BMW Design BMW Design



BMW models are unmistakable at first glance. Not only are they technologically impressive, they are emotionally moving too, with each model perfectly harmonising proportions, surfaces and details.

Throughout the years, various distinct design features have defined and developed the identity of BMW cars; we were quick to recognise this and have consistently cultivated the value of them. Each and every BMW model bears its own individual interpretation of the features for themselves, underlining their independent character.


The front of a BMW has incredibly distinctive features: the kidney-shaped grille, the centrally positioned emblem and the twin headlights. The double-round headlights are slightly cut-off at the top to ensure a focused view onto the road.

BMW face


First seen on the BMW 303 at the 1933 Geneva International Motor Show, the BMW kidney radiator grille is one of the most characteristic hallmarks of a BMW. Situated at the front and centre of the car, it’s the source of all of its contours. Whether sporty and flat or large and imposing, its design reflects the character of each model.

BMW kidney grille


Starting from the front, the crease line angles towards the rear of the car and gives every BMW a distinctively tapered shape. It divides the refined surfaces of the side, gives the vehicle a sense of movement and underlines its dynamic forward energy. In addition, the door handles are perfectly integrated into the crease line, further enhancing its effect.

BMW crease line


The L-shaped rear lights leave a lasting impression on the road users behind, particularly at night. The lighting elements in LED technology trace the striking L shape of the lights and appear to actually glow from within. The horizontal styling not only ensures optimum recognition, but also underlines the breadth of the rear and the sportingly stable stance of the vehicle.

L-shaped rear lights


The Hofmeister kink is the counter curve in the window outline at the base of the rear roof pillar. First introduced in 1961, it owes its name to Wilhelm Hofmeister, the head of BMW body design at the time, and has appeared on almost every BMW since. The Hofmeister kink emphasises the dynamic forward thrust of the vehicle and draws attention to another characteristic feature: the rear-wheel drive.

Hofmeister kink

BMW Design Process Collage BMW Design Process Collage


The design of a new BMW originates from an intensive process, whereby designers in the disciplines of exterior and interior compete against each other in the BMW internal design competition. Ideas and designs are first sketched on paper or on a computer, followed by the creation of three-dimensional visuals in the form of elaborate clay models or virtual renderings.