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New BMW Concept 4 is next 4 Series in all but name

The radical BMW Concept 4 is 85 per cent representative of what the new 4 Series will look like when it arrives in 2020

A concept version of the all-new BMW 4 Series has been revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it's said to be 85 per cent production-ready. The BMW Concept 4 dazzled show goers with its radical design, sleek silhouette and polarising front end. As with all two-door coupes, the firm will focus on design and image for the upcoming 4 Series Coupe, previewed by this new BMW Concept 4.

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• BMW 4 Series in-depth review

Building a concept car for a vehicle that already exists within the product range is a new move from BMW, but the company has said that on this occasion it wants to demonstrate how it plans to distance the next 4 Series from the 3 Series saloon with which it shares its underpinnings. All being well, the production-ready 4 Series should arrive towards the middle of 2020.

Let's address the elephant in the room: the Concept 4's polarising grille. It’s a style we’ve already seen on the X7 SUV and 7 Series saloon, but it’s the first time a vertical design has transferred to a coupe. BMW says the shape is a new interpretation of the vertical grille seen on the famous BMW 328 sports car, and the E9 coupe of the seventies.

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BMW says it will be carried over from concept to production almost unchanged, although intricate details, such as the grating within the grille that creates hundreds of tiny ‘number 4s’, are unlikely to make the transition. It's not clear where the numberplate will be fixed, either.

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The twin headlamp set-up is a unique design that cuts sharply into the grille and does away with traditional lens covers, but the rest of the Concept 4’s design is more conventional. There's a long bonnet, set-back cabin and slender glasshouse. It rides on intricate 21-inch alloy wheels, which feature a lighter five-spoke design ahead of contrasting darkened spokes. The LED rear lamps are a nod to BMW’s familiar L-shaped design from production cars and feature a single fibre-optic element.

There are no images of the Concept 4’s cabin; BMW’s sole focus, it says, is on showcasing the exterior design of the upcoming 4 Series. It’s highly likely that the cabin will be carried over almost wholesale from the 3 Series saloon, and it’s a similar story with the powertrain options. No details on the show car’s engine have been issued, but expect a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid options for the new 4 Series Coupe.

Click here for all the latest from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show...

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