The BMW Vision Future Luxury is a two-plus-two that’s approximately the same size as a 7-series. So is it a 9-series that makes way for an 8-series coupe as well? Fronted by those massive kidney grilles, the Vision apes the Gran Lusso concept that was shown at the 2013 Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. Unlike the Gran Lusso, which was the first time BMW had used the famous Pininfarina design house, the Vision Future Luxury is the work of in-house designers.
What’s the Vision Future Luxury all about?
BMW’s head of design, Karim Habib says that the long-wheelbase, Liquid Platinum Bronze concept is a pointer of the brand’s future design themes. ‘The design of the BMW Vision Future Luxury is the messenger of our philosophy of modern luxury, one in which innovative technologies play a key and vital role.’ While we’ve heard that before, even at the Beijing show this year (with Peugeot’s Exalt concept), the showcar does carry some design and tech features that we know are coming.
The laser lights, for instance. They will be an option on the BMW i8 that arrives in showrooms later this year, and use far less energy while beaming light rays up to three times further than a conventional LED headlamp. LED’s aren’t gone, though: the taillights are OLEDs – that’s Organic LEDs. The advantage of these? They’re 400 times thinner than a human hair and allow designers to me more adventurous with shapes, as they don’t require reflectors.
There’s also the rear-hinged back doors, like on the BMW i3, that allow a more graceful entry and egress for back-seat passengers. The rear seat is also a primary focus for this car, with the warm wood, leather, carbon and even silk-lined interior offering a removable tablet to control the iDrive infotainment. Called the ‘Rear Seat Touch Command Tablet’ (and not to be confused with Mercedes’ Comand system), it lets rear passengers access travel data as well as media and online services. There’s also a focus on space for the rear passengers – need we mention the China market’s needs here…
What about the driver?
The days of controversial ex-BMW designer Chris Bangle’s driver-oriented cockpits may be over, but this concept offers next-gen Head-up Display, which projects info into the driver’s line of sight. It can highlight hazards, changes in speed limit and road sign recognition. Front passengers also have their own display that includes a touchscreen display. This allows the front passenger to access data so that the driver doesn’t have to.
There’s a suite of fuel-saving aerodynamic tweaks, some of which can be found on current BMWs. The air-breather, for instance, that sees an air outlet inside the front wheelarch feed through to the gill on the concepts’ flanks, just like the BMW 420d long termer in CAR’s garage. There’s also a rear spoiler small aero aids around the rear windscreen, for instance, that help efficiency. Similar tweaks will be used to extend the cruising range of the BMW X5 PHEV that’s due in 2015.
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