Concept 4 shows what new BMWs are going to look like

The grille draws immediate attention to its wide-variation from current cars

Published: September 10, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:52 PM

BMW Concept 4

Last year, BMW introduced the world to the Vision Next concept, catching people’s attention with a massive kidney grille. That grille has now apparently become a part of BMW’s DNA, as demonstrated in the Concept 4 coupe introduced at the IAA in Frankfurt.

“The BMW Concept 4 embodies the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand. It combines perfect proportions with a clear and precise design,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

The Concept 4 shows the way to the new 4 Series coupes, and at face value, it oozes character and performance, from the massive air intake of the kidney grille to exquisitely chiselled surfaces. The grille itself draws immediate attention due to its wide-variation from the current flat and wide look on production cars, but the grille itself has gone through many size and shape variations over the years — tall and lanky, wide and squat, and even teeny-tiny. This one is big and bold.

“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. At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.”

The grille has also had a variety of fills, at times vertical and at others horizontal, but in the Concept 4, it contains a grate that has horizontal orientation but is actually a series of stylized 4s daisy-chained together. The grille is pinched together by slim multi-facet LED headlamps that aren’t covered over, adding more dimension to the sculpted exterior.

Done up in Forbidden Red, the body presents an athletic stance from the side, with a long hood, flowing roofline and short overhangs ahead and behind the long wheelbase (between 21-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels contrasted in highly polished and finely ground lines). And it rides close to the road to promote its natural agility and handling dynamics through a perceived low center of gravity. Bulging rear wheel arches hint at power and performance, while slender fenders up front contrast in agile lightness.

The rear end features few prominent lines, ending up looking like a grinning happy face complete with squinting eyes (exposed L-shaped taillights made up of single LED fibre-optic elements), toothy smile (diffuser integrated into the apron, with an almost full width upper lip opening) and vertical air outlets for dimples.