Hofmeister kink

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Hofmeister kink on a BMW E36.

The Hofmeister kink (sometimes also translated Hofmeister kick, German: Hofmeisterknick) is an automobile design feature seen on modern BMWs. It is a low forward bend in the C-pillar of the car, which is the piece of metal that separates the rear side windows from the rear glass. The kink formally debuted[1] on the 1961 BMW 1500 at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show and was later named after then-BMW director of design, Wilhelm Hofmeister.[2]

Apart from its pleasing visual effect, the Hofmeister kink is said by BMW[1] to subtly highlight the fact that all BMW models have rear-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive biased to the rear).

Note that this design feature is 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 shows a considerable "Hofmeister kink" in its greenhouse design. However, the term "Hofmeister kink" is usually only used in reference to BMW automobiles, as it has become a distinctive styling cue used across all BMW model series.

See also