BMW celebrated its 100th birthday this week, and instead of just popping some expensive champagne, and patting itself on the back, it decided to release a crazy-looking concept car. BMW's Vision Next 100 depicts what sports sedans will look like a century from today.
So, what does the future hold in BMW's eyes? Autonomous driving? Yes. Holographic technology that consumes your windshield? Yes. People actually still driving their cars? Yes. The last one may seem surprising that 100 years from now BMW thinks people will still want to drive themselves around (won't our cars by flying by then?), but then again, this is a company that's built its reputation on the slogan "The Ultimate Driving Machine." And, when we think about how much fun it is to drive today's bimmers (here, here, and here), we'd have to agree that we, too, would want to have the option to drive whatever space-age four-wheeled machines they dream up.
BMW's Vision Next 100 seems like a nice compromise for those who would never want to relinquish control of their vehicle and those who wish they could be chauffeured everywhere 24/7. In "Boost" mode, the driver is in control, with an army of technology ready to assist them. A head-up display projects holographic information, including an ideal driving line, and projected pathway of other objects, for instance cyclists. It also turns objects temporarily translucent so that the driver can see what's past them. In "Ease" mode, the steering wheel and center console retract, allowing the seats to reconfigure so that the driver can face its passengers, and the HUD changes to a windshield-sized infotainment system.
- Several i8 design cues are present throughout the sedan, with the gull-wing doors, but perhaps the most eye-grabbing features are the fenders skirts, which make it look like there's no wheels.
- Wheels are hidden underneath an intelligent mesh covering that changes the shape of the body, reducing the drag coefficient to 0.18.
- Dimensions of a compact, sporty coupe, with an interior of a luxury sedan.
- Components of the car morph for ultimate comfort and driving excellence, from the fenders, to the steering wheel, seats, and center console.
- Driver can interact with the car via gesture control.
- Concept rethinks traditional displays and infotainment screens, instead dedicating the entire windshield as one giant display.