Currently reading: BMW design chief: New 4 Series grille will be 'brand-shaper'
The bold kidney grille on the new coupe has created plenty of reaction – but BMW are confident buyers will love it
James Attwood, digital editor
News
3 mins read
2 June 2020

BMW design chief Domagoj Dukec believes that the “polarising” kidney grille on the new 4 Series coupe will be recognised as a “brand-shaper” in years to come.

The second-generation coupe maintains the large horizontal grille first seen on a concept model last year. When that car was revealed it provoked a strong reaction on social media, which has also been reflected in recent spy shots and leaked images.

2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe revealed with dramatic new look

Dukec told Autocar that the 4 Series grille follows BMW’s recent trend to make each of its models stand out. “It should be in the core of BMW to have a product which makes a strong statement,” said Dukec. “It’s unmistakably BMW, unmistakably 4 Series. It’s not just logical; it has a very strong character that’s unique to our brand.

“The twin kidney grille is the most prominent design icon we have. It’s the biggest difference we have from any other car out there. We’ve used the kidney in a variety of ways to give our cars a certain presence: the 3 Series has a very horizontal one because it’s a more rational, serious car. A coupe like the 4 Series should express the exotic part of BMW.”

The decision to use a horizontal grille was to link the 4 Series back to older BMW models such as the 328. Dukec added: “The kidney is much like BMW was using 100 years ago. It’s a strong link to our heritage, but also radical and progressive.”

Asked about the reaction to the grille on the concept car, Dukec added: “In the design business, you can’t listen to social media reactions. It won’t help you. Design is something that is so emotional, and everybody has an opinion and different tastes. There’s no right or wrong in design. When you do something like this 50 per cent of people might love it and 50 per cent will hate it, and that won’t change. Anything you do there will be people who like it and people who don’t – but this is not the criteria.

“The criteria for design is to create something unique, something daring, to make a statement. I’m 100 per cent convinced something like this, although it’s polarising in the beginning, is at the heart of BMW and a brand-shaper for us. Our products have to express the special position of BMW.

"We don’t want to polarise with every product, but the 4 Series is a very expressive car. In two or three years, I’m convinced this will be a really strong product on the road, and people, whether they love it or not, will see it as a car with a certain identity.”

READ MORE

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Comments
15

2 June 2020

It's hideous. Goodbye BMW. I've got my eye on a few potential used models, but this company has really lost its way.

2 June 2020

This is ugly with a big capital F

2 June 2020

Where is the simple understated elegance of the BMW grille of the 1960's and 70's? This seems to me to be about satisfying customer tastes in their larger markets rather than elegant design.

2 June 2020
adrian888 wrote:

Where is the simple understated elegance of the BMW grille of the 1960's and 70's? This seems to me to be about satisfying customer tastes in their larger markets rather than elegant design.

I think the grill is ugly and vulgar, but you can't criticise them for satisfying their customers in their largest markets!!

Having two different front ends would be a better solution, it would only take a different bumper design to solve most of the problems, although that probably needs a whole separate set of crash testing etc. 

2 June 2020

Of course not.

It would have been consigned to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

The HUGE nostrils are bad enough but the massive maws either side make the it look like an ugly child pulling a face with their fingers in their  cheeks.

Just ridiculous.

2 June 2020

 Well, I'm going to be the first, I like it, it does not offend me, and instead of getting our individual ideas, oh yes they wouldn't be the same, who of the no camp has the best resolved grill idea?

2 June 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Well, I'm going to be the first, I like it, it does not offend me, and instead of getting our individual ideas, oh yes they wouldn't be the same, who of the no camp has the best resolved grill idea?

 

Eh? I'm not a car designer so it's not my responsibility to design a new BMW. But I can't believe I would do a worse job than this. It is not just the grille - the entire thing is simply horrid.

2 June 2020

Looks no more bold than any Audi or Lexus grille currently on the market. If anything, it looks far more interesting than any of BMW's recent designs. They have made nothing but a bunch of mediocre dull designs ever since the i3 and i8. This looks fine, and I'm happy it offends the conservative. 

2 June 2020

We should all point and laugh when we see them on the road! ...so grown up I know. Also , why , in 2020, would you turn your grill the wrong way to elongate it vertically like they did in the 1930's??? - not sleek!

2 June 2020
Audi had that vulgar grille for 20 years and it's getting bigger still. Mercedes always had a big grille, especially in the '80s and '90s.
If "the people" want them, "the people" get them.

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