One of the larger controversies surrounding the design of the new BMW 4 Series has been the location of the front license plate, specifically American license plates. Unlike Euro plates, which are short and wide and actually relatively elegant looking, American plates are taller and narrower, more square-like. All of the press images of the new 4er featured Euro-spec cars with European plates. Because of that, fans couldn’t really imagine what the 4 Series would look like with American plates and whatever they did imagine didn’t seem very appealing.
In these new photos, we get to see what the new BMW 4 Series might look like with different U.S. plates. Honestly, the design doesn’t look great, as the license plate doesn’t span the entire width of the grille and sort of looks tacked on, which is never good. While most cars look worse with any sort of front license plate, this new 4 Series looks especially odd with one.
Admittedly, there are many U.S. states that do not require drivers to have a front license plate. Most do require it but almost half do not. So in those states that don’t demand drivers fix front license plates to their cars, the 4 Series will look great (relatively speaking, of course). However, for those that do have to put a front plate on, it might end up messing with the design of your car.
Of course, this is true for any car, as front plates — especially big, bulky American ones — never really look good and always sort of take away from a car’s design. Having said that, so cars do integrate front plates better than others and it seems that the 4 Series is going to be the latter camp.
You can think of it another way, though. If you don’t like the new grille design, then the big American front license plate actually blocks a lot of it for you.