The current BMW 4-Series is easily one of the most beautiful cars sold today. What was once the BMW 3-Series coupe morphed into its own nomenclature a few years ago and never looked back. But it's time BMW showed us what the next-generation 4-Series could look like, and it's here in the Concept 4. The first thing you notice is the grille that shows up "bigly", for lack of a better term.
The grille is so large, it interrupts the sensual lines of the car with the kind of punctuation that probably shouldn't show up at the beginning of the statement. It looks even bigger and more stylistic than the one on the current (but appropriately large) BMW X7 8-passenger SUV. At this size, it should probably serve an additional purpose than engine cooling, maybe something like food processing.
BMW clearly wants attention on the next interpretation of its iconic kidney grilles. This time, they're separated not by body-colored trim but only by a strip of brushed metal-like plastic that surrounds the rest of the grille. And the vertical slats/fins are gone, replaced by protruding ellipsoid shapes that make up a dark mesh pattern. The overall shape, if not the details, is similar to the BMW Vision Next 100 Concept that bowed back in 2016.
Domagoj Dukec, the current head of BMW design, stated, "The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature. At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range." There you have it, folks. The grille is expressive, but we think it's more declarative in an overly bold way.
The rest of the Concept 4 is simply stunning including deep body sculpting, smooth but prominent creases, and signature taillights. Our favorite details are the big ducktail spoiler, the rear Concept 4 badging, and the illuminated Roundel detail in the taillight. We just can't seem to get past the enormous grille that overtakes the rest of the car. Let's just hope it doesn't show up in production form. That would be a lot to stomach.
The Concept 4 isn't just a design exercise but a real preview of what the next-gen 4 Series Coupe and M4 could look like. Neither headlights nor taillights have an actual cover like conventional cars. LED lighting elements are exposed in 3D and reveal the beauty of the sculpting. How they'd fare in real-world driving is certainly questionable, but they sure do look cool.
The output or powertrain aren't stated, but we're guessing the brand will keep them traditional combustion engines with forced induction (turbocharging). Like current iterations, they'd likely get turbo four or six-cylinder power to the rear wheels or to all four. Manual and automatic transmissions would likely be offered for the M4 and only automatic for the 4-Series.
We could really get behind a 4-Series that looked as good as the Concept 4 if they could only mute that huge maw of a grille prior to production, we'd be grateful. But, when it comes to edgy car design, it's nice to see BMW pushing the envelope a bit, as long as they don't mess too much with tradition.