M3 and M4, and the upcoming all-electric iX and i4. As BMW updates its lineup over the next few years, more models could get redesigned to accommodate the larger face.
Van Hooydonk didn’t speculate on what we should expect next from the company, though he did reveal BMW is already working on cars for 2025 and beyond. That means designers and engineers are making predictions about the designs people will want, and those designs could still be on the road a decade from now. A lot can change between now and then, and betting a multi-million-dollar product on design trends is no easy task. Designing the iX, which goes on sale next spring, started nearly six years ago, for example.