Frank Stephenson is brutally honest on his YouTube channel where he has racked up 200,000 subscribers in only three years. The talented man who penned the BMW X5 (E53) and the first modern MINI had harsh things to say about the Concept XM. He mentioned it’s “terrible” and that “each line has a mind of its own”.
Let’s just say the 62-year-old designer from Casablanca is not a big fan of BMW’s recent design direction. In a new video in which he critiques car designs sent to him by fans, he was quite fond of a sketch submitted by Aram Badalyan. The independent artist imagined a Z4 with a fixed metal roof instead of today’s folding soft top.
The sketch depicts a sports car with a retro-flavored vertical grille and a long hood signaling longitudinal engines. The man behind the Ford Escort RS Cosworth’s design thoroughly liked the hypothetical Z4. “You understand beauty, you understand history, you’ve understood the way to carry a design into the next generation without losing the advantages, the loyalty to the last car.”
A Next-Gen BMW Z4 Is Unlikely To Happen Though
The 26-year-old amateur designer was praised for the front three-quarter view, albeit Frank Stephenson did notice an error. The side profile doesn’t perfectly match the front as it’s quite tricky to draw the same car from different angles. Those wheels mimicking the BMW roundel are a “gimmick”, per the man who also styled the McLaren P1.
A real car would need more ground clearance and a bit of room in the wheel well for the tires. Despite these drawbacks, Frank Stephenson says he sees it as a legitimate Z4 successor: “You have a very pure, very recognizable BMW Z4 successor.”
However, a recent report states there won’t be a new one as BMW plans to discontinue the model in 2025. Before getting the proverbial axe, the Z4 is said to go through a mild facelift in 2023.
[Source: Frank Stephenson / YouTube]