What if the new 4 Series was less of a tribute to tall BMW grilles of old, and more of the same ol' same ol'? Or if it had even more flair?
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The new-generation 2021 BMW 4 Series is now out in the wild, and while many were concerned about that controversial 'throwback' grille design, the response to the officially revealed look has been… well, nearly as mixed as before.

This writer is more impressed with the final result than anticipated, with the never flattering smattering of revealing spy photos offering an early but somewhat off-putting look at what was to come.

Now, like it or not, the new 4 Series has been revealed, and if the flood of comments in the CarAdvice discussion section is any indication – some love it, some hate it, and some hate how much they love it.

"Dare I say this, I like it!" says reader Matt, while reader Nebs90 likes everything except that one standout feature: "Looks great, apart from that grille, not as bad as I expected though."

Positive Spin lives up to their name, and clearly 'gets' what BMW was going for: "Beautiful. Stunning. Unique. And has some classic BMW to it in that vertical grill."

Reader VeeTech went too damn far, declaring it "Uglier than a Fiat Multipla" – but hey, it was the heat of the moment, emotions were running hot, I get it.

"Unpopular opinion but I really like this," said reader Fritz Mouton, and scored himself three upvotes and one downvote for his troubles. Actually, make that four upvotes, as of now.

"Due in Australia in October...can we please keep the borders closed?" said Professor Ski Lodge. Ouch. 18 upvotes for that Border Force request.

Alright, let's move on.

What if the 4 Series looked different? What if it looked more like its big brother the new 8 Series? What if it looked a little more… Alfa? (All cars should be so lucky to look a little bit Alfa.)

To extract these ideas from our imaginations and put 'em where you can see 'em, we called in our favourite creator of speculative renderings, Theophilus Chin.


First up, the 4 Series as 8 Series. Here, you see how the new 4er would look with a more conventional take on BMW's iconic grille design.

A little more like its old self.

And, the thing is… it's almost a bit too tame, now that we've seen how bold the car looks in its true form. What do you think?


As reader HW claims, "The big number plate hides all its ugliness. Will be a shocker here with our small plates. Back to the 80s and 90s for BMW design."

Well, forget the small plates, how about no plate at all? At reader XX's request – "Nice. If only the number plate can be deleted" – here we present the new 4 Series with a side-mounted number plate, exposing the big grille in all its glory.

Tell us what you think about these alternatives, in the comments below.


BONUS: Potential 2021 BMW M4 design, rendered by X-Tomi Design. That black grille makes a difference, doesn't it... but it really needs its guards pumped, stat!