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Frankfurt show: BMW shows shape of the future

Concept for next BMW 4 Series reveals design direction for Munich brand

11 Sep 2019

BMW’S new styling direction has been laid bare at the Frankfurt motor show with the unveiling of the Concept 4 – a mid-sized coupe that will morph into the next 4 Series and electrified i4 over the next two years.


The concept reveals the new-look kidney grille that gets bigger, blacker and more angular in a vertical front fascia that is sure to polarise BMW traditionalists, at least until they get used to it.


BMW head of design Domogoj Dukek confirmed the grille provides a look at the next 4 Series that is expected to arrive sometime next year.


“The kidney grille has always been a signature feature of BMW cars,” he said. “The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature.


“At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.”


The new design suggests BMW is planning to put more distance between the 3 Series and 4 Series this time around, while at the same time preparing for a fully electric version in the shape of the i4.


Although it is hard to see in the pictures, another hint at the concept’s destiny can be found in the grille’s black plastic mesh – it is made up of ‘4s’ joined together.


Grille aside, one of the biggest differences from the current design language is the sculpting down the car’s flanks, with deep and luxuriant curves flowing between the nose and tail.


The sculpting extends to the bulging bonnet that has twin lines running towards the A pillars.


The concept also has the mandatory slim-line rear-view mirrors, but as pretty and aerodynamic as they are, they will probably make way for more practical units once the 4 Series hits production.


In a break from recent trends, the LED headlights and daytime driving lights do not have a clear cover, instead being open to the elements for a sculpted effect.


At the back, the boot ends in a sharply raked spoiler above a neatly-designed bumper and black mock diffuser pierced by two oblong exhaust tailpipes.


The side windows are relatively narrow, helping to add to the sleek roof line.


The polished alloy wheels are 21 inches and deeply dished to add character.


The current 4 Series dates from 2013, so is due to be replaced in the next year or two.


European reports suggest it will appear in 2020, with the electric i4 following about a year later.


As before, the 4 Series will be based on the latest 3 Series that was introduced to Australian showrooms earlier this year.

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