Big Kidneys on BMWs Aren’t Long for This World After All

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2020 BMW 745

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.

2020 BMW 7 Series

“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.”

2019 BMW X7

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.

2020 7 Series

“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

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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