BMW SA has released the local line-up of its most controversial car at the moment, the 4 Series.
The 4 Series is supposed to be the sportier, sexier version of BMW’s best selling sedan, the 3 Series. But while the latest generation is certainly sportier than its sedan sibling, the jury is still out on whether it is sexier.
The 4 Series is mostly good looking, especially the rear and the side profile. Things fall apart when you focus on the front. The G22 puts a fresh spin on the BMW’s iconic kidney grille.
It takes clues from the BMW of old and uses a more upright design for the grille. The result is something resembling a “pig nose” or “beaver teeth” and not a classic BMW Coupé.
Since its introduction, the grille has been criticised by fans and industry folks alike.
Frank Stephenson, the designer for the original BMW X5, said the grille looks more like nostrils than the classic BMW grille.
Reacting to the design of the 4 Series, Stephenson said on his YouTube channel: “All in all from the side view, it is very dynamic, it is a pretty car, it is attractive. It is longer and wider, making the car more emotionally dynamic looking,” Stephenson said.
“I love the headlines, they are modern looking and they are a bit sinister looking. The grille looks like nostrils to me. It doesn’t sit well with the proportions of the rest of the car. A lot of design is very well done and they ruined it with a graphic that doesn’t look like BMW designed it,” he said.
Aftermarket part manufacturers are planning to capitalise on the disliked grille. They are already offering customers redesigned front-grilles for the G22 4 Series.
Car Guide reports that Christopher Weil, BMW’s head of exterior design, is fine with customers opting to replace his grille design.
“If people think ‘we can tune a car, we can make it different’ or they’re kind of styling the car to their own personality even more, of course, they should do it,” Weil was quoted as saying.
But if you like the design of the 4 Series, it can be yours starting from R800 000. The local range consists of the “base” models – 420i and 420d – in rear-wheel drive. Until the M4 comes along, the top dog of the range is the M440i xDrive.
All the models come with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The base models can be had in standard or the M Sport package.
The M440i comes fitted with the M Sport package and xDrive. It features BMW M’s TwinPower inline six-cylinder petrol engine churning out 275kW. xDrive helps the car power from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.