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Roadfly Magazine
Issue 12
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Porsche Carrera GT3
Issue Twelve
May 25, 2004
Porsche 911 GT3
2004 New York Auto Show Coverage
BMW Promotes Chris Bangle
First Drive: 2004 Bentley Continental GT
Digital Camera Comparison & Review
ZF Sachs Nivomat Suspension
Preview: 2005 Porsche 911
Coming Next Issue
Beat Gas Prices
BBQ Guide
Dells Auto Museum
iPod FM Tuners

For the Love (and Lack) of Style:
BMW Promotes Chris Bangle
By Steve Litscher
Editor in Chief

(Thursday, Feb 5, 2004 2:20 PM EST)

Chris Bangle at the Design Table

Pontiac GTO or E60 BMW 5 series?

Go to
Chris Bangle Photo Gallery
As one of my favorite musicians sang way back in 1963, "Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring, bound by wild desire, I fell into a ring of fire." The man was the legendary Johnny Cash, and while I'm pretty sure he wasn't referring to a car while singing those infamous lyrics, the notion of waxing poetic about an inanimate object, like a car, isn't absurd. Cars have long played the object of affection - from songs to movies to television shows, people never fail to be attracted to these inanimate, cold-hearted hunks of steel.

What is it about a car that can drive an otherwise logical person to the verge of irrationality? Is it the performance? The styling? Or is it some other, inexplicable stirring that takes place deep within the soul? Automotive companies have been wise to identify and capture this feeling and they make a great effort to maximize the lustful desire that is "carwantingness syndrome." Ahh, but love is a fickle flame - it can burn either party in an instant.

Perhaps no lover has been scorned as quickly or as badly as have the legions of BMW loyalists and enthusiasts whom, for many years, had supported nearly everything and anything that bore the Munich nameplate. However, with the recent redesign of two of BMW's more popular line-ups, the 5- and 7-series, many enthusiasts have run away, searching for new love, as the ashes of a once burning love smolder.

For the longest time, BMW had the better portion of the automotive community wrapped around its finger - it was the prettiest girl at the prom and everyone was lined-up, waiting for their chance to dance. This has all come to change, thanks to the, ahem, bold designs of "the new BMW" and Chris Bangle's team.

Despite the new 7-series' swift descent from prom queen to double-bagger, BMW has been surprisingly steadfast in its support of Bangle. The automotive press was quick to rip the new 7's appearance, and automotive enthusiasts weren't far behind. From message boards to magazines, everyone had an opinion about the new design, and very few of them were positive. Yet BMW didn't falter. Why? Some would blame traditional German stubbornness ("Vee make a decision and vee stick vith it!"), while others chalk it up to that whole "love is blind thing."

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