The grille went through a lot of transformations, including removal!
Finally, during the 2000s and onward, the symmetrical-potato-thing emblem starts weighting more with its rigidity and superfluousness. This is not an issue of the element itself but more of the way it was canonized and frozen into the BMW design language and not given the chance to evolve and develop into something different; Suddenly you have an element that makes all your designs look similar and rigid, because you can’t remove it or transform it enough,..can just make it stupidly huge for some reason,..this is the design pit BMW finds itself today but did it have to be this way?
The first sketches were about reducing the car to a monolith that shows only the most basic relevant geometry, some sort of essential sculpture, a ‘brain image’ of a BMW without those rigid ‘DNA’ elements. From that V-shaped, front-pointing bonnet it was then the turn of the ‘kidney grille’..which was promptly thrown away, not only because I wanted to give priority to an EV development but because you probably don’t need it to make a BMW look like a BMW,…at least in theory.