The BMW Group’s design director says the Munich-based brand has moved further away from the so-called "Russian doll" styling strategy for which some premium automakers have been criticised.

Speaking to GoAuto, Adrian van Hooydonk said BMW’s individual model lines now each boasted a clear “identity of their own” rather than simply mimicking one another.

“You will see here X5, 8 Series, Z4, 3 Series – I think you begin to see that while they are part of the same generation of cars, the same form language, they each have a stronger character and identity of their own, while cleaning up significantly also inside and out,” he told the Australian publication.

Van Hooydonk said the Bavarian brand made a point to avoid the “Russian doll” design syndrome.

“We wanted to avoid that. It’s a trap you can easily fall into because if you have a design that sells well that people like, then you do it a little bigger, a little smaller and you have your Russian doll thing.

“I think in the last generation , we were very coherent, very consistent, not yet Russian doll. But we knew we had to move the cars further apart. And I think that’s what you see here.”

Speaking specifically about the new G20-generation 3 Series sedan, Van Hooydonk said updating such a well-known nameplate was a challenge.

“In this generation actually we were asked to move the game on quite significantly. Here in every aspect that makes up a 3 Series until today, we sought to create change and to add modernity.

“So the whole design language is now cleaner, crisper. You see that the lines are far more precise. Even details like the Hofmeister kink, very iconic details, are now more faceted and more precise.

“Or things like the headlamps, the grille. So, we sought to create change and something that is very precise and edgy in all details. And with that, give this generation of car much more modernity and a bigger step away from the predecessors than the generations before,” he told GoAuto.