From 1992 until 2009, BMW design was led by Chris Bangle, one of the most controversial car designers of all time.
Under his watchful eye as Head of BMW Design, they had hits like the Z3, Z4, Z8, and new Mini. But it also produced some questionable cars like the 5-Series, 6-Series, Rolls-Royce Phantom, and the most controversial of all, the E65 7-Series, complete with a separate trunk dubbed the "Bangle Butt" and a concept called "flame surfacing."
Bangle was excoriated by BMW fans and the motoring press alike when these cars were produced. It was probably the first time that a designer not named Pininfarina became a household name... and it wasn't for the right reasons.
Well, Bangle was just presented with a "Lifetime Design Achievement Award" from Eyes On Design.
Does he deserve it? I think so.
Love or hate him, Bangle pushed the envelope and revolutionized the design of luxury cars. The cars that came under the second half of his tenure, from the 7-Series on, completely transformed luxury car design. Sure, they may have been radical, but with some fine tuning the design basics that he instituted are now industry standards.
But what do you think? Does Bangle deserve to be recognized or should he be shunned forever?
Photo Credit: M 93 via flickr