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The British singer returns after six years with a gorgeously shot music video that once again pays homage to a time past, in more ways than one.

18 Oct 2021

Adele - ballad-queen, music industry titan, and supreme conjurer of heartbroken tears from both single and happily attached people alike - just dropped her first song in six years, Easy On Me, on Friday. 

Debuting to much fanfare, the tune is equal parts a plea for grace as it is a dispensal of self-forgiveness. In her signature piano-driven, sparse style, the singer ruminates on the pain of losing herself in the concomitant pressures of her relationship with her ex-husband and motherhood, as well as the fallout of her divorce. 

Blocky taillights aside, a Hofmeister-ish C-pillar and bone-shaped interior door handle mean this can only be one of two cars...
To accompany the song, the British singer also released a nostalgic music video with the sort of breathtaking cinematography and melancholic atmosphere we've come to expect. Shot in Quebec, Canada, it initially appears to follow in the footsteps of the music video for previous lead single, 'Hello', starting out in black and white. But then it switches things up midway, suddenly and grandiosely bursting alive with colour. 

Different too, from the 'Hello' video, is how Adele rides in a car for the middle portion; she starts the trip by first putting in a cassette labelled with the song's title. While watching the car putter along the tranquil backroads of Quebec, music sheets fluttering out of its back windows, we couldn't help but notice its design: Those 3-layered horizontal taillights, wedge-like body styling, and distinctive interior door handles. Say... we'd also recognise that distinctive C-pillar design anywhere (you may know this as the Hofmeister kink)...

This narrows us down to two German stars of the late eighties/early-nineties which look quite similar: The BMW E34 5 Series, and the E32 7 Series.

The E34 and E32 were designed in conjunction with each other, but peer closer and the differences emerge - case in point - their boot panels
At this point, it may be quite difficult to differentiate between both; both have similar silhouettes, feature L-shaped taillights, and also have the same interior and exterior door handles. The E34 was, after all, a baby E32.

But one tell-tale sign helps us identify the actual car in the video: The boot. 

Whereas the vertical panel of the bigger E32's boot smoothens - almost rounds out - to meet the horizontal panel, the E34's boot looks as if it has been pinched slightly right at the vertical and horizontal meeting point - thereby matching the rear shot we get of the car in Adele's video (starting at the 2:58 mark).

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Icons in BMW's history 

The E32 was BMW's second generation 7 Series luxury sedan, and featured the marque's first V12 engine
Still, minute details aside, both the E32 and E34 were iconic cars that won't be forgotten in BMW's history. 

Launched in 1987, the larger E32 marked the second generation of BMW's luxury, flagship sedan, and was the first car from the German marque to wear its iconic L-shaped taillights - a design element it's stuck with to varying degrees since.

It was also the first car in BMW's history to have a V12, six-cylinder engine under the bonnet (BMW's first V8, four-cylinder engine was also added later on as another engine variant), and introduce a suite of new technological advancements, including stability control and dual zone climate control. The central armrest even featured… a phone (Adele could have very well shot the 'Hello' video in this car). 

It wasn't until two years later that the smaller E34 debuted, marking the third generation of the 5 Series moniker. Despite the age gap, BMW itself has noted that its design shares many visual cues with its older and larger brother because both cars were actually developed alongside each other. 

Baby E32: The E34 5 Series was developed in conjunction with its older brother, but still held its own competently with a wide range of engines
The E34 was also the first-ever generation to introduce the 5 Series Touring wagon body style, which was then extended to the performance variant M5 as well. And thank heavens it was - the M5 Touring has grown into a worthy beast on its own.

Forefather of the wide gamut of engine variants you get on BMWs nowadays, the E34, too, marked one of the first times that a wide range of engines was rolled out on a BMW - from a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine on the 518i with only 111bhp, to a V8 4.0-litre engine on the 540i producing 282bhp. Later on, the 525iX also featured BMW's first all wheel drive system. 

There ain't no gold in our "Used Car" listings, but we did manage to find a single, almost pristine-looking E32 at the time of writing, more than enough to stir up some excitement within us (no E34s in sight, but we understand - who'd be willing to part with one in 2021?) Just take note: This one doesn't seem to have a cassette player.

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bmw  e34  e32  easy on me  adele