Listen to this article

In case you haven't heard, there's a new BMW 4 Series among us. And, in case you haven't heard again, it has a gigantic grille. We're going to assume you already know all about this since our 4 Series debut post racked up nearly 100 comments, and they weren't what you'd call flattering. If only we could go back to the good old days of the E46 3 Series.

Thankfully, we have Unnecessary automobile nose swaps on Facebook to show us what could've been. That's right, we have the body of the new two-door G22 Bimmer wearing the face of the much-loved E46 from 1997 through 2006. And you know what? It really doesn't look bad at all.


This begs a question. Is BMW's new 4 a conservative design from the A-pillar back, or is the E46 just a really good design that has aged well? There's certainly no denying the E46 is still very popular among BMW fans, but as good as this looks, there's still an awkwardness about it. Could we actually be getting used to seeing larger BMW grilles? Some commenters on the Facebook post suggest the E92's nose would be a better match, and we've already seen renderings depicting the new model with a modern-yet-modest grille.

For those who dislike BMW's current design language with the 4 Series, there is some good news. BMW says the large double kidney – for now at least – will be a product of the 4 Series only. The automaker seeks to have each of its models exhibit a unique character, and the big grille is certainly the defining feature of the two-door coupe. However, that means all those spy shots we've seen of the next M3 should have a normal grille behind the camo wrap.

What's your take on this E46/G22 combination?

Got a tip for us? Email: