What is the Hofmeister Kink?

Interesting | April 7th, 2009 by 22
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“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 498x248

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.

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[Source: NewMediaCampaigns ]

22 responses to “What is the Hofmeister Kink?”

  1. Giom says:

    “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.

  2. Carlos Perez says:

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

  3. Gord says:

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

  4. Horatiu B. says:

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

  5. ferrari fan says:

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

  6. JL says:

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

  7. 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?

  8. Vaybach Khan says:

    …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….

  9. Matski says:

    E36 tourer did not have one either.

  10. Lance says:

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

  11. X5 SoB says:

    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.

  12. Nate says:

    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!

  13. Cunningham C4R says:

    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.

  14. Lindsay says:

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

  15. Mklasse says:

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

  16. Chris Miller says:

    Almost as iconic but no where near as exclusive as the kidney grilles.

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