Forget Ssangyong and Haval, the most hideous design language currently belongs to BMW. Yes, the company that once brought us the exalted M1 and graceful E9, now produces some of the most woefully-styled cars in existence.

And I am not just referring to the new Peppa-pig-lookalike M3 and M4 twins.

Oh c’mon. You’re being censorious.

No, I am not. Hear me out.

The X6 is the most obvious offender. Despite the controversy surrounding its initial launch, I did not prescribe to the consensus that the original X6 was a hideous monstrosity. I do now. My distaste for the latest iteration can be mostly attributed to the bloody size of the thing: it wouldn’t look out of place amongst Naval air carriers. Then there’s the rear styling which is, well, nonexistent and looks for all the world like it was modelled off melting clay.

No, the X6 isn’t the most elegant of designs, but it’s an SUV. They’re all like that.

It’s not just their SUVs that trigger my gag reflex.

Case in point: the 1-Series and it’s “emotionally styled” twin, the 2-Series Gran Coupé. Both are embarrassing. Considering the previous 1-Series was largely criticised for looking like an automotive gerbil, you would think they’d have learnt their lesson.

Apparently not. The 2-Series is particularly awkward, attempting to reconcile the 1-Series’ pudgy face alongside an iffy, coupé-esque rear end. It is made all the more disenchanting considering the not-long-for-this-world 2-Series Coupé – particularly in M2-guise – is quite the looker.

How anyone signed off on these designs is beyond me. And I haven’t even mentioned the new iX SUV or the poor-man’s-Boxster Z4…

Yes, they also produce the 8-series (which is formidable) and the M2 CS (which is scintillating), but they are anomalies. BMW is now a company that specialises in ugly and dabbles in beauty. It really ought to be the other way around.

I sense a ‘but’.

And yet, I cannot help but admire BMW for trying something new, for being adventurous. BMW didn’t have to transform its entire design language. But they did. Which is more than can be said for the likes of Porsche and their 911.

Careful, son, you’re verging on blasphemy.

Listen. Before you sharpen your pitchforks, I am by no means insinuating that the 911 is a hideous car. It isn’t. It has looked largely the same for the past million years and I think it is time the ol’ girl had a nip and tuck. It’s time for a change. No need to bolt a behemoth grille to the front. How about a change of headlights, eh?

Change?! That is not the Porsche way.

They tried it once with the 996 generation and were utterly lambasted for it. And for good reason: the fried egg design was retina-searingly horrific. However, past failures need not discourage them from future endeavours, and their recently released ‘unseen design studies’ proves that they’re more than capable of delivering successful and fresh designs.

I am fully expecting to be hit by a flurry of Porsche traditionalists wielding the age-old adage ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But you’re wrong. Variety is the spice of life.

Take a risk. Do something different. Just don’t cock it up.

Heed the way of BMW.

Share this post