Concept Car, News, Family Car

BMW reveals futuristic concept ‘Vision Next 100’

BMW has revealed a new futuristic concept - the Vision Next 100. 

The autonomous concept marks 100 years since the German car giant was founded, and BMW says in the not-too-distant future, most vehicles will probably be completely self-driving – ‘people will get around in robots on wheels’. The main objective in creating the Vision Next 100 was to produce an anonymous vehicle, but one that is highly personalised and fully geared to meet the driver’s every need. For the BMW Vision Next 100, the design team specifically took into account all the trends and technological developments that will be most relevant in the decades ahead.

Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design: “If, as a designer, you are able to imagine something, there’s a good chance it could one day become reality. So our objective with the BMW Vision Next 100 was to develop a future scenario that people would engage with. Technology is going to make significant advances, opening up fantastic new possibilities that will allow us to offer the driver even more assistance for an even more intense driving experience. My personal view is that technology should be as intuitive as possible to operate and experience so that future interactions between human, machine and surroundings become seamless. The BMW Vision Next 100 shows how we intend to shape this future.”

BMW says that four main proposals underpin the concept; 'A genuine BMW is always driver-focused, Artificial intelligence and intuitive technology becomes one, New materials open up breathtaking opportunities and Mobility will remain an emotional experience'.

The design of the interior permits various modes of operation: Boost mode, in which the driver is at the controls, and Ease mode, in which the driver can sit back and let the vehicle take over. In Ease, the vehicle becomes a place of retreat with plenty of space, soft lighting and a comfortable atmosphere. In Boost, the driver takes over and benefits from the ‘subtle and intuitive’ support offered by the vehicle. All the time, the vehicle is learning more and more about the person at the wheel, thanks to its sensory and digital intelligence, which BMW calls the Companion. The Companion progressively learns to offer the right kind of support to transform the driver into the Ultimate Driver.

An important element of the Vision Vehicle is another innovation known as Alive Geometry - the likes of which have never before been seen in a car. It consists of a kind of three-dimensional sculpture that works both inside and outside the vehicle. Consisting of almost 800 moving triangles which are set into the instrument panel and into certain areas of the side panels. They work in three dimensions, communicating very directly with the driver through their movements, which are more like gestures than two-dimensional depictions on a display. Even the slightest peripheral movement is perceptible to the driver. In combination with the Head-Up display, Alive Geometry 'fuses the analogue with the digital'.

The Vision Vehicle suggests there will at some point be no more displays at all, instead the entire windscreen will serve as a giant display, directly in front of the driver. In the future the digital and physical worlds will merge considerably, as is also expressed through Alive Geometry, for example, in the way the analogue dashboard interacts with the digital Head-Up Display in the front windscreen.

The exterior design of the BMW Vision Vehicle is characterised by a blend of ‘coupe-type sportiness’ and the dynamic elegance of a sedan. At 4.90 meters long and 1.37 meters high, it has compact exterior dimensions. Inside, however, it has the dimensions of a luxury BMW sedan. The large wheels are positioned at the outer edges of the body, giving the vehicle the dynamic stance of a BMW. When it comes to aerodynamics, the exterior Alive Geometry contributes to an ‘outstanding effect’ - when the wheels swivel as the vehicle is steered, the bodywork keeps them covered as if it were a flexible skin, accommodating their various positions. This results in a low drag coefficient of 0.18.

The designers of the Vision Next 100 primarily used fabrics made from recycled or renewable materials. The visible and non-visible carbon components, such as the side panels, are made from residues from normal carbon fibre production. In the future, the choice of materials will become even more important throughout the design and production process.

With time, other new materials will also be added into the mix, allowing different vehicle shapes to emerge. To save resources and support more sustainable manufacturing, less use will be made of wood and leather while innovative materials and the consequent new possibilities in design and production gradually come to the fore.

Coupe, Sports Car, News

New Competition Package for BMW M3 and M4

The BMW M3 Saloon, M4 Coupe and M4 Convertible will now be available with a special Competition Package designed to enhance driving dynamics. 

The suite of upgrades results in an overall performance improvement with the M3 Saloon and M4 Coupe (fitted with the optional 7-speed M Double Clutch transmission) accelerating from rest to 62mph in 4.0 seconds, while the M4 Convertible takes 4.3-. The sprint time for 6-speed manual models is similarly a tenth of a second faster compared to the standard car.

The Package includes Adaptive M Suspension with new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, along with reconfigured driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+). The standard Active M Differential on the rear axle and DSC Dynamic Stability Control have also been adapted to match the upgraded dynamics. Machine-polished, weight- and rigidity-optimised 20-inch M alloy wheels with multi-spoke M styling and mixed tyres (front: 265/30 R20, rear: 285/30 R20) complete the list of chassis upgrades.

For the M3 and M4 Coupe, the interior features lightweight M sports seats featuring seatbelts with woven-in M stripes.

Exterior highlights include the M sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes and extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line exterior trim. The high-gloss Black finish has been applied not only to the side window trim, window recess finishers and exterior mirror frames and bases, but also to the BMW kidney grille, the side gills and the model badge on the tail.

On-the-road prices for cars fitted with the Competition Pack start from £59,595 for the M3 Saloon, topping out at £63,350 for the M4 Convertible.