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      02-21-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
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A Deeper Look at BMW i Design Elements

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A Deeper Look at BMW i Design Elements
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The news coverage on BMW's new sub-brand BMW i continues. Earlier today, Adrian van Hooydonk explained BMW's process of building a new design language for the BMW i vehicles. The task in a nutshell: Create a design that ties in with the BMW brand, yet add unique styling cues to give BMW i models a unique identity. Let's have a look at this in detail:


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BMW i Badge

This is the BMW i badge you'll see at the front and the rear of the car. BMW fortunately retained their famous roundel, yet added a blue surrounding. BMW uses blue to give their Efficient Dynamics program an identifying color, so this badge combines standing and recognizability of the roundel with the 'green message', or is it blue.

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Life Drive Concept


All BMW i models are based on this basic structure called "Life Drive Concept." Engine, suspension and all other technology is located in the so called Drive module. Above is the Life Module made mainly from CFRP. To the sides are the safety modules.

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Kidney Grille

Supplementing the modified BMW roundel, the iconic BMW kidney grille has been redesigned. All BMW i cars will have the surrounding of the grille in blue, again as a signature BMW i design element.

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Large Wheels - Low-Profile Tires

BMW says that "the low-profile tires highlight the efficiency and dynamics of the BMW i3 and the BMW i8." In other words, large wheels and low profile tires are used to help keeping the consumption down. Some might consider this a 'bling' feature, but it actually works.

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Streamflow C-pillars

The side view reveals a new design feature, the “streamflow”-C-pillar. According to BMW, "these converging lines are a manifestation of the design’s alignment with the models’ aerodynamic requirements." BMW clearly wanted to come up with a strong feature, and the usual Hofmeister kink was out of question.

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Aeroflaps

Here you see what BMW calls aeroflaps. It's our understanding that this design language for the rocker panels not only creates a sporty look but also helps the i3's and i8's aerodynamics.

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L-Shape Rear Lights

The rear end is dominated by a re-designed BMW trademark. BMW is known for their typical L-shape rear lights for years. The BMW i models will make use of the same theme, yet in a new -- apparently more striking -- form.

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Safety Module

Finally, this is another shot of the above mentioned safety module. It's meant to protect the passenger but also makes for a wider and sleeker look.



And here's the BMW video showcasing all these design features.








Press Release

BMW i.
The design of the new BMW sub-brand.


Munich. BMW i stands for visionary vehicles, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium mobility – with a consistent focus on sustainability. This unique character is brought to life through style elements that give the design of BMW i models its very own identity. By reinterpreting well-known design characteristics, the BMW i design language ties in with the BMW parent brand. However, as the BMW i sub-brand reinterprets individual elements in a completely new fashion, vehicles launched under the new i sub-brand are provided with a stand-alone identity. For the sub-brand, the BMW logo is complemented by a blue three-dimensional ring. The reinterpretation of the iconic BMW kidney grille, particularly in combination with the sub-brand’s front view, creates an optical link to the typical face of BMW core brand models. Apart from the assets of BMW design which stands for premium, quality and precision the BMW i design also embodies lightness, purity, safety and aerodynamic efficiency.

The side view reveals one of the most prominent design characteristics: the “streamflow”-C-pillar. These converging lines are a manifestation of the design’s alignment with the models’ aerodynamic requirements. Another element that substantiates this design philosophy is the aerodynamic thrust surface – or “aeroflap” – which is integrated into the rocker panel. Due to their diameter, the low-profile tires highlight the efficiency and dynamics of the BMW i3 and the BMW i8. Both concepts feature rear lights that reflect BMW’s classic L theme. The side surfaces emphasize the aerodynamic aspect once again, also when viewed from the rear. As tearing edges, they reduce the models’ aerodynamic drag and give them sound proportions.

The BMW i3 and the BMW i8 demonstrate the potential range of BMW i design principles when applied to two completely different vehicle concepts. The
BMW i3, known previously as the “Megacity Vehicle”, will be the BMW Group’s first all-electric series model for urban environments. The BMW i8, on the other hand, is based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Fitted with a plug-in hybrid drive, it combines the driving characteristics of a high-performance sports car with the consumption and emission levels of a small car.

