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What is the Hofmeister Kink?

Interesting | April 7th, 2009 by 21
1ersupersport-11

“Hofmeister Kink” is one of the most common used words when describing the details of a BMW exterior design. But how many of us do …

“Hofmeister Kink” is one of the most common used words when describing the details of a BMW exterior design. But how many of us do really know what it means or the history behind it?

Let’s shed some light on this.

The kink was first time seen on the 1961 BMW 1500 and was later named after then-BMW director of design, Wilhelm Hofmeister.

hofmeister-history

Image Source NewMediaCampaigns

The kink describes the bend at the C-Pillar, representing a turn in the window lines that separates the rear side windows from the rear glass. The Hofmeister Kink design cue was carried through the BMW lineup and it soon became associated with the brand.

The latest 2009 BMW 7 Series models are still “carrying” the Kink, but re-interpreted in a more modern style.

0807_05z2009_bmw_750ihofmeister_kink

There has always been a debate on the Hofmeister Kin whether was born out of necessity in the first auto designs or it simply represents a sign of luxury.

According to the fellows at NewMediaCampaigns,  different auto brands use the Hofmeister Kink to distinguish between similar models of different marques, setting different levels of luxury.

hofmeister-kink

The Hofmeister kink is said by BMW to subtly highlight the fact that all BMW models have rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-wheel bias.

If the next generation BMW 1 Series renderings are accurate, then we might be seeing the first modern BMW without the Hofmeister Kink.

1ersupersport-11

[Source: NewMediaCampaigns ]

  • PeterB

    It’s “Hofmeister Knick”

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofmeister-Knick

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      @PeterB,

      from what I know, it goes by 3 names: Kick, Kink, Knick, I believe the last one is the German version.

    • unknown

      JUST SHUT UP ASSHOLE… IT NOT KNICK BUT KINK! DUMBASS

    • unknown

      JUST SHUT UP ASSHOLE… IT NOT KNICK BUT KINK! DUMBASS

  • Giom

    “If the next generation BMW 1 Series renderings are accurate, then we might be seeing the first modern BMW without the Hofmeister Kink.”

    Oh, what a sad day that would be. But I wouldn’t put any money on renderings. They’ve never been close to being accurate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825975013 Carlos Perez

    Thxn for this i didn’t have any idea of this

  • Gord

    That’s an interesting observation about the other car companies and the Hofmeister Kink.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Gord: Very interesting, but I don’t take credit for that. The NewMediaCampaigns guys put that photo together.

  • ferrari fan

    nice compilation. big fan of these random interesting stuffs that come up in this blog.

  • http://JleviSw.com JL

    VERY interesting indeed. But that’s not an E90 in your photo. It’s an E93.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=778555533 Mirko Reinhardt

    First modern BMW without a Hofmeister Kink? I don’t think so. Even if we ignore the convertibles: What about the E34 touring? Z3 coupe?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631237176 Vaybach Khan

    …the x3.new x1 i dont think theres hofmeister there either…good notice for e34 touring i didnt have that model on my mind cos its very rare in serbia…and ofcourse z3 ,but it was beautiful even so..the x1 is good but x3 is discussable…they should design better alternative for such a suv models…and new one series will have hoffmeister kink,i can bet on it…this theme should be better discussed….

  • Matski

    E36 tourer did not have one either.

  • Lance

    I doubt the new 1 series or other BMWs for that matter will not feature the kink, which is pure BMW

  • X5 SoB

    The Hoffmeister Kink is actually not original to BMW, it is predated by a number of cars that had it in the ’50s, and should properly be named “the Loewry Kink”. The most prolific user was Studebaker.

    • WALT

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT AND GM USED IT IN THE ’40S

  • Nate

    I think the kink in question is absent in the rendering because it appears to me that the basis for the “future 1 Series” is the Audi A5. When they make a rendering, they take an existing object, in this case a car, and make adjustments to that. It’s much easier and quicker than starting from scratch. Look at it. That back window came straight off of an Audi A5. Let’s just pray those planet-sized fog lamps don’t make it to the production model!

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  • Cunningham C4R

    The kink permits easier shoulder and head access to rear seats as the occupant enters the door way, Duh, That’s the real reason it exists, not a lot to do with style.

  • Lindsay

    It’s not an attractive car, but thank fuck the 1-series didn’t turn out looking like that hideous render!

  • Mklasse

    Series 2 Active tourer is FWD, and yet still feature the hofmeister kink design element..

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