BMW produced this video showing a series of interviews with BMW head of exterior design Karim Habib, BMW 3-Series exterior designer Christopher Weil and BMW 3-Series interior designer Christian Bauer, where they talk about the design process of the car.

During the video you will hear Mr Weil talk about a “competition”. I’ve covered BMW’s design process in a previous story on how the F10 5-Series was designed, but I’ll do a short recap here. First, the features and requirements of a new model is defined in a “Package Plan” right from the beginning – usually about 5 years before the planned production start. It is during this initial phase that the designers start creating the first few scale models and renderings.

Then, all the exterior designers come up with their own personal drafts and designs on how they think the car should look like. This is where the “competition” comes in – it’s a creative contest of sorts, done under the guidance of the Head of BMW Group Design. A few clay models based on these drafts are made and in an elimination process by the board, these drafts are eliminated one by one until finally the end result is selected.

By this point, 2 years have passed and the final choice between the final two clay models is made about three years before the intended start of production. Enjoy the video.