The head of BMW Group design says while the German firm often looks back at (and even references) its heritage, it has no plans to go “full bore along that path”.

Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice-president for BMW Group design, told Autocar he sent a congratulatory message to Laurens van den Acker, his counterpart at Renault, when the French firm unveiled its electric Renault 5 prototype in January 2021.

“I think that car will work for them,” Van Hooydonk said.

Still, the design boss suggested the Munich-based company would not follow suit, pointing out even its homage concepts weren’t “really” retro.

“We have always looked at our heritage and debated about what we could do without ever really going retro.

“We’ve done homage cars, like at Villa d’Este, where we’ve got positive reactions, but it was never a retro design. It was a re-imagination of a classic. We take ideas from it, but we never went full bore along that path,” he said.