BMW Concept 4 – A New Interpretation Of The Kidney Grille
BMW has a long and strong design tradition, but it’s also not afraid to push the walls of the styling box it’s in—sometimes to a fault. The latest example of the company’s styling overzealousness is the just-introduced Concept 4. The BMW Concept 4 embodies the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand. It combines perfect proportions with a clear and precise design.
The Concept 4 is a one-off design exercise shown for the first time at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show. It’s intended to signal to the world that a new 4-series coupe is on the way and that it will look something like this.
It shouts that message out through a huge, mouthy grille, which BMW says indicates what the front end of the upcoming 2021 4-series will look like. If you’ve seen the latest 7-series sedan and X7 SUV, the Concept 4’s front end won’t be a complete shock; the grilles of those two production models are among the largest on the market, and they look like they are screaming epithets at the other vehicles on the road. The production 4-series’ proportions seem a bit more upright—though still sleek—and its flanks appear to be less deeply sculptured. The nose, while well camouflaged, looks to have a taller version of the kidney-esque grilles seen on the Z4 and 8-series, but not as large a grille as the Concept 4’s.
It’s quite clear that the design of the BMW Concept 4 was heavily inspired by the 8 Series and maybe its own concept. The subtle ducktail spoiler, the muscular rear haunches and overall profile are all quite similar to the 8er. It’s shorter and stubbier, though, with ultra-short overhangs. So it looks a bit sportier and more aggressive than the 8 Series, which is a bit prettier and more elegant. One of the main points of interest in this concept is its Kidney Grille design. It’s likely going to cause a bit of a stir among BMW fans.
“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.”
Out back, the taillights each house a single fiber-optic element that creates the now-class L-shaped design, featuring a “heartbeat” graphic. It also gets some vertical vents and a large rear diffuser, which both add some sportiness to the back end of the car.
The wheels are 21-inches and act as a unique take on a traditional five-spoke design. The front of the wheel features heavily polished five “open” spokes, while another sort of five-spoke design sits further back with a textured effect. So it’s an interesting design that sort of incorporates two different interpretations of five-spoke wheels.
The 4-series is expected once again to consist of a full range of models, including the coupe, a convertible, and a Gran Coupe four-door hatchback. The 4s will be built on the same architecture that underpins the 3-series and will be powered by a similar powertain lineup. That means they will offer a choice of a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four or a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6—both hitched to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission—and optional all-wheel drive. Also as before, expect an M4 hot rod to top the lineup.