If you ask me, BMW has done very well in choosing Karim Habib as the coordinating force behind their design department. A BMW Group employee since 1998, he worked in the design department for 10 years, before moving to Mercedes-Benz for almost two years, then rejoining BMW in 2010.
He talks about the important values of industrial design, and is very keen to point out that all BMW cars must exude an air of precision – he was very specific about this. The conclusion is that perfection in design can only be achieved if form and function are in perfect balance, and the proportion is just right. This is evident throughout their range of current cars, which are much cleaner-looking than their Chris Bangle-era predecessors, so his philosophy really does seem to be showing through.
The piping-hot BMW X4 is the latest example of what Habib and his team can do, and since their stated goal was to make a smaller version of the X6, it really isn’t bad to look at. In fact, the coupe shape is more pronounced in the X4, and it is the more rakish looking of the two, which it needs to be, to attract the younger buyers BMW is looking for, and why it’s placing it into production.
By Andrei Nedelea