With the BMW Vision M Next, the BMW Group is revealing its take on how driving pleasure might look in future for those who enjoy taking the wheel themselves. It offers a foretaste of the BMW M brand’s electrified future by placing the focus squarely on the actively engaged driver. Intelligent technologies on board provide comprehensive yet carefully targeted assistance to turn them into the ultimate driver.
“The BMW Vision M Next provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Where the BMW Vision iNext illustrated how autonomous driving is set to transform life on board our vehicles, the BMW Vision M Next demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging. In both models, the focus is firmly on the people inside.”
The BMW Vision iNext and BMW Vision M Next Vision Vehicles represent prototype versions of BMW’s future experience concepts “Ease” and “Boost”. Ease encompasses all the experiences during a journey when the vehicle assumes the task of driving. Here, the vehicle is transformed into a living space on four wheels, where the passengers can feel safe and secure. From rest and relaxation, via talking, interacting and enjoying in-car entertainment, all the way to maximum concentration – the experiences on offer with the Ease concept are as varied as the occupants’ needs.
Boost, meanwhile, stands for the ultimate active driving experience. The Ease and Boost concepts are underpinned in equal measure by the building blocks for the BMW Group’s future, comprising the innovation areas of Autonomous driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services (ACES). The Design lends these areas visual expression and makes the underlying technology something you can engage with (D+ACES).
“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,” said Domagoj Dukec, Vice President BMW Design. The emotion-stirring exterior design clearly announces the BMW Vision Vehicle’s performance potential, borrowing styling cues from both classic and contemporary BMW sports cars in the process. The BMW Vision M Next draws its inspiration from the iconic BMW Turbo and groundbreaking BMW i8 plug-in hybrid and adopts a future-focused interpretation of design elements such as the low-slung, wedge-shaped silhouette, gullwing doors and striking colour scheme. The unmistakable sports-car proportions are composed of surfaces characterised by clarity and pared-down styling.
The actual driving experience in the BMW Vision M Next is every bit as captivating as its exterior looks. The Power PHEV drive system in offers the choice between electric all-wheel drive and pure rear-wheel drive, with either all-electric propulsion or the power of a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. System output of 441 kW (600 hp) produces a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and enables the BMW Vision M Next to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just three seconds.
There is also a Boost+ mode that puts extra power on tap at the push of a button. The maximum range when driving in all-electric mode is 100 km (62 miles) – more than enough to complete the majority of journeys purely on electric power. This means the BMW Vision M Next is a sports car that would also be suitable for use in city centres where zero-emissions zones may come into force in the future.
The expressive front-end design serves up a confident and modern interpretation of classic BMW icons. The signature BMW kidney grille is flanked on either side by triangular elements in Thrilling Orange, which serve to accentuate the air intakes at the sides and the integral headlights. These elements combine with the blade-shaped air intake below the kidney grille to create a cutting-edge racing aesthetic.
Precisely engineered gaps in the wheels’ intricate, three-dimensional multi-spoke design result in low weight, maximum rigidity and reduced drag and so optimise the transfer of power to the road. The spokes’ open, three-dimensional architecture maximises cooling of the large brake discs at the front, while inserts optimise aero efficiency at the rear. The rear wheels on the BMW Vision M Next measure 22 inches in diametre, making them one inch larger than the front wheels (21 inches) and further emphasising the car’s wedge-shaped appearance.
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 interior appears as if cut from a single mould, with functional elements such as the air vents integrated almost out of sight. Its geometry is deliberately restrained in nature so the driver can devote their attention entirely to the driving experience.
“The entire interior is focused on the Boost Pod. The geometry has a deliberately low-key feel so that the driver can concentrate fully on the driving experience,” explained Domagoj Dukec. The Boost Pod forms the interface between driver and vehicle. It brings together all the control options and information across three distinct visual tiers in the driver’s direct field of view. The first plane is formed by the horizontally arranged steering wheel featuring two small displays. Following this in the driver’s line of sight is a Curved Glass Display, a new addition whose transparent surface stretches around the steering wheel like a visor. The full-surface Augmented Reality Head-Up Display in the windscreen constitutes the third plane. Everything therefore happens directly in the driver’s line of sight.
“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,” continued Dukec.
With its enthralling blend of design and driving experience, the BMW Vision M NEXT fuses BMW’s sporting heritage with the possibilities of tomorrow’s world, and illustrates how the D+ACES building blocks for the future will be able to enhance how the driver experiences a car’s dynamics.