The BMW i logo
Conveying an air of transparency and openness, the BMW i logo is the epitome of the sub-brand and its design principles. The logo features a future-oriented design and evokes associations with the BMW parent brand. Its diagonal set-up with an upward orientation imparts a look of dynamics and elegance, thus augmenting the visionary character of BMW i.


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      02-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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I'm absolutely excited to see how this translates to production design language. The fact that they're highlighting the intense rocker "foils" like those on the VED, and the fact that it looks like they're really going to bring this heavily contrasted body shape to fruition is great news.

Crossing my fingers to see as much of the VED get into production as possible.
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      02-21-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
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Bling? I am all for bling, LOL.
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      02-21-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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      02-21-2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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Cool - like the consistency of the blue highlights and not a bad idea to differentiate the classic Roundel.

Only issue may be the use of 'i' - what about Infiniti, Apple et al.?
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      02-21-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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I'm really liking where they're going with this. Will be following along to see how this project develops.
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      02-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Sounds great but super lame giving it the "I" badging.

Does I even stand for something? Or is it just "omg everything with I in front of the name makes it super modern and awesome"?
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      02-21-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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i can't wait to see the final production form of these cars... I think they will be game changers in the automotive landscape.
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      02-21-2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The__J__Factor View Post
Sounds great but super lame giving it the "I" badging.

Does I even stand for something? Or is it just "omg everything with I in front of the name makes it super modern and awesome"?
I'm afraid it's probably the latter.


i by Apple used to stand for internet-enabled Macs. (iMacs). I highly doubt it has anything to do with the technology in this case.

i = intelligent?
i = inspired?
i = idiotic?
i = ?


Nonetheless, very interesting marketing campaign. Will be watching to see how this develops.
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      02-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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interesting
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      02-22-2011, 01:43 AM   #11
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I like where they are going with this, but hopefully the "i8" will be able to compete with the likes of the R8 and SLS, or BMW is able to develop a supercar that can compete and leaves the i8 as a high-priced toy for ecomentalists to play with.
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      02-22-2011, 04:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_T View Post
I'm afraid it's probably the latter.


i by Apple used to stand for internet-enabled Macs. (iMacs). I highly doubt it has anything to do with the technology in this case.

i = intelligent?
i = inspired?
i = idiotic?
i = ?


Nonetheless, very interesting marketing campaign. Will be watching to see how this develops.
> Points out companies that use "i" in their product lines
> Forgets that BMW already uses "i" in the end of all their cars (except the diesels, Ms, and those god-forsaken GTs, of course)

My question is when the efficient "i" becomes inefficient. There was an SUV, so from the looks of it, not long before the message is blurred.
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      02-22-2011, 05:01 AM   #13
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Streamflow C-pillars + Large wheels w lp tires are the two features that imo will make the i cars stand out in terms of appearance. The Streamflow C-pillars are particularly nice. Simple and visually effective, very different as well. I like all the new features though.

I like i!
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      02-22-2011, 06:59 AM   #14
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Is the only colour available gonna be white? cos the blue highlights might look a bit shit with certain colours.
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      02-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #15
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by The__J__Factor View Post
Sounds great but super lame giving it the "I" badging.

Does I even stand for something? Or is it just "omg everything with I in front of the name makes it super modern and awesome"?

makes sense: I is the SI unit of electric current

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_current
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      02-22-2011, 10:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimx View Post
makes sense: I is the SI unit of electric current

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_current
"The SI unit for measuring the rate of flow of electric charge is the ampere (A)",

but yes, (I) is the symbol for current
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      02-22-2011, 11:27 AM   #17
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So will the roundel be crooked like that?

I don't mind changing the colors a bit for the "i" brand identity, but that slanted angle looks a little jakey to me...
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      02-22-2011, 12:40 PM   #18
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big wheels are good for environment. thank you.
but i do hope BMW have found a way to make the suspension compliant enough to handle the massive rims.
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      02-22-2011, 02:50 PM   #19
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evidentally another one of the integral design elements of the i cars is no doors.
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