The Controversially Designed BMW Concept 4

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Written by Theo Konig - May 19, 2020

Hints were dropped for the new Series 4 in Frankfurt at the IAA 2019 when automotive giant BMW unveiled the Concept 4. We’re already seeing both coupe and cabrio models, dressed in camouflage, test-driving on Nürburgring and in the streets of Munich. A launch is predicted towards the end of 2020.

The unique exterior design of the Concept 4 struck a divided tone with its exaggerated, double-kidney ventilation grilles. Integrated with mirrors and air inlets composed of many repetitions of the figure 4, the elaborate grilles have come off as too intricate, complicated and perhaps distracting. Despite the hype, it seems that BMW have gone ahead and implemented the Series 4 with the controversial grille, albeit toned down.

Judging from the outside of the car, many other features of the Concept 4 have been brought over. Especially so in comparison with the current series 4 line, the newest version appears more aggressive-looking, probably closer to a higher M-performance car. BMW seem to keep innovating in terms of design when it comes to decreasing weight and increasing aerodynamic influences. The swooping of the rooftop, on both coupe and cabrio is more pronounced compared to current models. Slimmer, angular headlights, thinner LED taillights in line with those of the Concept 4 have been implemented with the addition of a more aerodynamic tail. All these indicators speak towards a sportier-looking model than the current range and hopefully distinguish it from the new 3 Series. Despite the camouflage, we can tell that the car has fewer, less noticeable lines than its predecessor but with more defined angles, which is very much in line with the “cleaner design language” stated during the Concept 4 unveiling.

We can already tell that the model is going to be slightly larger than the current models. But so far, we’re hearing a lot of positives regarding the handling of the car. The chassis is set to be 23mm longer at the rear. A lower center of gravity (51mm) and a lower driving position (21mm) than the 3 Series should also encourage customers looking for a sportier series. Especially so because the entire suspension has also been modified to be stiffer. The current confirmed models include the 430i and M440i xDrive. The 430i has a 4-cylinder, 2-liter turbocharged engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The M440i has a 6-cylinder, 3-liter engine powering all 4 wheels with an 8-speed automatic gearbox as well as an electric generator feature. The hybrid 48-volt starter generator adds an estimated 11hp topping the M440i tops at 370hp. The 430i tops out at 254hp.

The newly designed interior of the Series 3 can certainly speak towards a face-lift of the 4 Series, although with a sportier appearance. Following infotainment trends, we’re expecting a larger in-built screen implemented with new gesture-control technologies as is the case with the 3 Series. Apple and Android compatibility, as well as technologies such as sensor parking, climate control, cruise control, and a range of online services, all of which is almost standard at this point, is also anticipated.

Auto Trendy’s take:

It has already been announced that the series 4 will only be offered in a fabric or fixed-top, which may disappoint some lovers of the folding hard-top. Personally, we don’t think it’ll be too much of a loss. A further M model is also being planned for 2021 as well as a 4-door gran coupe.

We noticed that despite a global electrification, BMW continues development of their combustion engine technologies. Of course, they can dodge emissions through fleet pooling, but would the demand for combustion engines be sustained or are the missing a vital target in the market? We’re excited to see how the rest of this series unveils and will bring you updates along the way.