Tuning company already working on ‘fixing’ that BMW grille
One of the biggest announcements of the year thus far has been BMW’s unveiling of a new M3 and M4. Not necessarily because both models are particularly radical mechanically, but because the grilles fronting each model’s fascia have been met with particularly strong … errr … feedback.
It was a matter of time before a tuning company of some kind would reveal a replacement front end for the M3 and M4. And, first cab off the rank looks to be Prior Design.
The firm has shown off a series of slightly different front ends, all revolving around the same treatment to BMW’s twin-kidney grille. Gone are the huge ‘coffins’ from the production M3 and M4; each replaced with a grille much closer in proportion and shape to the M135i’s grille and a few of the other models in BMW’s line-up.
Prior Design has elected to draft in a solid body-coloured bar underneath these kidneys, both to give the license plate a mounting point and to break up the sea of vent. Then, the secondary grille at the bottom becomes wider before being shaped to suit the vents on the flanks. They're unveiled numerous spins on the same tweaks across a bunch of different images.
None of these looks appears to have been crafted for real just yet, with all of the images released so far being renders based on BMW press photography.
Whether the changes look better or not is up to the individual, but I can imagine these being a good seller once the new models start hitting showrooms. Prior Design hasn’t confirmed that these bumpers will actually make it into production. However, it has told press elsewhere that they “probably” will.
Both the M3 and M4 utilise a twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline six, producing 375kW of power and 650Nm of torque. Both models have been confirmed for New Zealand in Competition guise only, meaning we will miss out on any manual transmission variants.
Head of BMW M, Markus Flasch, defended the new nose in a round-table discussion earlier this year, saying that the front-end styling of the new M3 and M4 has actually received a lot of positive feedback.
“So far the response from the media that we’ve shown the car was extremely positive,” he said
“It’s logical because we really took the design of the 4 Series to another level. We got rid of the kidney frame, we have an embossed bonnet. The rest is very much different, much more different than anything we did in the past driven from BMW.
“The front looks like a race car engineer has designed it and not a designer. This is how we wanted it to be. I think it’s the right move. I haven’t received [negative] comments anyway. I think it was the right move, it suits the car, it’s beneficial for cooling air intake.
“I wouldn’t change it if I could.”