KIA design chief says its “Tiger Nose” grille is similar to BMW’s Kidney Grilles

Interesting, News | April 30th, 2018 by 28
2018 kia stinger gt first drive 830x553

One of the most famous and iconic styling cues of any automotive brand is BMW’s Kidney Grille design. Even people who don’t know about cars …

One of the most famous and iconic styling cues of any automotive brand is BMW’s Kidney Grille design. Even people who don’t know about cars could see a de-badged BMW and recognize it as such from its signature twin grilles. The design as been around since BMW started making cars 100 years ago and, while it’s evolved and morphed over the years, it’s still present and immediately recognizable. Few other brands have grilles as well-known as BMW’s. Jeep and Alfa Romeo are the only brands that come to mind, to be honest. However, Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Group Design Chief, feels that KIA will now have such a grille, dubbed the “Tiger Nose”.

We’re not really sure why it’s called that, being that it doesn’t really look like a tiger’s nose, but it sounds cool so we’ll roll with it. Though that’s neither here nor there. Schreyer seems to think that KIA is onto something with the Tiger Nose and that all KIAs moving forward will have such a grille design. He even compares it to BMW’s famous Kidney Grilles, something he knows quite a bit about considering he used to work for BMW. “I think [the tiger nose grille] should be the kidney grilles,” he said in an interview with CarBuzz. “Even if BMW is kind of watering them down at the moment […] I am very happy and I think it is very good for Kia that we have [the tiger nose].”

2018 BMW i8 Roadster test drive 115 830x553



Schreyer even feels that KIA has more design freedom with the Tiger Nose than BMW does with its famous Kidneys. “Of course, we have the freedom as compared to the kidney grilles that are more fixed. They cannot break. The tiger nose is much more variable. You can make it higher, lower, wider, smaller, pair it with different headlamps, whatever. As long as you have the two things in the middle, it always works”.

At the moment, KIA uses the Tiger Grille on every model it sells and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that changing. And that’s smart, as a signature grille design doesn’t work if it’s only a few models. It needs to be a corporate-wide look that even the brand’s cheapest models have. That creates brand recognition. “We had a workshop recently with designers where we talked about how we want to proceed and what we want to do. One thing we all said was, ‘Tiger nose forever.’”

Kia Stinger 07 750x497



That’s a bold claim from Schreyer, though. BMW’s Kidney Grilles have been around for a century, KIA’s Tiger Nose has been around for five minutes. Not that it’s a bad design, just a bold claim. However, it does make sense for KIA to follow the same blueprint as BMW and it’s nice to see KIA becoming a bigger, better car company than it ever has been, with its own signature grille design that should be immediately recognizable in years to come.

[Source: CarBuzz]

28 responses to “KIA design chief says its “Tiger Nose” grille is similar to BMW’s Kidney Grilles”

  1. Icebreakerr says:

    I dont like kia and this makes me dislike them even more

  2. yawn says:

    KIA’s are starter/college/throw away cars for people with poor credit. They’re the IKEA of the auto industry. Low expectations. Not sure why this is even a topic on BIMMERPOST. To say there is some comparison to European performance vehicles is a stretch. I’m wearing Ferragamo shoes and you’re trying to sell me on Croc’s? Come on.

  3. ZeroCold says:

    Looks like the nose of the new M2 Competition. 😟
    Instead they should have called it “hammerhead shark nose”.

    • jason bourne says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what BMW was thinking when they inserted that little bit of black trim to disguise the kidneys on the M2C… What a utterly stupid thing to do.

  4. Yukatan says:

    Considering BMW is starting to copy Kia by removing the middle part of the kidney altogether, I’d say they’re doing something right. It’s iconic while being simple.

    • pervertt says:

      Can’t believe BMW would mess with something as iconic as the kidney grill. KIA was the first thing I thought of when I first saw the face of the M2 C.

  5. Giom says:

    I bet that BMW designers were looking at this joined kidney design element decades ago. Maybe then it didn’t make sence, maybe it was too much too soon… I don’t know. But to think for one second that BMW looked to KIA for inspiration… you really don’t know this company very well.

    • Giro says:

      I know the company .. and they are copying !! Look also for the kidney mesh design of the forthcoming Z4 is also a copy from kia

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        Oh you mean like this ?

        Yeah no, KIA didn’t invent that grille design and they weren’t the first to use it on a kidney-style grille either. BMW just re-used Zagato’s idea but replaced the “Z” by a more conventional design

        • Bryan says:

          Just as a FYI though, KIA debuted the tiger nose in 2010, which people in the auto industry know means they had the design in preparation for at least a year or two before 2010, possibly longer or not.

          But regardless, kidney grilles and tiger noses are both timeless in my opinion, I like em both, so good for BMW and KIA.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Yeah my timing was way off, it debuted on a concept in 2007 and the design was most likely thought off in 2005 when Schreyer joined since that’s his big pride. Anyway, there is no denying that the KIA grille is very inspired by BMW’s kidney grille, especially in the recent 5 years where the grill really are shaped like BMW grilles with just a wide band in the middle, where at first they were just normal grilles with a metal thing on the middle top and bottom of the logo.

            So saying that BMW copied the KIA grille for the Z4 ? Come on now

          • Bryan says:

            No biggie haha. Yeah I agree, I’m sure the tiger nose grille was inspired by the kidney grille in some form, and I also do think there are some elements in BMW inspired by KIA too, but like you said about the Z4, I don’t think it’s a straight up copy for either of these two companies. They’re both doin a good job.

      • Giom says:

        You know the company? We all know the company…

    • Bryan says:

      I kinda agree with you, I’m sure there’s a chance BMW could have looked at it decades ago. Maybe, and also maybe not, too. Who really knows, mainly since all we know is that BMW never released a joined version in the past.

      Without getting into the whole what-ifs, I guess I just think the kidney grille and tiger nose both just happen to be timeless designs. It’s rare to be able to find a transcendent design, so kudos to both of them.

      I actually like both BMW and KIA, so it’s pretty cool that they both get inspiration from each other. Can’t remember everything, but an example for each one off the top of my head might be BMW’s striped tail lights, and KIA Optima’s front bottom vents connecting to turned up corner fog lights (not sure how to describe this part other than this way haha, but anyway the Optima was famous for popularizing this element). Taking some inspiration from others doesn’t take away anything from how awesome BMW is and vice versa imho.

  6. Arunabh says:

    Say what you want about Kia, they have made exquisitely proportioned car in Stinger.

    Its far more interesting looking than most current BMW cars.

  7. Gotstalovedemjokes says:

    I am looking forward to the new iKia

    The worlds first flat pack, self assembly electric car.

  8. disqus_NdrthOMZ62 says:

    Kidneys have been joined in the metal for years, chrome trim made them appear separate.

  9. Edson Alves Pereira says:

    i like bmw, mercedes, audi and porsche that same way.

  10. Senne says:

    KIA should be ashamed. I mean basically they admit they have taken the genius concept of the Kidney Grilles, connected it entirely and gave it a weird twist. Tada the “tiger nose” has been created.

    Also, for anyone doubting: BMW would NEVER copy from KIA. It’s only the other way around!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.