Sedans & Coupes

2021 BMW 4-Series Sporting ‘Beaver Fang’ Grille: Oh No!

BMW really knows how to shoot itself in the foot when it comes to styling. From the Bangle Butt of the 7-series sedan to the “clown shoe” Z3 roadster, BMW won’t be abated. It’s the old adage, “You’ll take what we give you not what you want.” So in a few hours, BMW will unveil the 4-Series coupe. These are leaked shots of the brochure. The thing you can’t take your eyes off of is the BMW 4-Series “beaver fang” grille. Oh no!

BMW leaked shots of the proposed grille a while back in an effort to soften the negative response it knew was coming. As we said, they’ve been through this before. The idea is to show their unfortunately massive grille so that you get used to it. Then when it debuts you don’t think it is just a joke.

Unfortunately, the beaver fang grille is a joke

2021 leaked BMW 4-Series brochure with several images
2021 leaked BMW 4-Series

Unfortunately, it is a joke. The kidney bean grille is one of the most iconic styling features that exist today. With BMW styling becoming so stilted we guess it sought to have something controversial to deflect from the banal. Whether this is a good move or not remains to be seen.

While the new styling is pleasant, it is absolutely evolutionary, not revolutionary. Some might even say it has taken too long for this to be all that there is. So, why the beaver fang grille? 

The brochure images are probably the more aggressive M440i version. Styling license may be a bit more amped up in relation to your basic bread-and-butter coupe. So the regular coupe front end may not be as obnoxious as this version. 

If you need to explain why you’re doing a design a certain way then it is not successful.

2021 leaked BMW 4-Series showiong beaver fang grille with model
2021 leaked BMW 4-Series

BMW’s excuse for this latest beaver fang grille and sharper design lines are a result of what it says is a changing market. “It is a sporty coupe and by definition, it has to have a very aggressive design, and you see that all around the car, not just the front,” BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk told theDrive last year. But here’s the thing, if you have to start explaining why you’re doing a design a certain way then your design is not successful.

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People don’t want to be told why it is a good design or hear some justification for why it looks like it does. It either stands on its own or it fails. So by Hooydonk giving us the justification while the rejection of the design is almost universal, then who is right? The customer is, that’s who. That’s who it needs to appeal to. The job of the designer is to reach into the customer’s soul and give them something that is so compelling it knocks them off their feet.

Customers don’t want to be dictated to, they want to be attracted to a design

front side view of 2021 BMW 4-Series from leaked brochure showing ugly grille
2021 leaked BMW 4-Series

This beaver fang grille makes them run away in horror. We’re exaggerating, but you understand the point. Customers don’t want to be dictated to, they want to be attracted to it. Hooydonk is being quite high and mighty in this justification for his design’s rejection. 

Let’s hope that at least the mechanicals, technology, and other bits are stellar. Otherwise, the 4-Series coupe will land with the biggest thud this side of the clown shoe. Or the Bangle butt.