Today marked our first official look at the all-new BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept.
Regardless of your brand favorites, this marks an important day simply because the 3-Series is largely considered the benchmark in the entry-level premium class.
Oh yeah, and it sells a ton of this product. Everyone in the automotive industry was looking at this launch today.
While the general consensus around here seems to be a bunch of high fiving and folks looking forward to seeing the production version, I am not jumping up and down. Sorry to be a "Debbie Downer," boys and girls but this isn't all that in my book.
For starters, I can't seem to figure out why the front and rear valence are essentially mirroring each other. Frankly, it just looks silly. What happened to that faux rear diffuser BMW typically outfits its sportier models with? At least that seems to take away visual heft.
Next up is that WRETCHED side vent. While BMW is linking its functionality to the Air Curtain, I have to say that I hope it provides significant benefits in terms of efficiency because it looks like a complete afterthought. If the savings aren't significant, frankly, I don't think this vent's addition is worth it. I guess it's sort of like that saying from supermodel Kate Moss: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." In other words, I'd rather not gain a insignificant difference in efficiency for a tacked-on design element that really kills how clean the vehicle's side profile would have looked.
Lastly, I can't understand how BMW could show off what is easily one of the brand's most ill-conceived interiors. What is up with the cowboy-inspired inter-woven leather bits? Is this a horse saddle or an interior? On top of that is the contrasting stitch that adorns certain panels and the leather and it all leaves a bad taste in my mouth. On top of the criss-crossing lines the interior panels have, plus the contrasting stitch, plus the aluminum, wood, and two-tone color this is one of the busiest interiors on the planet. That's not a good thing.
While I know the production version will obviously be much more toned down, it's not like the standard 3-Series' interior is a work of art. It too is plagued with these downright confusing seams.
Though I can't be sure if I am alone on these critiques, I do have to say I think this is a far cry from the days of the 2003 E46 330Ci I use to drive. That was a vehicle with a teutonic look, a driver-focused, flowing interior and it oozed class.
This, on the other hand, just screams all of the things I wouldn't look for in an entry-level premium product whether it's a concept or production.
An excerpt from BMW's press release follows:
Craftsmanship, sustainability and technical refinement.
Developed by BMW Individual, the colour and materials design of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is tailored precisely to the geometry of the interior. The two-tone Black and Schiaparelli Brown trim provides a particularly effective showcase for the interplay of forms in the front cabin, and light contrast stitching adds a fresh touch to the leather-covered surfaces. This exclusive trim consists of sustainably tanned leather, which makes a convincing case for itself with its natural feel and soft texture, as well as the environment-friendly tanning process used to produce it.
The fine detailing of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe exterior is continued inside the car, numerous elements of which reflect the exceptional attention to detail with which the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe has been put together. As well as discreetly embossed “BMW Individual” lettering on the seats and door sill strips, the seats are also home to very special hand-braided leather trim elements, which run vertically down the seats and enhance the interior’s feeling of class. The likewise leather-covered cup holders also adopt the braiding theme, as do the floor mats.
A Natural Chestnut fine wood trim strip adds the finishing touch to the exclusive interior. The combination of carefully selected, high-grade materials, sophisticated details and the extensive use of handcraftsmanship fills the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe with an ambience defined by contemporary luxury. The Liquid Metal Silver exterior colour developed exclusively for the concept car shows off its expressive exterior design to excellent effect and injects an extra dose of energy into the interplay of contours and surfaces.
BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept Photo Gallery