MotorTrend published an interesting interview with Hussein Al-Attar, the designer in charge of the 4 Series Concept lights, which definitely contribute to its sexy yet aggressive appeal. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
“There’s so much work that goes into [headlight/taillight design]. I think people don’t even recognize that there are designers only working on these details,” said Al-Attar, who participated in the 2004 Motor Trend/CIAS International Design Contest. “It’s a very complex object. It’s a very exciting process, what we’re doing.”
Today, BMWs have a kidney grille, Hofmeister kink, and L-shaped taillights, but those design details aren’t always visible at night. “[LED lighting] is something that shows you that it’s a BMW even if you can’t see the car,” Al-Attar says.
And while some still refer to such headlight and taillight accents as “light pollution,” Al-Attar appreciates the BMW-specific styling features. “This makes our job easier in the sense that we don’t have to go over the top but also difficult in keeping this heritage, and evolving it with design and technology.”
The BMW 4 Series Coupe concept uses basically the same LED lighting technology found on the 6 Series lineup, but moves from rounded lines to an open hexagon. Al-Attar notes that connecting the light-emitting element to the grille — which is completely closed, by the way — is a new touch. It looks better in person than the LEDs on the current 3 Series sedan and is likely to be retained for the production BMW 4 Series coupe.
“We had a very clear picture in mind from the beginning,” Al-Attar says about designing the 4 Series Coupe concept’s lights. “At the end it was really fine-tuning and talking about where to put the line” connecting the lights to the grille, a few millimeters higher or lower.
“If you look at the dynamic of graffiti lettering or in calligraphy, you can see that the thickness within the same letter is different and this gives it a very dynamic, very emotional appearance and this is what we tried here,” Al-Attar said. “With LED technology, we have the possibility to be very three-dimensional.”