Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist
The thing is, nearly each generation of successive models in the BMW lineup is great looking in its own way...for the most part (obvious exceptions can be pointed out).
I'll focus my opinion mainly on the generations of the 3 series:
[Gonna skip the e21].
In my eyes, nothing can really match the e30 m3 evo II, what with its boxed out arches, its angry looking blacked out front, and its overall squareness. It's simply a classic design. The rest of the e30 lineup is also attractive in their own simplistic ways. I personally think that the body needs a fat spoiler, but nevertheless, great design. The shark-styled pointy nose is also a cool design element.
The e36 generation is where we could see the effects of weight and safety affecting design. I think this is the ugliest 3 series, especially the stumpy coupe. The front end was a complete mess, and the backend is bland.
The e46 generation holds a place in my heart simply because it was the epitome of BMW's three box design. The M3 CSL was as far as BMW could take that design, and so times had to change. Introduce Bangle.
Bangle is a man worthy of great praise in my eyes. I find his convex/concave surface designs interesting and revolutionary when cars were becoming bland boxes. His influence is undeniable in cars, and what were once outrageous creations back in 2002 have become much more acceptable in modern times. His only seriously flawed creations in my opinion are the pre-facelift 7 series, and the X3 (pre and post-facelift...ghastly).The thing is, he doesn't so much as design the cars as oversee and manage the design process. He applies his philosophies to the designs.
As much as BMW traditionalists will argue, there's no denying that Bangle is a supremely influential character both for BMW's sales success and on the rest of the automotive world.
Didn't Mr. Bangle oversee the design of the e46 and e39?
As for the actual design, I think they were done by a Japanese man (also did the e60?)