BMW unveiled its latest concept today, in the shape of the BMW Vision M Next. This car is meant to be a preview of what future M cars could bring to the table, from the hybrid drivetrain to the design and materials used. This Vision model is made of recycled carbon fiber and has 600 HP from three power sources. Could it enter production in this exact shape?
“The BMW Vision M NEXT is a progressive hybrid sports car that makes a very clear and confident statement, in terms of both appearance and interaction,” says Domagoj Dukec, Vice President BMW Design. The BMW Vision M NEXT shows how the future of the BMW M brand might look – in the form of an eye-catching electrified sports car.
The BMW Vision M NEXT demonstrates the potential of BMW’s “BOOST” experience concept in creating the ultimate active driving experience. It represents a conceptual counterpart to the BMW Vision iNEXT, which showcases BMW’s “EASE” concept and encompasses all the experiences available when the vehicle assumes the task of driving. Design elements like the low, wedge-shaped silhouette gullwing doors and distinctive colour concept are future-focused references to the BMW Turbo and BMW i8.
Colour blocking: Front and rear sections are finished in matt-neon Thrilling Orange, producing a vivid contrast against the exterior’s otherwise silk-matt Cast Silver metallic paintwork. The front end presents a confident and modern interpretation of two classical BMW icons: the kidney grille and four-eyed front end. The debut application of innovative Laser Wire light technology provides a striking light design. Large air intakes and a front spoiler made from recycled carbon bring a racing-car aesthetic.
With its two-tone, horizontal segmentation, the rear end accentuates the car’s width. Rear lights with Laser Wire technology frame the rear end. The pair of BMW roundels – with a modern, two-dimensional twist – reference the BMW Turbo and BMW M1 and appear to float within the rear lights.
Power PHEV drive concept – with an electric motor at both the front and rear axle – enables pure-electric rear-wheel drive and pure-electric all-wheel drive (to keep the car glued to the road). In addition, a powerful four-cylinder petrol engine can send power directly to the rear wheels. Maximum output of 600 hp provides 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration in three seconds. Future-proofed urban driving thanks to electric range of 100 km (62 miles). There are two main driving modes: EASE and BOOST. EASE allows the car to drive itself while BOOST demands you take over the wheel and have fun on the road. There's also BOOST+ mode which provides extra power at the touch of a button. The car alerts the driver to the ideal moment for BOOST+
Facial recognition technology allows the car to unlock automatically as the driver approaches. Pressing the touch sensor on the gullwing doors prompts them to swing open, revealing a cabin that merges the driver and vehicle into one. The integrated seat shells – in a foam material with shape memory properties – provide excellent comfort and optimum support. The BOOST Pod is the interface between driver and vehicle. It unifies all control options and information on three visual tiers directly ahead of the driver. The first plane is formed by the horizontally arranged steering wheel featuring two small displays. The second plane is a Curved Glass Display, which is making its debut appearance and stretches around the steering wheel. The full-surface Augmented Reality Head-Up Display in the windscreen constitutes the third plane.
Focus logic represents the next stage in the progression of BMW’s signature driver focus. The information displayed adapts to the car’s speed. The higher the speed, the more focused the information and the more it moves into the driver’s direct field of view. Woven synthetic fibres in Midnight Blue with a distinctive look and feel akin to leather, titanium with a warm, shimmering tone and painted surfaces create a modern and luxurious ambience. Judicious use of Thrilling Orange contrasts injects additional sporting flair.
“In the BMW Vision M NEXT, intelligent technologies help the driver and deliver the right content at the right time. Operation is clear and intuitive, with all information presented in the driver’s direct field of view. This is a deliberate counterpoint to the BMW Vision iNEXT, which focused on multimodal operation from every seat,” said Domagoj Dukec.
The BMW Vision M NEXT therefore shows the way ahead for BMW’s fabled driver focus. The cabin’s geometry and technology have both been devised to help focus attention on the task of driving and prevent distractions. To this end, the information displayed is adapted to the current speed – based on the principles of focus logic. As the vehicle speeds up, the information centres increasingly on driving-related data and moves into the driver’s eye-line.
There's no info as to when or whether this car will make it into production. As a rule, Vision concepts don't make it into production at all but we could see BMW make an exception in this case. This could be a very good successor to the i8 and a gateway into a new way of making performance cars for BMW.