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SHANGHAI EXCLUSIVE! Concept CS heralds new design direction for BMW

Date: 20 April 2007   |   Author: Guy Bird

BMW CS concept front

Don't dismiss the BMW CS as a luxury four-seater coupe concept with little meaning for business.

It may be a longer than a 7-series with some fancy hidden door handles and a V10 under the bonnet, but BMW says its styling represents no less than the next stage for the German firm's design language.

Unveiled at the Shanghai motorshow today (April 20th) its low-slung proportions, broken side feature line emphasising the rear wheel arch and wider front kidney grille - slightly tilting forward in a nod to past 'shark nose' models - could all make production in near-future BMWs of many shapes and sizes.

And despite its similar name, four doors and coupe-like shape the CS is not a potential Mercedes CLS rival either. BMW cars' design boss Adrian van Hooydonk told BusinessCar: "We aim higher than the CLS. In the sense of design quality it is a couple of levels higher and when you look at the car's proportions it is a class above any that we make today".

Not built on any existing platform BMW says it shows the capability of the brand to go further upmarket.

Future design cues can be found on the light and airy inside too. Layers of off-white and brown leather plus a gold 'metallic string' material that wraps around dash and door panel sections, have replaced the swathes of black plastic, rubber and leather of old. Even the iDrive gets a new more petite knob.

While striking, very few features in the car look unfeasible from a production point of view. So don't bet against BMW making the new luxury niche range-topper and also using many of its design elements in smaller cars in the not too distant future. As van Hooydonk conceded: "In this concept car you see the sum total of all our thoughts, craft and dreams. And what you see here we could very likely do."

Read and see more of the BMW CS Concept