The Bimmer Beavers


Photo Credits: BMW

Dhruv Vaze, Opinions Editor

Ah, yes. The 2021 G20 M3 and G82 M4. You’ve probably heard the reactions to BMW’s “questionable” design choices for their updated performance sedans. “BMW made sedans with beaver buck-teeth” or “Kidney grills? They look more like lungs to me!”

The appeal of BMW’s M lineup to car-enthusiasts has been made clear throughout history: people desire the understated performance of M cars with the performance of supercars. Though the M sedans of recent years (F80 and E90) have gotten a more sporty and aggressive design, they maintain the understated performance.

The new M3 and M4, with their ugly grills, jagged cuts, and flared fenders, seem to break this trend. Many die-hard BMW fans are in disbelief: “why would BMW fix a formula that isn’t broken?”.

My take on the subject is the following: these cars aren’t made for the North American and European markets. In the past fifteen years, BMW sales volume in China has increased from 17,582 to a whopping 544,500 new cars; as the Chinese middle and upper class grows, the demand for luxury goods increases. In 2019, China was the largest market segment for BMW’s new car sales, a trend that surely appeared many times in BMW executives’ strategy meetings. It follows that these cars may be intended for a different market segment than we expect, as it makes the most financial sense for BMW. 

The awkward styling of the M3 and M4 may open up demand for aftermarket front bumpers to replace their hideous features. But, who knows? Just as many of us have habituated to our ear-grating alarms and peacefully sleep through them, we may just end up appreciating BMW’s design choices.