Are your kidneys noticeable? They should be if you drive a BMW. BMW has a longstanding reputation for its styling trends, namely the grill. These two kidney bean-shaped openings are strategically placed between headlights. The two little guys have been the staple of the Bavarian Motorwerks design team since the late ‘20s with the 303 model and really took their distinctive shape in 1936 with the 326, with Peter Schimanowski to thank.
Commonly referred to as the most recognizable grill in the automotive world, the ‘kidney grill’ has been incorporated into every single model on BMWs production line to date, matching the contours of each particular body style. Three of the most common classes in the BMW fleet are the 3, 5 and 7 series. Most recently, the 1, 6 and 8 series have made their way into production as well as the X-line of SUVs, Z-line of roadsters and the futuristic crossover, the X6.
Since its onset, many competitors have often imitated the BMW's design direction and most blatantly the ‘kidney grill’. The latest offender is the new Pontiac G8, with a striking overall resemblance it's #1 foe, the BMW 5 Series. It's very obvious that the people behind the G8 body lines made very few adjustments when implementing the German manufacturer's design queue. Hell, take off the badges and it's very difficult to tell the cars apart.
With the grill already being the focus of the car's front end, it's a very common part to enhance even further. A lot of BMW owners choose to ditch the chrome and go with more of a stealth look by switching to a matte black or carbon fiber kidney grill, available here Some even choose to have the grill color matched, but that would make it blend in. . . and nobody wants to do that!