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September 11, 2019

The Concept 4 Shows BMW Design Has Lost the Plot

Say what you want BMW, but the Concept 4 is anything but “clear and precise.” Unless what you mean by clean and precise is cleanly and precisely ugly. Yes, ugly; like gut-wrenching, yo mama ugly joke ugly. It’s so ugly that BMW didn’t even provide one official single head-on shot.

Even they knew there was a problem in there somewhere.

Of course, BMW is so quick to point out references such as the BMW 328 or 3.0 CSi, but those were fine-looking coupes. None had nostrils so frickin’ big that they didn’t have a place to put a front vanity plate on (BMW settled on transparent plastic). It can probably sniff out its owner’s cocaine stash all the way from his climate-controlled garage.

If only BMW showed restraint on the size of that nose would everyone get to appreciate the subtle details that the design team worked so hard on. See, the grating inside the grille? They’re horizontal with a faceted cut lending depth to the grille itself. Look closer, and another highlight is revealed: the intricate grating within the kidneys and air intakes is made up of an array of small “number 4s” joined together.

But, no. You can’t see them because of what ginormous grille/nostril.

And it’s sad because the rest of the car is actually quite alright. It’s a bit dull, especially from the side, but at least it’s clean, understated, muscular—something you won’t mind parking in your climate-controlled garage. Even the exterior color—Forbidden Red is awesome. It’s a rich, glossy red when highlighted, and almost black when shaded. But then you get to the grille. WTF.

Thankfully, the Concept 4 is staying as a concept car. However, BMW did say that it’s previewing the design direction of the 4 Series Coupe, and that’s worrying. C’mon BMW. Less grille this time, please.

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