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      04-16-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
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Lightbulb The BMW Hofmeister Kink. Still Much Emulated After Five Decades

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The BMW Hofmeister Kink. Still Much Emulated After Five Decades
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There are many signature BMW design elements by which you can easily identify a BMW by - kidney grilles, short overhangs, and the classic Hofmeister kink (the counter sweeping 'kink' at the corner of the rear windows).

Named after former BMW Design Director Wilhelm Hofmeister, the Hofmeister kink is described by BMW as giving the window outline a forward thrust while accentuating a further BMW hallmark: rear-wheel drive. It was introduced in 1961 on the BMW 1500. Some would not think that such a simple styling decision would have such wide influence on the history of automotive design, but it has.

As with all great designs, it's been emulated much over the years by other manufacturers. As the NY Times points out, this was never more evident than at the just concluded NY International Auto Show where some variation of the Hofmeister kink was always in sight. "Nearly all of the four-door cars that made their debuts had rakish roof profiles requiring swept-back C pillars and a sleeker adaptation of the venerable kink."

Why has the kink been so popular? According to the author it's "Because the pillar treatment heavily influences the overall shape of a carís windows ó an important trait that designers call the "daylight opening" ó these kinks can accentuate the horizontal, making cars seem longer. And when framed in chrome, as they increasingly are, they can give a premium appearance even to workaday mass-market sedans."

Here's a look at some of the Hofmeister kink inspired C-pillars on other manufacturer's cars from the NYIAS.


2013 Lexus ES

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2012 Hyundai Azera

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2013 Nissan Altima

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2014 Chevy Impala

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2012 Audi A7

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      04-18-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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      04-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Copy cats .

They can put as many bmw trademark design features in the cars that they want, but it still won't be a bmw
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      04-18-2012, 08:56 AM   #4
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Let's not forget the Bangle Butt was emulated too
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      04-18-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
Copy cats .

They can put as many bmw trademark design features in the cars that they want, but it still won't be a bmw
Exactly
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      04-18-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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I think the best thing about the hofmeister kink is not actually the countersweep on the c-pillar, but rather the fact that it blends right into the doorframe design and highlights the rear-wheel arch.

these copies have yet to do that (surprised the koreans havent....) which is a good thing.
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      04-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR
Copy cats .

They can put as many bmw trademark design features in the cars that they want, but it still won't be a bmw
+1
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      04-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX78703 View Post
I think the best thing about the hofmeister kink is not actually the countersweep on the c-pillar, but rather the fact that it blends right into the doorframe design and highlights the rear-wheel arch.

these copies have yet to do that (surprised the koreans havent....) which is a good thing.
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      04-18-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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how about we talk about how so many manufacturers are now embracing some sort of angel eyes...
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      04-18-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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I don't expect the new BMW models to have same c-pillars as other cars, so that could make BMW look chintzy. I love BMW's long exterior design heritage, include kidney grilles and two rings headlights.
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      04-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Let's not forget the Bangle Butt was emulated too
like what?
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      04-18-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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I have to say, you're grasping @ straws saying this is a "BMW trademark"...see 1957 Chevy Bel Air....

http://image.superchevy.com/f/311552...air_wheels.jpg

Maybe I'm missing something, but that certainly fits the description to me.
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      04-18-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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often imitated, never duplicated.
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      04-18-2012, 11:02 AM   #14
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I'd have to see a real comparison to other cars over the years to be able to decide if I really think anyone is copying BMW, or just designing cars...
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      04-18-2012, 11:06 AM   #15
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I love my kink!
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      04-18-2012, 11:12 AM   #16
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like what?
mb s class
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      04-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #17
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Clearly not all kinks are created equal.
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      04-18-2012, 11:35 AM   #18
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It's all in the drive, but design language is important to maintain identity.
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      04-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrcarcrazy View Post
I have to say, you're grasping @ straws saying this is a "BMW trademark"...see 1957 Chevy Bel Air....

http://image.superchevy.com/f/311552...air_wheels.jpg

Maybe I'm missing something, but that certainly fits the description to me.

BMW builds classy cars.
Chevy builds... uglyducks.
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      04-18-2012, 11:52 AM   #20
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      04-18-2012, 12:11 PM   #21
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      04-18-2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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