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BMW has unveiled its Vision M NEXT, showcasing how driving pleasure might look in the future for those who enjoy taking the wheel themselves.

28 Jun 2019 | International News : Germany


In future, drivers will be able to choose whether they wish to be driven or do the driving themselves. 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 showcases the M brand's electrified future
Hosting the exclusive world premiere of the BMW Vision M NEXT is the new #NEXTGen infotainment platform at BMW Welt. The Group's latest technological advances in the fields of design, autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and services will be showcased here, alongside spectacular world premieres such as that of the BMW Vision M NEXT.

"The BMW Vision M NEXT provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving,” says 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. Design and technology make the 'Ease' and 'Boost' experiences more natural and more intense."

The BMW Vision M NEXT places the focus solely on the actively engaged driver
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. '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).

Facial recognition technology allows the car to unlock its gullwing doors as the driver approaches
"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," says Domagoj Dukec, Vice President BMW Design. The 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 unmistakable sports-car proportions are composed of surfaces characterised by clarity and pared-down styling. The front and rear ends are finished in the matt-neon shade Thrilling Orange, producing a vivid contrast against the exterior's otherwise silk-matt Cast Silver metallic paintwork. 

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 classy, minimalist interior revolves entirely around the actively engaged driver, both stylistically and technologically. The interior appears as if cut from a single mould, with functional elements such as the air vents integrated almost out of sight. The seat shells form part of a seat sculpture with a flowing design. They are upholstered in a foam material with shape memory properties that moulds itself to, cushions and supports the body to optimum effect. 

The Boost Pod features a geometry that draws the driver's focus forward
"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," explains Domagoj Dukec. Taking pride of place in the interior, 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. The driving settings can be modified on the steering wheel, while information such as revs, road speed, energy management, the driver's heart rate and availability of Boost+ mode is spread among a total of five clusters in the Curved Glass Display behind. Boost+ mode can be engaged at the touch of a button to release extra power. 

The Curved Glass Display stretches around the steering wheel like a visor
"We have designed a modern and luxurious interior with the help of innovative materials. Whereas its geometry is clear and restrained, individual details are showcased like top- class accessories," says Dukec. The pioneering mix of materials employed in the BMW Vision M NEXT, including woven synthetic fibres, anodised titanium and painted surfaces, has never been seen before in a vehicle in this form, which is why it brings out the car's character to such stunning effect.

Use of leather has been kept deliberately to a minimum, which is why it only adorns the design details that the driver's and passenger's hands touch directly, such as the steering wheel and door pull handles. Instead, the interior is dominated by a Midnight Blue microfibre fabric.

The Vision M NEXT has a PHEV powertrain that delivers a combined output of 591bhp
The actual driving experience in the BMW Vision M NEXT is every bit as captivating as its exterior looks. The Power Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (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 591bhp produces a top speed of 300km/h and enables the BMW Vision M NEXT to sprint from 0-100 km/h 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 - 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.
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