How the BMW Hofmeister Kink Became a Road

SEARCH, DRIVE AND TRACK EVERY HOFMEISTER KINK-SHAPED ROAD ACROSS THE US

The History of the Hofmeister Kink

| | | A DISTINCT SHAPE

For 60 years, the Hofmeister Kink has contributed to the design sophistication of almost every BMW. Hidden in plain sight, this forward-facing bend occurs at the baseline of the rear-most pillar and frames the back window. Uniquely BMW and appearing on 105 different models, it was originally an indicator of rear-wheel performance and forward momentum.

| | | AN ICONIC NAME

The BMW Hofmeister Kink was named after Wilhelm Hofmeister, BMW’s chief of design from 1955-1970. Hofmeister is credited with designing both the BMW 3200 CS and the BMW 1500, featured at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1961. Each sporting a Hofmeister Kink, their combined success helped to establish BMW as a leader in the sports sedan category and their design legacy lives on through to today.

| | | A DESIGN EVOLUTION

In 2022 to celebrate 60 years of the Hofmeister Kink, we developed a convolutional neural network AI to recognize and understand the unique shapes of 46 distinct Hofmeister Kinks, featured throughout the icon’s history. Then we trained computer vision technology to search road networks across the entire US in order to pinpoint curves that match each Hofmeister Kink—all with mathematical precision.

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| | | A SUPERIOR DRIVE

The shortest distance between two places may be a straight line, but the powerful driving dynamics of every BMW are best experienced on a curve. And now the unique curve of every Hofmeister Kink is not only a design feature to be seen; it’s something to be felt, experienced and driven. Search, track and drive your BMW Hofmeister Kink—everywhere.

BMW AI HAS FOUND
55,241
HOFMEISTER KINK-SHAPED ROADS ACROSS THE US

How Our AI Tracks and Assigns Matches

BMW’s convolutional neural network AI finds and understands road patterns that match the unique shapes of Hofmeister Kinks from the last 60 years. But what the AI sees isn’t always what your eyes might see. HK-shaped roads displayed on the map sometimes don’t match the orientation of the HK as it appears on a BMW vehicle. Instead, the roads can appear turned, flipped or inverted. There are also times where our AI must fill in small gaps to smooth out imperfections in the road shape in order to assign a match. Check out your ‘My Stats’ to further explore variations of this iconic shape.

Fig 1. Rotated orientation.Fig 1. Rotated orientation.
Fig 2. Filled in gap.Fig 2. Filled in gap.