Yes, you read that title right: If you’re among the enthusiasts who find the new kidney grille design on the G80 M3 and G82 M4 less than satisfactory, you’re not alone. While we could spend hours debating the attractiveness of BMW’s M lineup front-runners, that’s not why we’re here.
There have been numerous creative descriptions thrown around to express the public’s dissatisfaction with the new look, but it seems as though the frustration hasn’t gone unanswered.
Rather than waiting around for Munich brass to crunch sales numbers before they make a decision about the efficacy of BMW’s new design language, German tuner company Prior Design took it upon themselves to remedy the controversial look, with a full front-fascia facelift that extends beyond just those distinguished kidneys.
Even if you found the newly debuted grilles appealing before, it is hard to debate the allure of Prior Design’s latest renderings and their OEM-like design consistency. Maybe it’s because we’re creatures of habit, and the scaled-down kidneys remind us of the not-so-old F8X generation. Or it could be that a smaller size just does BMW’s most famous styling cue justice.
The Bavarian automaker has promised us that, as with any other new design, we’ll get used to it—but it looks like their fan base isn’t so convinced. Regardless of your stance on the design debate, it will be nice to have the option of a replacement front bumper for those of us who weren’t too keen on the newly adopted bold tastes of BMW’s designers in the first place.
As purveyors of performance wheels and aerodynamic body kits, and connoisseurs of design for a variety of luxury marques, Prior Design is no stranger to the automotive industry and its design successes and failures—which is why their renderings take inspiration from some of BMW’s pre-existing models.
As noted by BMW Blog, both of the M4 renderings are the results of an entire facelift, with the exception of the headlights and hood line, which remain unchanged. In many of the computer studies, it appears as though Prior’s design team has chosen to graft pieces from the entire lineup of current M models onto the front fascia, creating a Frankenstein front end with gaping air dams that bear a slight resemblance to those of an F87 M2 Competition. If you’re an eagle-eyed enthusiast, you’ll also notice many design cues from the 8 Series on the red car, including the exact same grilles on the one at the top of this article—which seems to be the crowd favorite thus far. Prior Design’s video on the matter may be in German, but it’s well worth a look if you want to get a closer look at the design studies.
Although Prior Design’s CEO Andreas Belzek explains that these are simply digitized photos and at this moment are not a reality, he does seem optimistic about their real-world creation, which could happen in the very near future—a timeline that has likely been encouraged by an avalanche of positive feedback from potential customers (and the BMW community).
While we have yet to see how their recent design directions and resulting criticism will steer BMW’s fate, it does seem that the German automaker’s divisive styling may turn out to be rather prosperous for any and all aftermarket companies willing to capitalize on BMW’s new design language—if the Bavarians don’t decide to make a switch sooner than that in order to maintain their competitive edge within the industry. We’ll just have to wait and see.—Malia Murphy
[Photos courtesy BMW AG, Prior Design.]