BMW recently unveiled the Concept 4, whose name might not resonate because it was probably hard to get past the vehicle’s glaring grille in order to read the details. But even if the rest of the world thought the front of the car looked like the snout of a giant radioactive pig, BMW is standing behind it.
BMW has to move forward, you see, and at BMW, forward means outward. Its grilles keep getting bigger, and the rest of us keep shrinking in fear, hoping they won’t haunt us in our dreams.
Autocar talked to BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk about the choice to make the Concept 4 grille larger than a sinkhole that could swallow the car itself, saying that it’s hard to make changes while successful but that you have to because if you fall behind, catching back up turns into “panic mode.”
Staying ahead of panic mode apparently means forming a grille large enough to swallow the possibility whole, at BMW. To each their own.
“I’m not a psychologist but I know BMW is a brand that not only has customers, it has fans. They know our entire design history and have strong opinions on that. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, it means we have really connected with these people on an emotional level. Okay, I know that there might be some discussion with fans because they’ve grown to love what you’ve just done and you’re changing it already.
“As a company, you have to keep moving,” he continued. “The minute you start standing still, you become an easy target. [...]”
You know what’s an easy target? Nah, forget it, that joke is too easy.
Van Hooydonk vent on, saying that the idea for the future of BMW design is to focus on certain elements and have those elements play “a bigger role” —an approach only really uncontroversial when taken with rear wings.
Describing the 4 Series specifically, van Hooydonk said: “It is a sporty coupé, and by definition it has to have a very expressive design, and you see that all around the car, not just the front. But there are not that many lines or elements – it’s not a complex design.
“We want to do this for all our cars: we want to have fewer elements, then each element you use plays a bigger role.”
Perhaps this is a good thing for BMW. If its grilles eventually morph into black holes from sheer gravitational pull, then they will be able to swallow up every other automaker in existence, thus eliminating the competition.
It’s a solid business strategy.
[h/t to Carscoops]