"With the BMW Concept X2, we're taking a clear step forward in design", said Karim Habib, leader of BMW Design, during a joint meeting at the Autosalon Paris 2016.
Habib was referring to significant changes to some of the typical aspects of BMW design, such as the kidney grille, the old-fashioned 'Hofmeister Knicks' (named after BMW designer Wilhelm Hofmeister), and other aspects that many modern-day BMW drivers may not know about. But aside from specific details, the crossover-coupe represents more than just another concept car or study in design. It represents a great leap forward in history of BMW design overall.
We spoke with Habib in Paris, but to provide a more detailed picture of the BMW Concept X2, we flew to Munich with photographer Stefan Bogner (who is no stranger in the automotive scene), and examined the BMW Concept X2 against the backdrop of the Zenith exhibition hall (Zenith Kulturhalle). We wanted to find out how the exterior design looked in different lighting conditions, and how the effects that the BMW Concept X2 could influence BMW Design in the coming years. However, there was only thing we could not see: the interior of the BMW Concept X2.
Is this the beginning of a new era in BMW Design?
Habib replied, "I hope with the BMW Concept X2, that we can announce a new era in BMW Design" – and stating the matter clearly, he said: "we want to take a different, whole new approach to design." It’s an approach that will be market-ready by spring 2018 at the latest, as many details of the Crossover-Coupe have already been incorporated into the final series. The result is a sporty, urban, and compact car for active people who are looking for both fun and function.
The exterior design of the BMW Concept X2 exudes confidence from all sides and involves many striking elements, such as: a strong front-end profile with a new double-wing interpretation, dominant air intakes, and flat, hexagonal headlights with a trademark blue X in the center; a flat silhouette from the side view, which tapers towards the rear and forms a sporty shoulder section; and a rear-end profile that features a slim, rear window, L-shaped LED lights, and massive-looking tailpipes—and let’s not forget the distinctive BMW logo on the C-pillar. Habib remarked, "It's a sporty vehicle with a striking character, which opens up the BMW brand to new, fascinating design possibilities."
What does the BMW Concept X2 reveal about future characteristics of BMW design?
The BMW Concept X2 reveals many characteristics of future vehicles. In addition to the exterior mirrors and missing door handles – which are not likely to go into series – there are significant elements, such as the newly shaped Hofmeister-Knick and the BMW logo on the side, which lend particular flair to the car. "The Hofmeister-Knick is simply a part of our history", explained Habib. Also, the BMW logo appears on the C-pillar again – the first time since 1975, when it last appeared on the BMW E9 3.0-CSL Coupe.
Perhaps most obvious are the lines of the window graphics (made of brushed aluminum), which follow the lines and direction of the BMW logo. "The idea behind this emerged organically during the design process", Habib explained. "The BMW logo is an excellent design element to work with. It has a striking form, so we decided to incorporate the logo on the C-pillar of the BMW Concept X2."
What does the BMW interior design of tomorrow look like?
In Paris, Habib concluded that, "For designers, a concept car is an excellent way to break with design tradition" – and that is exactly what the BMW Concept X2 embodies in a big way. It’s a big leap in BMW design, and it will play an important role in the future, as it embodies a certain lifestyle – one that does not involve compromising quality or comfort.
And in Munich, over the course of several hours, photographer Stefan Bogner slowly revealed the sporty, unconventional facets of the BMW Concept X2 – and so ended a dialogue that left many impressions of pure appreciation.
Yet only one question remains: What does the BMW interior design of tomorrow look like? Will BMW show similar courage and break with traditional aspects of interior design? What do you think about the BMW Concept X2 – and what do you expect from the interior of the crossover coupe? Share your ideas and comments with us on Facebook or Twitter. We are looking forward to hearing from you!