Grille Next Door: BMW Shows New Concept 4 in Frankfurt

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

We apologize to our West Coast readership who may be taking in these pictures while munching on their Froot Loops. It must be ruining your appetite. According to BMW, that front end — Hannibal-style kidney grille and all — is the new face of the 4 Series.

Is it too late to take back all the bad things I said about the Chris Bangle design era?

“The kidney grille has always been a signature feature of BMW cars,” said Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design, in a press release. “The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature.” We are certain Mr. Dukec, on the job since March of this year, knows his way around a design pencil, given his tenure as Head of Design at the i and M division. However, ‘classy’ is not a word we’d use to describe the gaping maw on this Concept 4.

Terrifyingly, Dukec goes on to say “The BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.” In addition to the alarming grille, its bulbous hood flares along the centre line, reminding this author of a swollen nose thanks to the hood flaring’s extension out into the front fascia to meet That Grille. Perhaps the whole thing looks more cohesive in person.

Around the side and back, fortunes improve dramatically. The dish on those wheels is just fantastic, while the flank sculpting flows back to a sensuous set of flared hips. A contrasting color rear diffuser-like addenda gives the rear a bit too much visual height but it is largely offset by the horizontal lines along its lamps and trunklid.

Little was said about the Concept 4’s interior or level of kit (I’m using that term on purpose just to rankle the bedwetters who complained about its use in Matt’s post about VW yesterday), nor was there any mention of propulsion options. Currently, the 4 Series range is offered with 248hp and 320hp mills, plus the 425hp silky twin-turbo inline-six found under the hood of the M4 coupe.

Stay tuned to more news out of this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Hopefully, there will be more horsepower and less grille.

[Images: BMW Group]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Car Ramrod Car Ramrod on Sep 11, 2019

    This is probably my fault. Every car I buy (3rd gen Acura TL, E39 5-series, F80 3-series) gets a way uglier front end in the subsequent redesign

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Sep 12, 2019

    I almost think there is some sort of virus infecting the brains of car designers these days. Damn, I sound so old. But as I get older, cars in general get uglier and uglier. Most of them squished egg shaped, angry bug faced 4 door lumps that almost all look pretty much identical from the side. Only the (Usually) awful back ends and angry bug faces make them look different. And I really wish they would loose the weird swoops and stuff on the sides!

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