Find out what the designer of the X5 thinks about BMW's new design direction.
It's been a few months since the 2021 BMW 4 Series debuted, and its bold new design direction has been polarizing, to say the least.
In contrast to the BMW 3 Series, the new 4 Series features a massive kidney grille inspired by the 4 Series Concept that has been widely panned. This has prompted render artists to "fix" the front end with a smaller, less jarring kidney grille. We all have our opinions about the BMW 4 Series' appearance, but now a former BMW designer has shared his views about BMW's new design direction. Frank Stephenson previously worked with BMW to help design the X5, so it's interesting to find out what he thinks about BMW's new design direction.
From the side view, Stephenson has mixed opinions about the 2021 BMW 4 Series. The former designer feels that some of BMW's established design cues that give the brand its identity have been sacrificed for the sake of giving the model a new look.
The C-pillar, for example, has lost BMW's distinctive Hofmeister kink, and the design lines are softer than what we're used to seeing on modern BMWs and don't match the A-pillar. Stephenson praised the car's balanced proportions and also commended BMW for attempting a new design direction to establish a new identity.
Of course, Stephenson had to address the elephant in the room: the controversial grille. Like many of us, the designer felt that the grille doesn't blend well with the overall design. "It doesn't look like the graphic department knew that they were going to be designing kidneys for the new BMW. It's just a graphic that doesn't sit well with the proportions of the rest of the car." However, Stephenson praised the headlight design for being "very modern looking." Overall, it's clear that Stephenson has mixed views on BMW's new design direction.
Despite mixed reactions, this new design direction will also be applied to the new M3 and M4, so you better start getting used to it.