BMW executive says customers 'love' massive kidney grille

The product boss suggests critics are simply "afraid of something new."

BMW product head Peter Henrich has joined fellow executives in defending the company's shift toward massive kidney grilles.

The X7, latest 7 Series refresh and Concept 4 have stirred controversy for their huge grilles. The automaker is apparently planning to double down, however, and carry forward the design element on its upcoming vehicles.

Speaking to Autocar, Henrich claimed the company has received "very positive" feedback from customers and must make bold design decisions to accommodate core buyers who are "not afraid of vehicles with strong characters." The X7 and 7 Series have apparently achieved strong sales, giving the company little reason to back down from the polarizing styling.

"When first shown the X7, people said: 'How big is the kidney grille?' But customers never reacted like that and the car is a great success," he said. "It's sold out for a very long period and people love it."

The executive cautioned that only some models are characterized by bold designs as part of their respective product positioning, suggesting BMW may not be planning to go wild with gaping maws across the board. In any case, the next-generation 4 Series is expected to follow suit with a much larger grille than the current model.

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