Bringing the Vision Next 100 concept closer to production
On the occasion of its 100th birthday last year the BMW brand showed off a wild concept called the Vision Next 100. This year that fanciful four-gull-wing-doored coupe with the fully enveloped wheels has morphed into the vastly more down-to-earth BMW i Vision Dynamics concept. The tires are visible, and the doors open normally, but being an i brand car, it still bristles with innovation.
First of all, the propulsion is 100 percent electric. There’s no word yet on the battery chemistry, but BMW is promising a range of 373 miles, a top speed of over 120 mph, and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds. The production variant of this concept will be one of 12 pure electric cars on offer at BMW by 2025. And although the press release didn’t mention it, Klaus Fröhlich, board member in charge of development mentioned that as electrification permeates the BMW core models, the innovation that will distinguish i models will be autonomy in the near future. So we might see some level of autonomy making its debut in this model.
Beyond that, design director Adrian van Hooydonk points out some innovative aspects of the i Vision Dynamics’ design. It is designed around luxury gran coupe proportions, informed by the i brand’s “I do more with less” aesthetic. The long wheelbase, flowing roofline, minimal panel gaps, and flush glass set an aerodynamically efficient and sporty tone, while the interrupted side-window beltline graphic (in this case with a kickup at the B-pillars) cements the new car’s relationship with other i stablemates. A windshield-to-backlite glass roof combines with the expansive side windows to afford an almost uninterrupted view out—an attribute that will become even more important when all occupants are free to enjoy the scenery, thanks to partial or full autonomy.
Despite needing far less cooling than a combustion-powered car would, the iconic kidney “grilles” are retained, morphed into a single form, and filled in with white body-color panels (a look that unfortunately heightens their resemblance to a pair of beaver teeth). Flanking the grille in front are ultra slim freestanding LED headlamps that still manage to evoke the four-eyed look of all recent BMWs. These are echoed by similarly slim hockey stick lamps at the rear, hovering above large L-shaped “air extractor” forms that tie the i Vision Dynamics’ looks to mainstream BMWs such as the forthcoming X7 three-row SUV.
Expect future electric cars from BMW i to derive design inspiration from this one.