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Hagerty Employee

Smithology: A little too on the nose

No one cares what I think of the styling on the new BMW M4, so I won’t tell you.


I will go out of my way, in fact, to avoid telling you: that the car in question resembles nothing so much as a gin-drunk and particularly angry rabbit with a hellacious overbite; that its comically large grille openings fail to cohere with the car’s various lines and forms; that the whole mess reminds me of that moment, several years ago, when I woke in the middle of the night and looked over the side of the bed to find my bean-brained but lovable spaniel, Elly, whimpering because she had accidentally jammed her jaws open around one of those rubber Kong chew-toy things that she loves so much.


Read the full article on

New Driver

I look at that M4 and I think about how time has grown kinder to certain Chris Bangle-era BMW designs that initially provoked outrage among many. I think this one will go the way of the Aztek.


Intermediate Driver

If someone at BMW wanted to design a hideous grille, he/she should have resigned then joined Toyota/Lexus, where they have specialize in hideous grilles.


Brilliant piece, as usual.  "...that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities", is a quote from something far more serious, but it's used well here.  BMW seems to have a knack for controversial styling but it doesn't seem to have harmed the cachet.

Advanced Driver

First, thanks for referring to Mr. Cumberford. I've been trying to remember his name since I first read a piece by Sajeev.  (I miss Jean Jennings, btw.  Special person.)


Second, my first impression of the M4 nose was biased to the negative by the fact that the photo of a grey, non-camouflaged version was taken from an angle that exaggerated the size of the front end.  The photos accompanying this piece have a normal perspective, and the nose looks less like something from a "Sharknado" movie poster.  Even so, any attempt I might make to be fair about any design detail on the prototype is thwarted by the effect of the noxious paint color.  I wish I could see it in black, or in white.  


Here we are again:  "De gustibus non disputandem est."  Unless, as another person mentioned here, the subject is the Lexus "spindle," which is an Aztec-class abomination.

New Driver

I first saw this horrific beak at BMW's Press Conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. The passage of time has not lessened its cartoonish vulgarity. Paul Bracq must be shaking his head in disgust. He designed the "Sharknose" E24, one of the most best looking autos to ever come out of Munich. 


Wow...  I think BMW should NEVER use that color again.  Also, that's the most unflattering front end I've seen on any BMW ever.  The rest of the car is ok, but that front just doesn't make me think BMW.  Bit of a disappointment, really.

Intermediate Driver

Grille-wise, I'm reminded of MC Hammer's parachute pants from the waist to the knees. Don't Touch This.

New Driver

I guess I'm the outlier here, but I almost kind of actually like it.  It's growing on me (yeah, yeah, like a fungus) and at least it isn't boring.  The kidney grills on most recent BMWs have, to my eyes, become overly soft and squished looking.  These things are neither soft nor squished looking

Advanced Driver

Personally, I feel that starting about 2012, each succeeding generation of BMW's got uglier and less smoothly integrated front ends. The traditional kidneys were stretched horizontally, various gaping apertures and flaps were added willy-nilly. These new kidneys have a more traditional shape, but they are too tall, evoking images of beaver teeth! Just like Acura with the "beak" and Lexus with the
"predator" spindle BMW is pushing the boundaries of good looks. These ALMOST make the huge backlit three point Mercedes look tasteful! 🙂