BMW 6 Series Coupe Exterior Designer Christian Bauer is interviewed by BMW Blog about the story behind his beautiful design. This interview shows the interest of Bauer in combing technology with attractiveness -- the new trend in automobile interior design. Here is an excerpt of the interview:
BMWBLOG: We feel that the new 6 Series Coupe received some design influences from the CS Concept. Did the concept serve as an inspiration for the design of the new 6 Series?
Christian Bauer: Yes, exterior-wise, itís the same language, same influence, of course. And from the inside as well, itís the same general ideals, to show a driver-oriented car, very luxurious, kind of wellness included. So, itís the same thing, only longer and bigger.
BMWBLOG: Compared to the previous generation 6 Series, are there any new materials used for this one, to make it more distinct?
Christian Bauer: In this case, we had the first opportunity to show the Bang & Olufsen system, so we have different speakers which are more high class than ever before, and that gets a totally different feeling to the interior. We also have the black panel technology that we use in the 7 Series.
BMWBLOG: You mentioned the driver-oriented dashboard. Do you think this is something that will continue to appear in BMW design?
Christian Bauer: I think it has become more and more important to show that in general that was our main focus Ė and in this case, itís definitely special. In the 6 Series, we have the most driver-orientated cars, so all the others wonít go probably in that direction, all future cars. But for the 6-series, which is our most luxurious and driver-orientated I think that was the best direction, to show more driver-orientation, to emphasize that ďthis is my working spaceĒ and the comfort space on the other side. This was the general idea.
BMWBLOG: With technology bombarding drivers these days Ė what kind of design hurdles does this design present? Are there any difficulties in trying to match too much technology with the new design?
Christian Bauer: If you have special components that we have to take over from the series production or from different cars, 7 Series for example, of course there are some difficulties, especially the general idea to bring the dashboard as low as possible so that you have a feeling that the exterior is flowing into the interior softly. This was important for the 6 Series family. The new LCD had to really stick out, so we had to push the interior panel as lower as possible. Therefore we had some difficulties to integrate the screen which was not supposed to be standing free.
BMWBLOG: As a driverís car, BMWs are well connected to the road. How will the new 6 Series improve that driving experience from within the cabin?
Christian Bauer: It was very important to me to show dynamic into the interior with special lines. The door is designed to go on top of the interior panel, and not too close in front of the itl, like in the old 6 Series. I wanted to emphasize the speed that is going towards the street. You feel that youíre connected with the outside and you donít stop at anything, there is no line in front of you. Also the line coming from the center stack, it doesnít just come around, it doesnít close in front of the driver, it actually shows the direction you want to drive towards to. This offers more dynamics to the eye and I think it works pretty well.
BMWBLOG: Beside the driver-oriented dashboard, what do you think are the interior design hallmarks for BMW?
Christian Bauer: One thing that is shown in the 6 Series, but not as important as in the other cars, is the horizontality which brings a little bit of calmness to the interior. We donít have everything going one way, but rather you have something the eyes can relax on. Thatís always a typical BMW feature Ė something for the eye to rest, ďmy horizontal bar who keeps me safeĒ. I think thatís very important.
I think what is also very BMW is that you donít have surfaces that are only twisted in one part, we always try to give more life to the surfaces. It gives more room and more light to the surface. Itís supposed to be sculptural. I think thatís very BMW.
BMWBLOG: Does this particular car bring any new design hallmarks for BMW? Is there anything new that hasnít been done before?
Christian Bauer: I think itís mainly taking many design ideas and putting them together and interpreting to another style. What we didnít have before probably was the wooden part on the door, thatís coming up to the rear, so thatís a very unique design element.
It also gives speed, and the wave coming from the dashboard down goes up and goes back to the exterior. So you combine the exterior and the interior, somehow with the lines, and this was not so much dealt with in the past. I think thatís more of the language we want to go to, we want to connect everything and make it speak in one language, and not too different.
Interior was always something that was standing for itself, same as the exterior. In this car, I worked very closely with my colleague Nader, the exterior designer, and we shared the same shape ideals. Naderís design also comes from water gestures. His idea was to go with something that was in the water, the lines shaping the form. This kind of ideals, wellness and water, are slowly going into the interior and going out to the exterior again.
BMWBLOG: To summarize our conversation, can you please give us a short overview of new 6 Series design?
Christian Bauer: So the main important lines are the dashboard which is showing an orientation for the driver and for the co-driver, they should feel comfortable and safe. Also, the twisting of surfaces following down on the surface of the dashboard line, then the door line which is going on top of the interior panel, like a cocooning factor for the driver, and extends towards the front. And third line Ė the horizontal orientation Ė only in the co-driver part, with a slightly different material which gives an impression that itís a little bit softer around you.
Source: BMW Blog