Would you like some car with your grille today?

BMW just pulled the sheets off the Concept 4, a new concept that appears to be a weird take on the current 4 Series with a very aggressive attitude and the most ridiculous grille that we’ve ever seen. What does the concept represent for BMW?

According to BMW, “The BMW Concept 4 embodies the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand. It combines perfect proportions with a clear and precise design,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

BMW has even said that the Concept 4 “offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.” So will this thing actually transition into the next-gen 4 Series? Let’s talk more about it.

Grille, Grille, and More Grille

The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem Exterior
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We have to admit that we had a similar opinion about the grill on the 2020 BMW 8 Series as well, however, that design grew on us like a rose that peeked through the crack in a sidewalk. We learned to love it and the package that came along with it but, if BMW is expecting the same thing to happen with the Concept 4, I fear that won’t be the case. Just look at that front end. It almost feels like BMW is trying too hard.

The hood is muscular like something you’d expect on a Ford Mustang, and the corner vents in the front fascia are nearly as large as the kidney grilles on the base 2 Series.

The headlights are sleek like those found on the new 8 series, but BMW has taken that Grille to a whole new level. It’s a single piece unit, and it feels kind of like the company is trying to one-up Bugatti with that grille design. It eats of like half the car’s face to the point that, despite the aggressive design cues, the face looks damn near flat.

The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem Exterior
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It’s starting to feel like BMW has an addiction to big grilles. It’s like the grille on the 8 Series was a gateway drug. It’s almost like BMW engineers want to see just how big they can go before they go too far. If this actually does represent the face of the next-gen 4 Series, I’m a bit worried, but it’s not all bad, either.

The Concept 4’s Side Profile is Quite Attractive

The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem Exterior
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BMW may have botched the Concept 4’s face with that outrageous grille, but the side profile would be a welcome addition if this concept does transition into the next-gen 4 Series. The sleek belt line paired with the mild bodyline in the middle at the aggressive design at the bottom of the door is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Paired with the sexy roofline, the Concept 4 is a great looking car from the side.

Unfortunately, it also feels like a weird combination of DNA from the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and a miniature 8 Series Coupe. Maybe it has to do with the way the rear deck lid overhangs the taillights – I’m not sure – but this thing definitely feels like a weird blend of German sports car and American muscle. It’s somewhat refreshing but at the same time, just doesn’t feel right when you look at it from that perspective.

Does the Rear End of the Concept 4 Represent a “Modern” M4?

The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem Exterior
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Let me come right out and tell you that if the Concept 4 does represent the next evolutionary step in the 4 Series’ DNA, the rear end you see here will not make it into production on the base model.

This design, with the aggressive diffuser and rear fascia will – without a doubt – be reserved for the next-gen M4.

The taillights are sleek and sexy and, from a straight-on rear view, the Concept 4 looks outrageously wide but in a good way. The lack off aggression outside of the dual vent sin the corners around the diffuser element is perfect, but it leaves me to wonder what the toned-down version will look like. This rear fascia could very easily translate to a very boring rear end on the base or non-M models. On that note, I want to point out that BMW needs to drop those weird, pointed mirrors in a hurry. They might look okay from certain angles, but they look downright retarded peeking out from the sides when you look at this thing from the rear. It reminds me of the ginger kid in elementary school that still hadn’t grown into his or her ears. You know the one that I’m talking about – every elementary school had one.

Final Thoughts

The BMW Concept 4 Makes It Clear That BMW Has a Grille Problem Exterior
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I have to admit that it feels like BMW is missing the mark here. It feels like it’s trying to transition from its current range design and skip right over what it did with the 8 Series and move onto something even more aggressive and mentally demanding. At some point, automakers will have to start dialing back on aggression because cars these days – I’m looking at you, Honda Civic – are just getting ridiculous in terms of false aesthetics and unnecessary eyesores.

And, truth be told, that’s what the grille is on this concept – an unnecessary eyesore.

I’m well aware that the double kidney grille is going to evolve over time, but this is an evolutionary step that BMW needs to skip. They’ve tried it on other concepts before (think about the X7 Concept iPerformance or the iNext, for example) and it didn’t work on them either. This is one of those cases where BMW needs to hear that the bigger kidney grille isn’t going to be a thing. If it wasn’t for that big grille, I’d say the Concept 4 is beautiful, but that grille….it needs to go back to hell where it came from.

Further reading

2018 BMW M4
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

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.

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