BMWs new kidney grille design is now being packed full of tech
The massive grilles will feature on the all-new iNEXT EV, and are bristling with the latest technology
For those of you that aren't a fan of the new larger kidney grilles fitted to the latest generation of BMWs, we have some bad news for you: It seems they're here to stay, even on BMWs electric cars.
Having been showcasing the prototype iNEXT EV during various phases of testing in full camouflage, BMW have now showcased the kidney 'grille' that will be used by the iNEXT when production begins during 2021.
The iNext concept
I use the term 'grille' carefully, as the iNEXT is an EV of course, meaning that there is no need for a traditional front grille to provide cool air for the engine. Regardless of this, BMW have decided that the iconic kidney grille design should be carried over to their EVs, although in this instance it will be totally solid and house a plethora of important technology.
According to the Bavarian automaker, the iNext grille will house numerous radar functions, sensors and cameras in order to make the iNext ready for 'fully automated' driving. Despite BMWs fantastic reputation, I would perhaps take that with a pinch of salt - we've heard plenty of other manufacturers state their cars will be fully-autonomous, but we are yet to see it (or even legislate it) so although the iNext may be READY for it, I wouldn't expect it to be used from the word go.
The grille itself was developed by the team at BMWs Landshut Lightweight Construction and Technology Center (LuTZ), with BMW referring to the grille as the iNexts 'eye' due to its 'seeing' technology that is housed within the grille, and says that the Landshut site will produce a host of other components for the all-new EV, including its the electric drive system itself - the fifth-generation BMW eDrive system that will be good for 530 hp (equivalent) thanks to its lightweight 80 kWh battery pack.
Dr. Andreas Wendt, responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network for BMW AG explains what the production of the iNext means for the Landshut facility: “Automated driving is a huge chance for Germany as an industrial location. With future-oriented technologies, we are generating decisive competitive advantages. Especially during the current transformation of our sector, our in-house component production at Landshut is assuming more than ever the role of an innovation hub. In addition to highly automated driving, mobility of the future will be characterized by electric mobility and digitalisation – the BMW iNEXT is synonymous with all of this, as are Landshut and the BMW Group in Lower Bavaria.”
So there we have it - the oversized kidney grilles are here to stay... better get used to them then!