BMW Design Chief Says 7 Series Needed Huge Grilles for Multiple Reasons

It has become a rather universal opinion that the updated BMW 7 Series does have a bit of an odd face. It certainly looks a lot more imposing right now, despite that being a controversial statement. In a recent interview for Australian magazine, Motoring, BMW’s Design Chief, Adrian van Hooydonk said there are a number of reasons why such a move was necessary.

The original G01 7 Series was seen as a bit too soft and not enough of an upgrade design-wise compared to the car it replaced. Some said it needed a bit more character to be taken seriously and, most of all, it had to be easier to differentiate compared to a 5 Series. Right around when the original G01 was launched, BMW was criticized for having similar looking cars throughout the range. After the decision was made to make sure they don’t look like clones of each other, a more drastic approach was needed for the 7 Series LCI.

That’s what van Hooydonk claims in the interview:

“The briefing we got was to make sure people understood the difference [between the 7 and the 5 Series] and notice it. When we launched the car [the 7 Series] it was quite smaller. The feedback we got on that was that people couldn’t see enough difference to the predecessor.”

He also added that he understands that people can be shocked by the sheer size of the thing and that criticism, especially when it comes to design, is to be expected: “My objective is to do something that everybody likes but it’s not always possible.”

Another interesting argument we can’t possibly deny is the fact that the customers have the final say. Since the biggest market for the 7 Series is in China, whatever the Chinese customer demands will be made.

“In Europe, people don’t want to get noticed. They don’t like being asked what they paid for a car and they like things in black like a stealth mode. The rest of the world is the opposite. We tried to give the Europeans what they want as well but the strongest market for the 7 is not Europe.”

That said, production has ramped up for the 7 Series since the facelift was launched.

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