So much of BMW’s heritage and enthusiast appeal is tied up in its sports coupes, various CSLs, CSI, CSes, Cis and whatever else capturing the imagination of buyers like little else. Put a straight-six and rear-drive in a handsome two-door body, maybe send it racing at some point, and watch the fans come flooding in. It’s surely a formula BMW will be keen to replicate with the second generation 4 Series, a car due soon and previewed by this Concept 4.
We know what you’re thinking – that can’t be the real grille, because it's a pair of doors from a wild west saloon bar. But this isn’t a drill, and that is the actual grille. “Grabbing the attention at the heart of the front end is the vertical kidney grille”, says BMW, a design which "fits seamlessly into both the proportions of the front end and BMW’s illustrious past.” It’s meant to evoke the original 328 or 3.0 CSI, you see, though it could be argued that the result is a little… heavy handed.
Anyway, with that out of the way, we can concentrate on the rest of the Concept 4 – which, it has to be said, looks pretty damn good. The original 4 Series of 2013 was always a good-looking car without deviating too far from a traditional silhouette, something which seems to have been replicated here. Indeed its creator says that the concept “displays BMW’s signature proportions at their most modern form yet”, with the trademark Hofmeister kink, cab-rearward stance, narrow window aperture and heavily bolstered arches, leaving no doubt as to its rear-drive nature. BMW talks of “tautly chiselled volumes”, “extremely precise contours” and “a rare sense of emotion and dynamism.”
At the rear the Concept 4 is clearly influenced by recent models like the Z4 and 8 Series, its slender horizontal lights and vertical air intakes right at the edges drawing attention to its width. BMW’s view on the 4 is that “purism runs through every element of the rear end”, with “broad and athletic shoulders” and a “brawny stance on the road”. Imagine what an M4 might look like…
A few more final points of note: those wheels are 21-inches and don’t look enormous, which says much for the overall dimensions; the colour is called Forbidden Red and the kidneys, if you can look at them again, are made up of loads of small ‘4’ graphics. Tremendous.
While BMW says this previews the production 4 Series, there’s no word yet on exactly when that car will come. Given the old 4 arrived the year after the 3 Series saloon, it can’t be far off, though; don’t forget, either, that BMWs tend to stick closely to the styling of concepts, so best get used to that grille…
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