• BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4’s Ridiculous Grille

Customer and public opinions be damned, apparently.

By now, you’ve surely seen all the hatred plastered across the internet over the Concept 4’s big, ridiculous grille. And, it’s not surprising since BMW has already said that this concept previews its design language for the next-gen 4 Series and, potentially, other models as well. Despite all the negativity after the Concept 4’s debut, BMW refuses to step back and will instead move forward with it regardless of what you, I, or even its most loyal fans and customers think.

BMW’s Design Boss Apparently Knows Best

BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4's Ridiculous Grille Exterior
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Autocar managed to catch up with BMW Design Boss, Adrian van Hooydonk, after the Concept 4’s debut and asked him few things that all of us probably wanted the answers to. One of the most important questions was about that big massive grille.

And, despite the negative opinions of it – and the fact that it didn’t grow on us like the 8 Series’ grille did – the brand will continue to move along with this big ass grille by claiming that a car like the 4 Series Coupe needs to be “expressive.”

“It is a sporty coupé, and by definition, it has to have a very expressive design, and you see that all around the car, not just the front. But there are not that many lines or elements – it’s not a complex design.”

BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4's Ridiculous Grille Exterior
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He went on to say that all of the brand’s future cars need to have fewer elements that play a bigger role. Hence, the massive grille on the next-gen 4 Series and who knows what will happen with the rest of the lineup over the next decade.

For those of you wondering how all of this started, it all falls back to the 7 Series:

“People liked the car [the 7 Series], but they said by and large it looks quite similar to the previous one, so why should they buy the new one? Now everyone has noticed, and production has ramped up considerably.”

So, basically, since the 7 Series was more successful with a larger grille, BMW decided bigger is always better and will just continue to upsize until BMW fanboys everywhere are driving grilles on wheels.
BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4's Ridiculous Grille Exterior
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On that note, Hooydonk does have one viable piece of information that does really make sense:

“As a company, you have to keep moving,” he continued. “The minute you start standing still, you become an easy target. The market is very competitive now, more than ever. But the hardest thing to do is make changes while you are successful. If you are no longer successful, people will immediately start saying you need to make changes, but then you are in panic mode.”

This is something I sincerely agree with. However, that doesn’t mean you put the most ridiculous and gaudy grille on the planet on every one of your newest models. Sure, the vertical grille design isn’t new – all the old-school Bimmers had them – but they were never this damn big. And, rightfully so, there are cars out there with much larger grilles (Lexus, I’m looking at you), but that doesn’t mean that big grilles will work for BMW.

Oh well. What can you do? Welcome to the future of BMW, folks.

Further reading

BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4's Ridiculous Grille Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW Concept 4.

BMW is Sticking With the Concept 4's Ridiculous Grille Exterior
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The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible.

2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe.

2018 BMW 4 Series Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 4 Series Convertible.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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