Next BMW 4 Series Previewed by Frankfurt Concept 4

While BMW calls this “Concept 4” in reality it is a playfully veiled version of the next production BMW 4 Series coupe. There’s a lot to like about this peek at the next 4-Series, and enough to make traditional BMW design lovers head for the hills screaming in despair.

Both the body sculpturing and massive, menacing mouth of a grille are excessive. Especially that grille. BMW’s twin-kidney grille goes back to its beginnings and has been a sacred part of the BMW brand for decades. It’s iconic and is held in high esteem even as it’s grown over the years.

Concept 4 Grille

“The kidney grille has always been a signature feature of BMW cars,” says Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. “The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature.”

The concept’s grille looks cartoonish. We guess that BMW feels it necessary to somehow translate their iconic grille into some massive, menacing mouth, but not this way.

There must be a way to integrate a more refined BMW grille with some other type of opening that gives the big, nasty chasm-look that they’re seeking yet retains dignity to the original. But the 4’s grille is un-BMW-like and should be pitched into the circular file.

Overall, though, we like the “feel” of this next-gen coupe. “The BMW concept 4 embodies the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand combining perfect proportions with a clear and precise design,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design.

Concept 4 Design

The upper is a successful update of the current coupe’s design. We especially like the side window graphic and how it blends in with the top profile. The muscular surface treatment for the front and rear wheel openings looks good, emphasizing the wheels and gives a sense of power.

The trunk area is raised more than previous 4 Series or its 3 Series sedan counterparts, so it ties into the top at a higher point. The 4 Series coupes and convertibles and 3 Series sedans do not share identical sheetmetal as they once did. The concept now takes on a bit more of the 8 Series profile.

If you’re looking for technical updates or other specifications, you won’t find it mentioned with the Concept 4. That’s because it’s a styling exercise as opposed to a glimpse into electrification or future technology integration. It’s a way to hype the immediate future’s next-generation 4 Series coupe.

Next BMW 4 Series

The next 4-Series should be sharing the same drivetrain choices as the 3 Series sedans, so expect a turbocharged four-cylinder and a turbo six-cylinder for the M4 version. As both the GT and Gran Coupe models were cut recently, we don’t know whether there will be these 4-Series variants sharing the concept’s styling. But you can expect a convertible version.

Overall, we’d like to think that BMW is merely throwing some curveballs at us with the Concept 4 styling to see what kind of reactions they can learn from. As most seem to be panning the face of the Concept 4 we can only hope that BMW hears the howls and reconsiders a cleaner, meaner alternative to the unfortunate front end of the Concept 4.