This is the sixth generation BMW 7 Series, as imagined by Art Center graduate Chris Maestas. Called a ‘revolution of an evolution’ the project aims to revolutionize BMW’s design language for the next generation 760Li, while maintaining the brand’s heritage and philosophy.
“BMW is known for its driver-orientated vehicles, but there was a huge opportunity to make the next generation 760Li more of a sporty looking vehicle,” says Maestas.
He therefore decided to make the vehicle appear “light on it’s feet”. Maestas did this using Arizona’s Antelope Canyon and its inverse geometries as inspiration. He manipulated images of the canyon and gave the car a more structured vertical nature in its theme, maintaining the appearance of a long, sleek, sporty vehicle.
“The canyon is a pure expression of form created by areas of smooth geometry and fragmented geometries,” says Maestas. The resulting design reflects this inspirations: “It has the feeling of being sheared off a rock face then coming back and smoothing out areas of interest.”
In designing the front and rear variations of the car, Maestas looked to exploit characteristic BMW design cues: “The design had to have a strong presence, upright and proud, while still exaggerating the width of the car,” he says.
Direction A (above) demonstrated a more obvious translation of the inspiration. The theme illustrates sheer surfaces, almost mimicking the broken off rock fragments combined with unconventional flowing transitions.
The overall feeling of Theme B (above), which became the chosen direction, is luxurious and grand, more of an evolution of previous BMWs. Trying to stay true to the theme sketch, while maintaining the overall proportions and dimensions of a 7 Series, Maestas evolved vertical theme and applied horizontal elements to make the car appear long and stately.
Maestas also examined the success of the E38 design – its sheer, simple surfaces and lack of extraneous ornamentation – and imparted these attributes to create a more contemporary design.
“Proportions are crucial to the 7 Series. Certain elements like the taillamps were designed to accentuate the width. The graphics were made small to emphasize its size while maintaining the sense of stable agility of the rest of the vehicle.”
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