BMW launched a really darkish teaser picture of the upcoming 2021 BMW 4 Series, and for these of us who feared it’d hew too carefully to the controversial—nay, polarizing—Concept 4‘s look, you possibly can breathe half a sigh of aid. A model of the brand new, angular, semi-conjoined kidney grille is current and can get the lion’s share of consideration from observers, however from what we will see in a lightened-up model of the teaser picture, it is not practically as aggressive or chipmunk-y as we might thought.
After the Idea Four dropped, all the dialogue surrounding the automobile centered on the grille—not the first rate total proportions, and even the promise of superior chassis dynamics, or any of the opposite issues we have considered when a brand new BMW within the 3/4-Sequence measurement class debuts. The deal with a single, polarizing styling component recollects the final time BMW took a large styling threat—and the way the dialog, for higher or worse, targeted nearly solely on that challenge. Sure, we’re speaking about the Chris Bangle era, and the E65 BMW 7 Series in 2001 that sported the so-called “Bangle butt,” pictured under.
You in all probability know the drill. Most critics hated it. It deliberately challenged consumers and others to rethink their conception of what a luxurious automobile ought to seem like. The 7 Sequence sat within the eye of a whirlwind of consideration, and whether or not it was a hit as a person automobile from a design standpoint gave the impression to be of secondary concern to Bangle. He was confrontational, his designs have been meant to polarize. Different automakers, transfixed, grabbed Bangle-esque themes and remixed them, creating extra enticing however much less impactful designs.
And, to be honest, the “basic” shapes of the pre-Bangle period have been (maybe rightly) knocked for being risk-averse. Our Angus Mackenzie recollects that the E46 Three Sequence was derided by some as “just another cookie-cutter BMW with predictably cloned design cues from the bigger 5 and seven Sequence fashions.” After Bangle, you could not stage that criticism at any BMW.
So, hold that in thoughts, that historical past of confrontational, difficult styling that brings a hearth hose of consideration to the model. Constructive, damaging—does it actually matter when everybody’s acquired your organization’s title on the tip of your tongue? BMW’s sport right here appears to be take probably the most excessive, most difficult model of the design and create an idea automobile with it—right here, the Idea 4—to generate buzz, controversy, and maybe set a bar for the manufacturing automobile to clear. It would not take a lot watering down for the difficult parts of the Idea Four to look, all of the sudden, proportional, perhaps even enticing, whereas remaining distinctive.
That is what the teaser of the manufacturing 2021 4 Series reveals—a mature, nearly non-confrontational interpretation of the very distinctive Idea Four grille. Up prime, it is much less angular, a bit gentler. The texturing inside is extra fashionable and conventional. The semi-scalloped encompass is much less pronounced, from what we will inform, only a trace of the Idea 4’s deep convex chin. And the headlights are wider, softer, and extra standard. Nor does it seem that the grille protrudes a lot because it does on the Idea 4, which from sure angles appeared to leap ahead out of the entrance fascia like buck tooth.
We are able to see much less of the remainder of the automobile within the preview picture, save giant decrease nook parts, that are predictably extra excessive than on the three Sequence. And the general path of the entrance finish is much more divergent from the present Three Sequence than ever earlier than. The three Sequence’ kidney grilles are wider and shorter, with significantly extra curvature, butting proper up towards the headlights. The Four Sequence grille is taller, extra angular, and stands pleased with the headlights. Stylistically, by no means earlier than has the Four Sequence been much less of a “two-door Three Sequence coupe.”
However after all, it will take a full take a look at the automobile to inform how profitable the design actually is—particularly, how effectively the entrance finish therapy performs with the curvature of the aspect and the general proportions of the automobile. Regardless of the ultimate product appears like as a complete, BMW’s technique has already succeeded. The Idea 4’s affect hasn’t been erased, simply toned down. And we’re extra wanting to see the ultimate product than we might be in any other case. It is a intelligent sport that BMW appears to be enjoying very effectively.