New patent drawings from BMW show a further development of the kidney. The prominent design element could serve as a headlight in the future.03.02.2023
Just as the media storm surrounding the BMW kidney design of XM , 7 Series and 4 Series has subsided, new patent sketches with the quality for further discussions appear. Apparently, with a view to the electrification of their models, the Munich-based company is planning to use the prominent design element on the front as a headlight and no longer as a ventilation opening. In any case, light plays a key role, and this idea is not new in itself. ,
The X6 can even be ordered in Germany with an illuminated kidney. A feature that is not granted to any other model in this country - at least if the lighting should also be active while driving. Other series, such as the 5 Series, cannot be factory-fitted with the "Iconic Glow kidney". If you like, you can order and retrofit the extra via M Performance Parts. However, the kidneys may only light up when the vehicle is stationary – i.e. as a welcome or coming home illumination. But how does the confusion come about?
Reach into the approval box of tricks
The Paragraph 49a of the StVZO is to blame, in which the legislator determines that only prescribed lighting equipment that has been declared permissible may be attached to the vehicle. So what has BMW done? A spokeswoman reveals: "On the X6 we homologated the left part of the kidney as part of the left headlight, and on the right side vice versa. This is possible on this model because the headlight and kidney are positioned close enough together for the X5, for example that is not feasible." So it's no wonder that the kidneys of BMW models are getting bigger and bigger, if that's the measure needed to dig into the light-approval bag of tricks. But that's another topic. ,
Meanwhile, BMW also has a different type of light signature up its sleeve. Depending on the equipment level, the contours of the kidneys can be illuminated in the upper-class models (7 series, i7, XM) – when stationary and while driving. BMW intends to extend this play of light to other model series in the future in order to increase their recognition value, because this is becoming increasingly difficult with the light signatures becoming ever narrower. However, the recently published patent sketches reveal another liaison between kidney and light.
The new patent
Instead of illuminating the kidney, the kidney itself should become a spotlight. For example, a black panel could be placed at the front, since it is well known that electric cars can do without large ventilation openings. The light signature itself then consists of vertical struts that imitate a digital variant of the kidney and at the same time illuminate the road. Such a front could be used at the earliest with the start of the "New Class". ,
A second area of application can be derived from the patent sketches. The headlights hide behind the grille, which becomes partially transparent when the lights are activated. With a bit of imagination, it should quickly become clear to everyone: In such a case, almost the entire front would probably consist of kidney. You can see that as a logical further development of the design – or hope that it stays with a conceptual consideration. You can see the pioneer of the glowing kidney, i.e. the X6, in our slide show at the top of the article. ,
BMW continues to experiment with the combination of kidney and headlight. While a partially transparent cardioid with headlights behind it sounds a bit spacey, you can imagine a digital version, in which the optics of the cardioid itself are reproduced from light, is better.