From searching and finding modern perfection: Adrian van Hooydonk, Chief Designer BMW Group, on the new appearance in the segment of the most exclusive vehicles.
The models under the name Bayerische Motoren Werke open up a new world within the BMW portfolio. What is your idea of contemporary luxury?
We do not want to tell our customers how they should define luxury for themselves, but just want to make an attractive, diverse offer. The perception of luxury is very different worldwide. But a central aspect that becomes visible everywhere is the increasing significance of personal time. It is becoming the most valuable asset in a globalised world.
How is the wish for perfection and refinement expressed in mobility?
In today’s mobile world, we spend more and more time in various modes of transport. Cars are now like rooms on wheels. One wants to feel completely comfortable in them. A steering wheel that you touch, the materials that surround you have to feel perfect and the eye does not want to be disturbed by unclean lines or individual components. The interior of a vehicle is seen as a living space. It is about being surrounded by the highest possible quality.
What is the biggest challenge in the external appearance?
Luxury must be reflected to the outside world in a matter-of-fact way. In English there is a beautiful term for it: sophistication. For designers – our team has more than 700 employees at four locations worldwide, who are encouraged through constant competition with each other in terms of ideas – this means that every detail counts. The design has to arouse strong emotions while expressing the highest quality and durability at the same time. In order to be able to spend every moment intensely, full of meaning and beauty. Therefore, we are building a luxury ecosystem, a model family. In various forms of expression: contemporary saloons, elegant and very sporty coupés, but also vehicles that offer very luxurious space.
In the new designs, a common factor is noticeable: the reduction of lines. Do you want to increase luxury by making luxury less apparent in the design?
In this way, the design becomes clearer, more modern and more emotional. An expressive surface play is in the foreground, and the dynamics are emphasised even more than before by the vehicle body. The few but very precise vehicle lines underline the graphic design of the surfaces. The vehicle body looks more powerful, refined and luscious with the lavish surfaces without losing the sportiness that is typical to BMW. This is possible only because we work out every feature of a vehicle individually. For a BMW, one should be able to identify at first glance what kind of experience one would have with it. Especially in our large and particularly luxurious vehicles, we attach great importance to a marked appearance and the maximum possible feel-good factor in the interior. It's about freedom – and the feeling of being at home in a BMW.