2007 BMW CS Concept

April 20, 2007

“This is where we can do a lot with romance and sex appeal,” suggested BMW’s design lord, Chris Bangle, as he pointed to the new CS concept car.


The prototype, officially just a concept car – for now – took its bows at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show, on Friday. Reviving a classic nameplate from the ’60s, cynics would likely describe the CS as BMW’s answer to the well-reviewed Mercedes-Benz CLS, its “coupe-like sedan.” During an interview with TheCarConnection.com, Bangle bridled at the idea, though like the Mercedes offering, the Bavarian maker sees the CS as a way to add some real emotional energy to its lineup.


In concept form, the sweeping sedan shares the same platform as the current BMW 7-Series, though at 200.8 inches, nose-to-tail, and 78 inches, from one side to the other, the CS is a good bit longer and wider, while the roof has been dropped about five inches, to 53.5 inches. Despite the increased size, the CS is being shown as a four-seater, with the cabin carved up into what might almost be described as individual cocoons.


Under the hood, the prototype is driven by a modified version of the M5’s 5.0-liter V-10, in this case with two added cylinders boosting displacement to an even 6.0 liters.


“I wanted to avoid…a chopped-up look,” said Bangle, and if anything, the CS appears to more smoothly integrate some of the design elements that have generated so much controversy over products like the 7er and 5-Series, in recent years. The double-kidney grille is both familiar and intriguing, more sleek and aggressive than on existing models. Though the CS’s tail remains tall, in deference to aerodynamic demands, it smoothes out the lines that have led critics to refer to the deck lid on other, recent BMW production models as the “Bangle butt.”


There’s also a lot more sculpting to the doors and fenders than on current production models.


Will CS see the showroom? “It’s just a concept – for now,” Bangle told TheCarConnection.com, but he acknowledged that BMW will be watching closely to see what reaction CS gets at upcoming auto shows.


The decision to debut the car in Shanghai was unprecedented, the flamboyant designer acknowledged. But China is rapidly becoming one of BMW’s strongest – and fastest-growing – markets. “This is an exciting market,” said Bangle, “and we wanted to demonstrate what this show means for us. Shanghai deserves the debut of some sexy cars as much as any other major show.”


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