BMW Z4 Designer Explains: New Grille Design Reminiscent of 328 Mille Miglia

BMW Z4, News | August 24th, 2018 by 23
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The BMW Z4 is now out in full and people are not necessarily completely excited about it. Most BMW fans love the way it looks but some have pointed out that some typical BMW design cues are missing and that’s causing quite a stir. As probably might’ve noticed, the biggest change comes in the frontal area, more precisely, the kidney grilles. Unlike the typical vertical bars we’ve grown to love over nearly 100 years of BMW history, they are now replaced by a new design but it wasn’t by accident according to Calvin Luk.

Luk is one of the up and coming designers in the automotive field. He’s worked on a number of new BMWs and he is also the one who penned the Z4 as we see it today. In a recent interview with Autocar, he explains why the design team moved in this direction with the kidney grille: “It has the vertical bars of the BMW motif, but in a mesh form of mini aeroplanes. It’s reminiscent of the 328 Mille Miglia race car.”

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The front end design posed the biggest issues and not necessarily because of this new interpretation of the grille but because of the legislation as Luk puts it: “Every project has unique challenges, but the front end tends to be the most problematic because of required crash structures. For example, we tried to get the kidneys as low as possible, but we would probably have put them even lower if it weren’t for other considerations.”

Another new thing implemented on the Z4 is the trademark corona rings. Whereas in BMWs they would be located next to each other, the Z4 has them on lined-up vertically, a bold new take. “The stacked lights were decided in the sketch phase. It felt more exotic and sports car-like. The lights are high and the kidney grille is low,” Luk added. It may be peculiar, but I think it works. Of course, pictures might be distorting how the car actually look like in real life, so you might want to hold off judgement until you get to see it personally.

[Source: Autocar]

23 responses to “BMW Z4 Designer Explains: New Grille Design Reminiscent of 328 Mille Miglia”

  1. itaiti says:

    i dont hate it not does it pull on my heart strings

  2. mihsf says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the front end doesn’t look good?

  3. Craig Walker says:

    It’s a significant change, so I’m doing my best to temper my expectations until I actually see it for myself. I think the side and rear profiles look fine but, I’m not sure what it is, there’s something about the front end that is messing with my head. I think it’s the bold black bars around the new interior part of the grille (I like the new grille interior, but those black bars around the edge…). I’m hoping it’s simply that the bright red car in the debut pictures and this orange/red car at the Pebble debut were just a very poor choice of color combination for the production reveal. I’m holding out hope that the car will stun in black exterior, or the design team quickly goes back to the drawing board and tweaks the bold black bars around the grille and/or tightens them up a bit and/or offers an option to match the body color (like it originally looked in the concept). I think that will fix the front end. I think… I hope…

  4. Marco says:

    Kia should sue BMW for copying it.

  5. Thespian says:

    The statement “Every project has unique challenges, but the front end tends to be the most problematic…” suggest to me that Mr. Luk, and BMW knew the front end would not evoke the kind of passion they intended when introducing the concept car last year.
    By saying “…we tried to get the kidneys as low as possible, but we would probably have put them even lower if it weren’t for other considerations.” I interpret that as meaning it’s not the design they wanted; that they made compromises which departed from their vision.
    I am in no way an expert, and can’t begin to understand the obstacles they face, but when I see some truly stunning production vehicles from other manufacturers

  6. Fanda says:

    This looks like škoda and minicooper combined. It just doesnt look like a BMW. Rip Z4s future…

  7. Mathis Haas says:

    At least it’s there. I like it, but think the face is too similar to the Fiat 124 Spider… Especially the headlights!

    https://www.ecosia.org/images?q=fiat+124+spider

    • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

      In a one dimensional photo. Z4’s multiple lenses are under a cover that flows from grille to wheel well, including side markers.

  8. Yukatan says:

    Aside from the previously mentioned, Kia-esque styling cues, the worst part is the front bumper’s cheap black plastic cladding, which looks like a dealer forgot to take out the protective pieces used in shipping.

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