If you haven’t seen the almost endless criticism of the new BMW 4 Series and its all-new styling, you’ve been living under a rock. This new 4er has the most controversial design of any BMW since the E65 7 Series and likely even surpasses that car, in terms of sheer shock value. Due to the polarization of the new grille, many fans have already decided to customize the grille and even replace the front end with aftermarket designs. Some tuning companies are already working on aftermarket solutions. This desire to change the design, however, doesn’t bother BMW’s Head of Exterior Design.

“I like the idea of customizing – we see it in the motorcycle world, there’s a lot of customizing – and if people think ‘we can tune a car, we can make it different’ or they’re kind of styling the car to their own personality even more, of course they should do it,” BMW exterior design boss Christopher Weil recently told Australia’s Cars Guide. “We have certain offerings at BMW – they are very expressive pieces – or you can even put on aftermarket (parts), and great wheels and stuff like this, but even if people go somewhere else and customize the car, it’s fine with me, I think it’s cool.”

Weil also said that the job of the 4 Series isn’t to blend in with the rest of BMW’s design language but to stand out. “To polarize with design is also very good, it’s a good thing because I think there are enough cars in our line-up which are addressing classical themes or classical beauty, let’s say, but we want to shift the boundaries with our product,” he said.

It certainly stands out but whether or not it does so in a good way is a different question. To many BMW fans, it seems as if the new 4 Series stands out for the sake of standing out, which is what has a lot of BMW enthusiasts upset. However, there is something to be said about trying to be bold and attract a younger audience that’s generally losing interest in cars.

“We are hoping that this car appeals to young customers, but I would say if young or old, it’s addressing a certain mindset.” said Weil. Hopefully it works out for BMW, as getting young people interested in coupes and sports cars isn’t an easy task. However, if fans want to buy the 4 Series and customize its grille, Weil is okay with that, too.

[Source: Cars Guide]