BMW Uses AI To Design An X7: Finds It’s Better Than Design Staff
We look at BMW designs and can’t help but wonder what is going on at BMW Design. From the giant beaver tooth grilles to the ghastly iX, the German automaker has a big problem. It lacks the ability to shed its pride and honestly assess what it’s doing. But maybe it is tackling its ugly stick proclivities by recently calling upon artificial intelligence.
What did BMW Design ask AI to design?
That’s right. Without pride or prejudice, AI will crank out what you ask it to. And in this case, it was asked to deliver a muscular off-roader to counter the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. What it came up with is so much better. And, it’s much more BMW-like, than almost anything it has horrified enthusiasts with over the past few years.
AI rendered two different designs which BMW revealed on Instagram. Both forego the unfortunate beaver tooth grilles the design group insists can only be appreciated by those possessing good taste. It’s that old, “We’ll give you what we want, not what you want.” Oliver Zipse, BMW’s board chairman, says that good or bad, the universally disliked designs have people talking about the company, and that’s the point. Huh?
What have BMW enthusiasts said about the AI designs?
Back to the AI renderings, the rainforest version is an aggressive off-roader enhancing that purpose with the roof rack and knobby tires. With the more BMW-like kidney bean grille and separate headlights, it is a delightful alternative to whatever it is that BMW Design is doing. And the Instagram commenters mostly agree.
“AI understands brand identity better than the design department at BMW,” was one we particularly found prescient. Another declares, “Fire the whole design department and start using AI.” And finally, “At least digital art has a better-looking front end.”
The other treatment is more of a variation on the X5 but, again, diminishes the size of the grille and separates the headlights. It looks like a raised X5 following along the lines of the A6 Allroad. And while the strakes on the hood are a love-it-hate-it thing, it is the type of design we’d like to see BMW do, if it wants to get cutesy with design.
Is BMW getting more serious about the G-Wagen segment?
BMW has skirted around the G-Class and Lexus LX segments thus far. It has always approached SUVs from a comfort and luxury standpoint, which is how it approaches most of its models. And that’s not a bad thing. But by previewing these renderings, it shows that the automaker is at least giving it putting some skin into possibly diving into more rugged off-roaders. So let’s see some concept cars to get the pulse of the BMW faithful.
We’re seeing automakers looking into segments that they don’t currently compete in. GM is exploring small trucks like the Ford Maverick. And all of them are diving head-first into electrification. So we expect many more surprises in the near future.