As manufacturers become evermore, erm, bold with their styling directions, we get the feeling aftermarket ‘fixes’ are going to become big business. We’ve already seen one British company come up with a more subtle front end treatment for the Aston Martin Vantage, and mere weeks after the release of the new BMW M4, Prior Design revealed a different take in the car’s huge nostrils.
Speaking about the M4’s less raucous sibling, the 4-series, BMW head of exterior design Christopher Weil seemed to suggest he was A-OK with this sort of thing. “We have certain offerings at BMW - they are very expressive pieces - or you can even put on aftermarket [components], and great wheels and stuff like this, but even if people go somewhere else and customise the car, it’s fine with me, I think it’s cool,” he told Cars Guide. And yes, that does include kidney grille ‘remedies’.
Weil also explained the thinking behind the 4-series’ look, noting it stemmed from wanting “to divide the 4-series more from the 3-series…they were very much the same”. He says the 4er is intended to be “more expressive, more progressive and also more elegant than the 3-series.”
Vast swathes of the Internet might disagree with the “elegant” part of that description, but as far as Weil is concerned, the divisive reaction to the car is a good thing. “To polarize with design is also very good, it’s a good thing because I think there are enough cars in our line-up which are addressing classical themes or classical beauty,” he said.
Weil pinned the blame for some of the negative reaction to the car on the photos - customers are more likely to get on board when seeing it in the flesh, he reckons. The other side to that, of course, is that most of the press images we’ve seen thus far feature high-spec 4-series with big wheels an M Sport body kits. The thought of that big, aggressive face paired with less snazzy paint finishes and tiny, boggo-spec wheels is decidedly less palatable.