It's still big. Actually, it's wider than the original.
BMW has probably been getting a lot of hate mail from fans criticizing the design direction the next-generation 4 Series Coupe is going to take with its oversized grille. The Concept 4 unveiled earlier this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show was certainly molded after the next-gen 4er coupe, so the road-going model will be very similar, albeit some of the design cues might be toned down.
Speaking of toning things down, a previous rendering proposed a normal size for the kidneys affixed to the same Concept 4. Fast forward to present day, a Motor1.com reader has sent us his vision of the love/hate grille, but taking a different and rather surprising direction as it’s not at all smaller than the original design. As a matter of fact, it’s actually bigger than the one penned by BMW’s designers as it now extends to the sides to meet the corners of the headlights.
Inspired by iconic models such as the 3.0 CSi and the 328 according to BMW, the controversial grille has lost its thick metal framing to match the look of the large air intakes at the corners of the front bumper. It lends the car a meaner appearance and we actually prefer it to the original design, but as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Like it or not, bigger BMW grilles are here to stay. Following the X7 and the facelifted 7 Series, prototypes of the next-generation M3 have been caught hiding enlarged kidneys. Logic tells us there’s also a pretty good chance the new 4 Series Convertible we’ve spotted on numerous occasions was also carrying the new corporate grille. In addition, concepts like the Vision M Next, i Vision Dynamics, Vision Next 100, and the Vision iNext all had chunky grilles – as seen below.
In BMW's defense, if Audi can get away with its large singleframe grille and Lexus with its huge spindle grille, we can learn to tolerate the oversized kidneys.
As for the production-ready 4 Series Coupe, it’ll likely come out at some point in 2020 and be joined shortly by the soft-top convertible replacing today’s metal roof configuration.
Special thanks go to Sander for sending us the rendering!