Hofmeister kink

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The Hofmeister kink (sometimes also translated Hofmeister kick, German: Hofmeister-Knick) is an automobile design feature seen on modern BMWs and automobiles by other manufacturers. The design was first seen on General Motors 2-door cars in 1949. The feature consists of a low forward bend at the C-pillar or D-pillar in the case of touring vehicles or SUV's. Despite it being used broadly across automotive makes, the term "Hofmeister kink" is generally used in reference to automobiles designed by BMW.

The kink first appeared on the BMW 3200 CS and the BMW 1500 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1961[1][2] and was later named after then-BMW director of design, Wilhelm Hofmeister.[3] In early models, the widened base of the C-pillar sometimes featured the BMW roundel.

Apart from its stylistic effect, the Hofmeister kink is said by BMW to suggest that all BMW models have rear-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive biased to the rear).[2]

Not unique to BMW models, similar C-pillar kinks have appeared on cars of other brands both before 1961 and since. For example, the 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon shows a considerable "Hofmeister kink" in its greenhouse design.[4] Another instance is seen with the 1994 Chevrolet Impala SS, based on the 1991+ Chevrolet Caprice, which had a plastic C-pillar kink insert and unique quarter window added to its design for its debut year. For 1994, the Caprice retained the standard triangular shaped window glass. In 1995, GM did away with the plastic insert, and incorporated this kink into the stamped sheetmetal quarter panels themselves for both the Impala SS as well as the Caprice Classic. In addition, the kink is present on some Honda Accord models.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norbye, Jan P. (1984). BMW - Bavaria's Driving Machines. Skokie, IL: Publications International. pp. 131, 136. ISBN 0-517-42464-9. 
  2. ^ a b BMW USA website (click on Hofmeister kink)
  3. ^ Channel 4 (UK) retrospective, see image caption and first paragraph[dead link]
  4. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]

  • BMW Designers An overview of automotive designers working for BMW.