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BMW Just Made a Change Sure to Irritate Its Biggest Fans


March 4, 2020 Cars By
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BMW’s fans aren’t the type of people to handle change well. They howled when design boss Chris Bangle introduced a new look to the brand’s cars; they howled when the M5 went all-wheel-drive; they howled when it turned out the new M3 and M4 would be outfitted with a schnozzola that’s liable to make them look like the pigs from Angry Birds. (That last one, admittedly, is a pretty fair criticism.)

So we’re sure that there’ll be plenty of howling over the new version of the brand’s iconic logo.

The revised BMW logo, which made its debut on the new BMW Concept i4, might not look all that different from the traditional one that’s adorned the hoods and tails of Bimmers and Beemers for decades. Look closer, though, and you’ll spot a couple big changes:

1. The whole design is now flat.

Much like the latest version of Volkswagen’s iconic logo, the new BMW logo trades a 3D form factor for a 2D one. Like VW’s new look, this presumably makes it friendlier for online use, though we’re honestly hard-pressed to figure out how.

2. The font has changed.

It’s not easy to make out, but it’s there; the letters that spell out “BMW” have changed shape ever-so-slightly, and now sit closer together.

3. The outer ring is now transparent.

In perhaps the most obvious change of all, the ring outside of the roundel that the letters “BMW” sit inside has gone from black to transparent. As you can see on the Concept i4, it’ll now simply be the color of the car’s exterior — or, presumably, the steering wheel trim, in the case of the logo staring back at the driver.

The carmaker provided a handy chart chronicling the evolution of the BMW roundel over the years, which you can check out below.

BMW's new logo

If you want to know more about the long history of the BMW logo, the company has a pretty fascinating retrospective page you can check out here.

Update: One day after revealing the new logo to a storm of online criticism, BMW issued a press release regarding the roundel’s change, which contained the following lines: “The new logo is a new media branding and will be used in addition to the existing logo. It won’t be use on the vehicles or in the exterior and interior labeling our dealerships, the existing logo remains in use there.”

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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