The controversy created by the facies of the new M3 / M4 has at least had the merit of talking about the curious direction of the BMW style. And even if the followers of the brand generally show very limited enthusiasm for this provocative grille, some have found inspiration. Seen in China, this E60 generation 5 Series has undergone a strange transplant.
The interpretation of the iconic BMW double bean, revised by the 4 Series Coupe and the M3 / M4 duo, has not finished talking. The nicknames begin to flourish, some evoking a “double coffin”, or walrus canines ready to scratch the asphalt … It was predictable, as with every notable break in the continuity of BMW design. It is true that the brand alternates between conservative phases and more tormented periods, where breaking the codes seems to be the rule. We would therefore be on the way to entering an era of this type, at the risk of greatly displeasing the more conservative part of the usual BMW public.
Some tuners have even anticipated the wishes of some and imagined replacing the huge vertical grille with a more discreet, horizontal realization, in the vein of the 8 Series. A shame! But here, the approach of the creator of this Chinese body kit advocates the opposite: grafting the face of an M3 / M4 onto a 5 Series E60, the generation produced from 2004 to 2010. Yes, voluntarily, of his own free will.
The worst of two eras?
The 5 Series E60 has this in common with the current 4 Series that it belongs to a particularly criticized BMW style cycle, and not just purists: at the end of the 90s, Chris Bangle (to whom we nevertheless owe some daring creations that have remained cult, such as the Fiat Coupé) took over the BMW style center and contrasted radically with classicism in vogue in Munich. The result is rolling curiosities like the Series 7 E65, as difficult to watch as the previous E38 is still an icon today.
The 5 Series of this generation enters this register of unloved BMWs. An eloquent clue? No element of style introduced in this period has been perpetuated. Unlike the initial double bean, the C-pillar setback, the round double optics … which have been anchored in the brand’s identity for decades. In this sense, we could therefore argue that the disturbing grille of discord is a lesser evil than the “flame surfacing” of the Bangle era.
Notice to enthusiasts wishing to embark, too, in the realization of their automobile Frankenstein: the kit in question is available to order online, from China, for around 2500 Yuan or 320 euros, excluding postage. It’s up to you to play, or to forget very quickly.