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Design chief Chris Bangle continues to be quietly applying a totally new look to the German brand’s model spectrum. The standard double kidney grille is a constant carried over from earlier models, however the narrow glass house and slab sides, with concave curves about the long body panels and step-hipped rear styling about the saloons, art becoming omni-present through the range.

Just the 3-Series (that is due for any redesign in the next few years) continues to have convex tide panels. That aside, another conspicuous trend from BMW would be to grow its model range: the introductions of 1- and 6-series as well as the X3 MPV have resulted in the present range being the broadest ever offered underneath the Bavarian brand.

Everything is missing is a people carrier - but this isn't prone to appear, as BMW's executives believe this type of machine will be at odds using the sporting aspirations of their buyers. In a bold statement of intent, the forthcoming M5 has a monstrously powerful V10 petrol engine, allegedly associated with that in the BMW-Williams F1 race car.

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