Famed automotive designer Frank Stephenson launched a pretty great YouTube channel recently. Not only does he go over some of the cars he designed — like the original BMW X5, Fiat’s reborn 500 or the Maserati MC12 — he dissects the styling of a whole bunch of other cars, too. The latest video, which published earlier this week, takes a look at the new BMW 4 Series coupe, a car that’s causing quite a bit of controversy, namely for its giant grille.
It’s important to note why Stephenson’s take on the 4 Series is extra-interesting. This is a man who spent many years designing cars for BMW, so he knows all about the company’s internal workings. Even so, he admits it’s “difficult to understand” why BMW would put a grille like this on one of its new cars, as it doesn’t go with the proportions of the rest of the coupe. Stephenson says the grille almost looks like nostrils, and that’s not a compliment. He also notes it’s weird that the positioning of the front license plate doesn’t seem to have been considered when designing this car. “You can’t forget about the registration plate,” he says.
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Grille aside, Stephenson says the 4 Series has “nice proportions,” but finds a lot of other things to nitpick. For example, he regrets that BMW seems to have nearly eliminated the company’s iconic Hofmeister kink and says there’s “a lot happening” at the rear. Perhaps it’s a good thing BMW will keep this design exclusive to the 4 Series.
The 14-minute-long video is a great watch, and Stephenson has a lot of really interesting things to say about the new 4 Series. It’s worth your time, and be sure to sound off with what you think of the new 4 Series’ design in the comments.