Chris Bangle, formerly of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, in design parntership with Rapallo-based yacht builder Sanlorenzo

Chris Bangle, former design chief at BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, will be collaborating with Sanlorenzo in a new partnership announced earlier this week.

Bangle is best known for his controversial transformation of BMW’s range which, up until his tenure, was renowned for its safe, conservative styling.

Customers and the automotive press alike looked on in shock as Bangle introduced hard angles and so called “flame surfacing” to BMW’s stalwart models such as the 5 and 7 Series saloons.

At the time his 7 Series design was even named amongst the 50 Worst Cars of All Time by Time magazine thanks to its rear-end styling.

BMW 7 Series E65 model

Bangle’s BMW 7 Series E65 model

Yet that 7 Series went on to be the most successful version of the model that BMW has ever produced and the opinion-dividing 5 Series design (also the most successful of its breed) is becoming one of the modern automotive style icons, looking as fresh today as it did when it rolled out of the factory in 2003.

This new partnership with Sanlorenzo will see Bangle and his Chris Bangle Associates team, based in Turin, working on the next generation of yachts from the Rapallo yard.

CEO of Sanlorenzo Massimo Perotti says: “Chris is not only an amazing, world famous designer, but also a talented manager, able to run complex and multicultural teams.

“Starting from now, he will not only develop with us outstanding new Sanlorenzo yachts, but also will bring his experience in shaping our future managerial culture.”

“I have great respect for the strength of the Sanlorenzo brand and the quality and emotion crafted into every ship they create; their discerning clientele are highly tuned to all these aspects,” Bangle says.

“I am very excited to be joining together with the Sanlorenzo team, and even more inspired to learn about the world of superyachts and the design challenges within it”

For our industry the combination of a big name designer like Bangle and a brave, forward-thinking yard such as Sanlorenzo is an enticing prospect.