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BMW Vision ConnectedDrive (2011) first pictures

Published: 10 February 2011

This gorgeous two-seat roadster is the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, set to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Unlike some of BMW’s other Vision-tagged concept cars, this unfortunately isn’t a thinly disguised production car, but a study designed to highlight the company’s driver assistance systems. 

However, although BMW has released no details on the engine or layout under the sexy skin, thankfully the Vision ConnectedDrive’s stunning styling (including the shark nose, wrap-around rear lights and layered body) will find its way onto future production BMWs. 

So when I’ve finished gawping at the new BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, what should I know about the technology it’s showcasing?

For a start sensors in the headlamps and rear lights monitor the traffic situation and the environment around the car, while instead of wing mirrors there are antennas that receive navigation data and transmit other information.
 
Inside the driver has a 3D head-up display, and the system can project information about the chosen sat-nav route so it appears at the exact point of a possible turn-off. The 3D system also displays information in the foreground or background of the display depending on its relevance.
 
The passenger plays a part too, and a dashboard-mounted display allows them to access online information and pass it on to the driver if necessary. It’s all designed to make the processing of the ever-growing volume of data that cars can (and will be able to) receive become more manageable.
 
Concept car touches includes coloured fibre optics set within the bodywork and cabin, and a development of the Z1 roadster’s sliding doors: on the Vision ConnectedDrive, the outer shells of the doors slide forward into the body, and the inner shells glide backwards, allowing access to the cockpit.

Anything else from BMW at Geneva 2011?

Oh yes. The ActiveE electric concept shown at the 2010 Detroit motor show has been developed into a test vehicle to trial the MegaCity Vehicle’s battery and motor tech. There’s also a new 242bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot petrol engine, a Touring version of the 320d EfficientDynamics that manages 114g/km and 65.7mpg, a five-seat option for the X6, new four-wheel drive 5-series variants, and more aftermarket BMW Performance accessories. 

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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