Big Kidneys on BMWs Aren’t Long for This World After All
Though the new 7 Series and X7 have nostrils the size of Texas now, a recent Autocar interview reveals they will shrink back down.
If you’ve been at your local BMW dealership recently, you might have noticed something truly big among the 2020 7 Series and the 2019 X7 SUV. Usually, it would be the size of the vehicles themselves, but this time, it’s the size of the signature kidney grills. What used to be a neat (and small) design feature back in the day has now become a pair of Texas-sized nostrils that overshadow otherwise well-designed ultimate driving machines.
If the thought of the signature kidneys expanding forever like the observable universe fills your soul with existential dread, there is good news on the horizon. According to Autocar, the monsters will disappear back into the void soon enough.
“Don’t worry, I don’t want the brand to turn into an oversized kidney grille brand,” said BMW chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk, “but I believe we understand the reasons for what we have done with the 7 Series and that the issue will solve itself thanks to evolving tastes in the markets for which the grille was introduced.”
Van Hooydonk adds that the critiques of the 7 Series’ and X7’s big grills were also being applied to BMW as a whole, which he said was unfair to the Bavarians, as those cars “are world cars, where the various tastes of the market tastes converge with no discrepancies, but the 7 Series sits separately.”
Meanwhile, the X7’s big nostrils are supposed to be that big. As van Hooydonk says, “yes, the X7’s grille is bigger than other BMW’s – but so is the X7 bigger than any BMW before it. That one is in proportion.”
As for future facelifts and new designs for the 7 Series, van Hooydonk told Motoring that things will be brought down to normal in due time, all thanks to China and Europe.
“The 7 has always been the hardest to bring the expectations of the entire world into one shape,” said van Hooydonk. “The customers are very, very different in China, the US, the Middle East and in Europe. In Europe people don’t want to get noticed. They don’t like being asked what they paid for a car and they like things in black like a stealth mode. The rest of the world is the opposite. We tried to give the Europeans what they want as well but the strongest market for the 7 is not Europe.”
Meanwhile, the design center in Shanghai has been sending feedback from BMW’s base in China, noting the ever-evolving design tastes for future considerations. Van Hooydonk told Autocar that he expects the 7 Series design will likely line up with the rest of the portfolio, as the Chinese “The rest of the world is the opposite. We tried to give the Europeans what they want as well but the strongest market for the 7 is not Europe.”
Photos: BMW and Autocar