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      08-06-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
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BMW X5 Designer Frank Stephenson Reacts to the new 4 Series

Came across this new video of designer Frank Stephenson, who designed cars such as the X5, Ferrari F430, and the Maserati GranTurismo. He has a new YouTube channel where he simultaneously talks about cars he's designed and re-draws his original designs of the car.

In this video, he reacts to the new 4 series, and, spoiler alert: he isn't a huge fan. While he did have some positive notes, he mainly felt the new design goes away from BMW's design ethos and makes it look too generic.

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      08-06-2020, 12:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHARMAATL View Post
Came across this new video of designer Frank Stephenson, who designed cars such as the X5, Ferrari F430, and the Maserati GranTurismo. He has a new YouTube channel where he simultaneously talks about cars he's designed and re-draws his original designs of the car.

In this video, he reacts to the new 4 series, and, spoiler alert: he isn't a huge fan. While he did have some positive notes, he mainly felt the new design goes away from BMW's design ethos and makes it look too generic.
Just came here to post this haha. His youtube channel is fantastic and I love his comments on the "elephant in the room"

Couldn't agree more
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      08-06-2020, 12:16 PM   #3
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Gotta respect a designer who isn't afraid to criticize another's work, especially for a brand he worker with. As for his comments, I couldn't agree more.
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      08-06-2020, 12:16 PM   #4
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Cool video. Thanks for sharing! I sent it to my other car nerds. It'd be funny if the video had some intro-music...


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      08-06-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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Interesting point of view
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      08-06-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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informative video. Thanks for sharing.
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      08-06-2020, 01:37 PM   #7
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where are those people that keep saying is going to grow in you,will look better with time?


I think the Pontiac Aztec was ugly when came out and it is still ugly now

I think Frank nailed this video and was very polite
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      08-06-2020, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prompt View Post
where are those people that keep saying is going to grow in you,will look better with time?


I think the Pontiac Aztec was ugly when came out and it is still ugly now

I think Frank nailed this video and was very polite
Excellent point with the Aztec. Those are highly questionable vehicles.

Although, I'm always open to vehicles becoming more attractive after seeing them in person or with brief time... Two that come to mind are the BMW M8 and Lamborghini Urus. Before seeing one in person and just media online, I thought they were kinda basic. The M8 and Urus definitely have me taking a second...or third look when I see them around town, spectacular.

On the other side, I gave the new Supra room to grow mentally for me. But no, I still think they are ugly.
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      08-06-2020, 02:38 PM   #9
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Love Frank's videos and I think he is spot on regarding the front. I like how he pretty much drew how the kidney grills should have looked which in turn looked like the CSL Hommage:



As he says regarding the front of the 4er, good from far; far from good!
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      08-06-2020, 04:41 PM   #10
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If you account for a) that its a pretty delicate topic for a designer to review and criticize another ones work, and b) he needs to be polite, he pretty much destroyed the guys who designed the 4 series. I myself like most of it except for the grille but if you listen to Frank, he made some really good points regarding the sideview (hoffmeister, side air-vent angle, the side-line which now is shorter, smoother and lower and now misses the door-handles) and the smaller inlets/intake on the front. I appreciate that we've got some real legend commenting on that many other folks here have also pointed out since the car came out. One can only hope for a literal facelift in 2-3 years.
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      08-06-2020, 05:58 PM   #11
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He has designed many iconic cars, including the Mclaren P1, Maserati MC12, and the Ferrari F430.

Last edited by _robert_; 08-06-2020 at 06:06 PM..
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      08-06-2020, 06:56 PM   #12
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He "professionally" roasted the 4 series...
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      08-06-2020, 07:43 PM   #13
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Frank is bang on in his analysis. This is a confused identity crisis mess of a design. ESPECIALLY once you consider how beautiful of a car the outgoing 4 was and still is.
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      08-06-2020, 09:06 PM   #14
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I love his honest feedback. A part of me was hoping he would outline why the grill is unique or revolutionary. But as he said, it is a confused design language. I am still hoping it looks great in person as I'd love to get the G26 GC after my F36. Guess we will see it soon enough.
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      08-06-2020, 09:15 PM   #15
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So the biggest take aways are... he basically likes the 4, except the grill... but he doesn’t like change... unless he’s the change agent.
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      08-06-2020, 10:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VetteGuy View Post
So the biggest take aways are... he basically likes the 4, except the grill... but he doesn’t like change... unless he’s the change agent.
I would add that I don't think he likes that it has very little of the DNA that BMW and the previous 4 has been known for.

FWIW, I remember reading that the designer of this new 4 said BMW generally wants to take more creative (read: controversial) design steps with its even numbered vehicles, instead of having just a Russian nesting doll approach.
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      08-06-2020, 11:30 PM   #17
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Frank is very honest and fair in his critique. He shows his beliefs in sticking to BMW tradition, while evolutionizing certain design elements. He continues to lament how BMW is moving away from its unique looks to looking like all other cars on the road.

I believe his sentiments are similar to most of us here, especially when he says he feels that the grill and car were not designed as one. Most design elements are just not a BMW!
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      08-07-2020, 12:41 AM   #18
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Came here to post this link as well. He is spot on in terms of BMW losing their brand identity. It's a shame, really.
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      08-07-2020, 02:14 AM   #19
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Really enjoyed that. He speaks a lot of sense and I agree with just about all of it.

There’s a car, of some shape and form out there that would work ok with that grille, but it’s not the 4 series.
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      08-07-2020, 03:41 AM   #20
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Love this and his other videos on how he designed cars like the F430, MC-12, the P1, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AMB View Post
Came here to post this link as well. He is spot on in terms of BMW losing their brand identity. It's a shame, really.
Agreed. I think they could have modernized the design without having to merge into other companies' designs.
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      08-07-2020, 06:59 AM   #21
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What Frank said.
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      08-07-2020, 07:02 AM   #22
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I like it and my wife likes it. I'm passing on buying a current M4 convertible to wait for the new one. It will be interesting to see how they sell but for me...I like it
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