BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk is defending the polarizing look of the Concept 4 by saying that the coupe's radical styling comes from a need to keep changing things. While he's right, it's important to remember that progress does not always result in an improvement.
Gallery: BMW Concept 4
"As a company, you have to keep moving," van Hooydonk told Autocar. "The minute you start standing still, you become an easy target. The market is very competitive now, more than ever. But the hardest thing to do is make changes while you are successful."
According to van Hooydonk, it's important for a performance coupe to have an eye-catching look. "It’s not a complex design," he told Autocar about the Concept 4. After taking a good look at the coupe, you can see what van Hooydonk means. Ignore the gargantuan grille, and the Concept 4 has an appearance a lot like the existing 4 Series. The huge openings in the front grab your attention immediately and don't let go.
The approach of using simple, yet bold shapes is BMW's design plan for the future, so get used to the look. "We want to have fewer elements, then each element you use plays a bigger role," van Hooydonk told Autocar.
The Concept 4 wasn't the first BMW to feature this polarizing appearance. The X7 crossover introduced the big-nosed grille, and the refreshed 7 Series picked up the styling cue. Spy shots suggest that an upcoming facelift for the 5 Series would also include the enlarged openings. Images of the next-gen 4 Series development vehicle keep the front under heavy concealment, so it's too soon to know whether the kidneys are as big as on the concept.