Theme – Wheels: BMW E60 5 Series 19 inch

This month’s theme provides the opportunity for a mild personal indulgence, a chance to get a slightly geeky obsession with a specific detail out of my system – I hope nobody minds.

Lovely Bowlies - as Bulgin used to write
Lovely Bowlies – as Bulgin used to write

I rarely feel very strongly about wheel design, but this particular alloy wheel struck me from the outset as being really well suited to, and integrated with, this version of the 5 Series.  The way in which the spokes are dished inwards around the hub and wheel nuts for the first 7” or 8” and then continue on a flat plane to the rim is in sympathy with the surfacing of the body panelling.
As mentioned in an earlier theme, Bangle-era cars like this 5 Series were heavily influenced by the GINA concept, which was only shown publicly years after the design studio had produced it and also after many of the production cars it had inspired.  Hence, the surfacing effect of this alloy wheel (does it have a name, I wonder?) could have been created with a fine, lightly elasticated cloth manipulated over and around a circular wire frame.

Body surfacing and wheel design in perfect harmony
Body surfacing and wheel design in perfect harmony

I’m always a fan of the E60, but with this wheel design it’s just that bit closer to perfection. I tried to express this once on the Car website and got rather trashed by other commentators as a result. Hopefully I have expressed it better here. Either way, I feel better now. Thanks.

Author: S.V. Robinson

Life long interest in cars and the industry

4 thoughts on “Theme – Wheels: BMW E60 5 Series 19 inch”

  1. Thanks for sharing this, SV. My personal favourite E60 wheels were used on the M5, and are a more gently-dished ten-spoke 19-inch alloy wheel. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BMW_E60_M5_Wheel.JPG

    I remember reading a column in Wheels by Michael Stahl (actual author/mag may differ) during the Bangled-BMW era where he remarked on the beauty of the current BMW wheel designs, and that if this designer was promoted through the ranks then the future of BMW design was in good hands. I don’t know if that’s happened because the general harrumphing about Bangle-bold BMW design seems to have morphed into general harrumphing about von Hooydonk-hesitant BMW design. But hopefully the wheel designer is having a happy life, whoever they are.

  2. Strange how opinions alter with time. Whilst I was not among the pitchfork wavers, I remember having distinctly mixed feelings about the E60 5 Series; some of the details where great, but was it all a bit chintzy? Nowadays I regard the E60 as the most resolved of the Bangle Beemers. The current F10 is comparatively staid, especially in the way the panel shuts are executed. The reverse is true with the 3 Series, the deBangled F30 looking superior (in my opinion) to the preceding E90.

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