• BMW Is So Fixated On The Future That It Refuses to Produce Anything With a Retro Design

That’s the end of our Hommage concept dreams

Despite calls from a lot of people to infuse old design elements from the past in its future models, BMW isn’t keen on taking that approach. BMW’s design chief, Adrian van Hooydonk, made that definitively clear in a conversation with Top Gear. The 56-year-old Dutch designer admitted that while BMW does go through the designs of some of its past models going full retro with the designs of its newer models isn’t on the company’s radar.

BMW Is So Fixated On The Future That It Refuses to Produce Anything With a Retro Design Wallpaper quality
- image 881508

It’s a simple thing of BMW sticking to its guns despite a huge outpouring of comments imploring the automaker to go back to its design roots. You have to give BMW credit for not being affected by public sentiment, especially after some of its most recent models, particularly those wearing the large and controversial kidney grilles, have come under fire for their unpleasant aesthetics.

Still, BMW isn’t changing course even if criticisms continue to mount. Van Hooydonk did say that looking into retro styling cues is a crucial part of BMW’s design process. The automaker constantly taps into its heritage in that sense; it just doesn’t want to get to the point where it’s recreating something that’s already been done in the past. “We feel we should continue the fire, as opposed to worshipping the ashes,” van Hooydonk told Top Gear.

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631481

The Bavarians have routinely rolled out jaw-dropping concept models — the Hommage concepts remain one of our favorites —and while adopting the designs of these concepts in its production models hasn’t been at the level some fans would like it to be, the automaker has to make sure that it doesn’t go too far in one direction. Compromises have to be made to ensure that the models it rolls out will appeal to a broader population as opposed to just a niche group of outspoken fans.

It’s a delicate balancing act, and even van Hooydonk admits that he’s aware of the comments people have made regarding the designs of the automaker’s recent models.

But going full retro isn’t the magic elixir that a lot of fans think it is.

“I feel that retro design works well if you want to reposition a brand that has sort of lost its way,” van Hooydonk said. “You want to trace back where you came from and pick up on the trail where you were successful and go on from there.”

BMW Could Build the 3.0 CSL Hommage R - For the Right Buyer, That Is
- image 881520

Say what you will about its controversial designs of late, but it’s still not a company that you can look at and say “it’s lost its way.” Even if people say that the company is fixated on the future to the point that it doesn’t pay as much attention to its design roots, it’s hard to argue the success BMW has had in recent years.

Source: Top Gear

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

BMW Could Build the 3.0 CSL Hommage R - For the Right Buyer, That Is

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: