It’s safe to say the design of the BMW 4 Series is one of the hottest topics in the automotive world this year. BMW’s seemingly ever-growing kidney grilles have been hotly debated ever since their presence became known, and the G22 4 Series has clearly struck the same nerve. From the moment the front end was revealed to be the real deal last year, BMW devotees and casual fans alike have been reeling.
If you’re a BMW enthusiast, and your friends and family know it, you’ve likely been asked for your opinion of the new 4 Series, more specifically the radical front end design. Recently, automotive designer Frank Stephenson, the man behind the original (E53) X5 and the MINI hatch, put out a call to his YouTube subscribers to suggest vehicle models for him to review. The new 4 Series was suggested, and this week, the designer with an eleven-year tenure at BMW answered the call with a video in which he dissects the entire exterior of the G22.
It’s no secret that BMW design has kept current with the times. The 2002 was replaced by the 3 Series, and with the G20, we’re now seven generations removed from the model that effectively started it all (at least for the BMW CCA, that is). It’s been said that the only constant is change, and it’s difficult to argue against the technological improvements that have been made along the way. Good styling, on the other hand, resides in the eye of the beholder (or perhaps the beholden), and is entirely subjective. Some suggest BMW peaked as far back as twenty years ago, and the 4 Series is just more evidence of the brand drifting further away from the tenets and characteristics that once made it great.
It’s easy to write the new 4 Series off, saying you can’t stand the grilles, the rear end, or the once defining lines that have been softened. If you want an expert’s take, however, check out the video below. It’s all still subjective, of course, but examining something as divisive as the new Four from the standpoint of a creator offers a rare perspective.—Alex Tock
[Photo and video courtesy BMW AG, Frank Stephenson on YouTube.]