Part of the grille, anyway.

BMW typically isn't shy about parading test vehicles around in public. That's what makes this sighting so interesting, because we've hardly seen the 4 Series Gran Coupe since our first look at a prototype just over a year ago. Since then, we caught it lapping the Nürburgring in May but it's gone under our spy radar until today.

This time, the setting for the Gran Coupe is far less dramatic. In fact, it's sitting silent and still in a field with other camouflaged BMW prototypes. We aren't privy to this presumably secret location, but these few photos do show us something new. Actually, we see part of something new, as the heavy camouflage is off the upper portion of the big grille we know is coming.

Gallery: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Spy Photos

Yes, that massive grille remains a polarizing and controversial subject for BMW fans, but this particular prototype showing just the top half offers an interesting perspective. Perhaps it's the predominantly black camo wrap paired with the narrow headlights and the body lines on the hood, but with just a portion of the grille visible, this prototype looks downright mean. This begs the question – will it still look mean when the whole schnoz is revealed? Based on unofficial 4 Series Gran Coupe renderings we've seen, the answer is no.

But alas, the big grille it will have. It will also have a clone-close appearance to the electric i4, with the differences being closed off vents in the bumper and a lack of visible exhaust. The greenhouse will take after the 3 Series, and under the hood, you should find the same engine options available in the two-door model.

As for an M4 Gran Coupe ... that's a question that may never be answered. The i4 will reportedly offer up to 530 horsepower, which exceeds the current M4. Yes, BMW has said its electric cars won't replace the M cars anytime soon, but with a four-door M3 already available and an i4 with even more power coming soon, is there room in BMW's wheelhouse for an M4 Gran Coupe? More importantly, would buyers respond?

That might hinge on whether buyers respond to the standard 4 Series Gran Coupe. It could be revealed later this year, but an early 2021 debut seems more likely at this point.