The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When It's Functional

Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW

While everybody is busy arguing over the vast new mug of the 2021 BMW 4 Series redesign, but the new BMW M4 GT3 race car ain’t half bad!

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As the title sponsor of the upcoming BMW M Grand Prix of Styria MotoGP, the automaker is taking this moment ahead of the event to flex its new BMW M4 and its sibling racecar.

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Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW

The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype is due to replace the current Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour-winning BMW M6 GT3 as the top-range BMW M Motorsport model starting later next year on a select few grids, and then really get things going in 2022.

So far, though, the cars are still in their camouflaged “prototype” guises because they still have testing to complete and could change. And also because every single possible stage of a vehicle’s reveal is its own Event these days, and BMW wants to reveal the official look at a later date for more clicks, or whatever.

Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW
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Still—I’ve seen enough to decide that the controversial new Grand Canyon kidney grille on the street M4 is actually pretty good lookin’ on the racecar.

This may be a case of seeing the true functional form of a new design only after the reveal of its pure performance model—like realizing they clearly had an awkward need for a bigger hole in the front of their racecar. From there, maybe the marketing team pushed for the big nose on the streetcar, to justify the racing budget and embrace the “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” ideology.

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Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW

But look at it. Obviously there is a lot more going on here than the streetcar to help distract from the proportion of everything, but BMW has made sure to highlight the grille profile to make sure you recognize, yeah, it’s working here.

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The success of this look is not in the red lipstick, though. It’s the lack of bullshit plastic hiding the function of the new look from us on the streetcar that makes this work. The contrast of the red points out the grey of the inset mesh, screaming “I need air, and don’t you even fucking think about blocking me!” Like a jet exhaust in reverse.

Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW
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Perhaps if the surface of the street car’s grille was also broken up laterally, rather than just a giant sea of despair staring into your soul, with a more obvious peek at the condensers, conditioners and radiators tucked behind all that darkness, it would resonate a little more with just about anybody.

Is it good if the racecar looks better than the streetcar? I’m not sure, but fortunately, it’s something that’d be very easy to fix in a mid-cycle refresh (if the race car is any good, that is).

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Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW
Illustration for article titled The BMW M4 GT3 Prototype Racer Proves The New Grille Looks Good When Its Functional
Photo: BMW

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Bradley Brownell

l oo k s g o o d ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

No