BMW signals end of long time luxury feature
BMW's Vision M Next concept car is part supercar and part eco warrior, capable of 300km/h and up to 100km using just electricity.
If the sleek wedge shape or futuristic LED lighting and details of BMW's latest concept car don't turn enough heads, then the "Thrilling Orange" matt-neon highlights should do the trick - bringing hints of the high-vis-vest workforce into a supercar.
The one-off BMW Vision M Next showcases BMW's latest plug-in hybrid technology as well as the latest connectivity and digital services.
"The BMW Vision M Next provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving," says BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk. "The BMW Vision M Next demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging. In both models, the focus is firmly on the people inside."
Effectively a vision for the replacement for the BMW i8 sports car, which is a radical carbon fibre plug-in hybrid machine that has forged BMW's path to electric "I" cars.
The Vision M Next allows autonomous driving for those who don't want the thrill of piloting a sports car.
Selectable Ease and Boost modes allows the driver to relinquish full control to the car or enjoy the promised driving excitement.
The Vision M Next also evolves the plug-in hybrid drivetrain of the i8.
Gone is the three-cylinder turbo engine and in its replacement a more powerful four-cylinder turbo driving the rear wheels.
Combined with electric motors powering the front wheels, the Vision M Next makes 441kW, enough to launch it to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, making it the fastest BMW ever if it were to go into production. It is also able to drive up to 100km purely on electricity.
Despite the future focus, there are reminders of BMW's history, the louvred rear windscreen a nod to the iconic BMW M1 sports car of the late 1970s.
New technology includes "Laser Wire" lights whereby "glass fibres coated with phosphorous are used to produce headlight elements with a new, super-slim and extremely precise form". At the rear, the lights are used to create an "abstract ECG trace of a heartbeat".
The Vision M Next also ditches that one luxury constant - leather - in favour of more modern materials, including a Midnight Blue microfibre designed to mimic the touch and look of cow hide.
As an indication of how far vehicle materials have come, the Vision M Next uses recycled carbon fibre for the side skirts, sections of the roof and around the rear bumper, which incorporates an F1-style diffuser to help with high speed stability.
There's also a "gyroscopic cupholder", which allows whatever it is you're drinking to swivel with the g-forces of the car's movement, all with the aim of keeping said liquid within the cup.
The concept car also tackled the issue of distraction on the roads, with intelligent digital displays that reduce infotainment features as speed increases, instead turning the focus to "driving-related data", which includes the driver's heart rate.