Photos by John Grafman
Just a year on from the presentation of its future-focused NEXT 100 vision vehicles, the BMW Group is introducing the electric mobility of the much more immediate future at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt. The BMW i Vision Dynamics is a four-door Gran Coupe with a range of 600 km (373 miles), a top speed of over 200 km/h (120 mph) and acceleration of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds, and offers a look ahead to the e-mobility experience of the future with a new level of sporting elegance. “At the BMW Group, the future of electric mobility has already arrived,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG. “We have more electrified vehicles on the road than any established competitor and are committed to expanding our activities in the field of electric mobility as part of our NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. By 2025 we will be offering 25 models with an electrified drive system – of which 12 will be pure-electric. With the BMW i Vision Dynamics we are showcasing how we envisage future electric mobility between the i3 and i8: a dynamic and progressive, four-door Gran Coupe. We are therefore electrifying the heart of the BMW brand and, at the same time, elevating BMW i into a totally new dimension.”
BMW i sets the pace of innovation.
BMW i is a byword for visionary vehicles and a new understanding of premium mobility focused squarely on sustainability. “BMW i is the innovation driver for the BMW Group,” explains Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, Development. “Here, visionary solutions and future-ready concepts become reality for the first time. But BMW i also acts as a spearhead of innovation for our other brands. The BMW i Vision Dynamics allows us to show right now what another electric BMW might look like. And BMW has demonstrated its talent for turning visions into real life throughout its history.”
The inspirational design of BMW i models is particularly effective in both flagging up the brand’s pioneering role visually and making it something people can experience. “With the i3 and i8 we have designed a revolutionary city car and a revolutionary sports car,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “And now the BMW i Vision Dynamics is combining electric mobility with the core values of BMW: dynamism and elegance. We are therefore demonstrating how the product range and the design language of BMW i can be evolved further into other concepts.”
“I do more with less” – the design identity of BMW i.
The outline of the BMW i Vision Dynamics represents a further evolution of the classical BMW proportions; a long wheelbase, flowing roofline and short overhangs create a basic profile brimming with elegance and dynamism. This silhouette is fleshed out by large, fluently contoured surfaces, the exterior appearing as if cut from a single mould. Aerodynamic requirements define the car’s progressive appearance down to its details. Barely visible joins and the flush integration of glass into the main body lend the study a modern and technical overall impression. The tension between large surfaces and finely worked details points to the innovative technology at the heart of the car in an understated yet intuitively appreciable way, rather than advertising it in grandiose fashion. And that is very much in keeping with the identity of BMW i: “I do more with less”.
Iconic window graphic symbolises the interior experience of the future. Within the smoothly flowing, neatly aligned progression of the surfaces along the car’s flanks, the new characterisation of the window profile is a standout feature of the BMW i Vision Dynamics. This iconic styling cue, which made its debut on the first wave of BMW i models, is depicted here in a fresh, likewise function-led interpretation and also sharpens the identity of the car’s flanks. Their virtually symmetrical form allows all passengers an equally good view out, highlighting the attention paid to the passengers and the shared driving experience in the interior. This is something that will gain further in importance in the future, in particular as far as (semi-) autonomous and connected driving is concerned. The distinctive driving experience is further enhanced by the full-length glass surface running from the windscreen to the rear window. This heightens the sensation of room and enables a feeling of spaciousness and freedom inside the car that belies its dynamic exterior silhouette. Viewed from the outside, the unbroken roof graphic reinforces the enclosed, modern feel of the exterior thanks to seamless transitions through the front and rear end.
Familiar icons at the front gain new significance.
The prominent, enclosed “kidneys” in the minimalist front end bring together the past and the future of BMW in more than just styling terms. Where the BMW kidneys have previously acted as a symbol for the company’s expertise in drive system development, the BMW i Vision Dynamics deploys them as declarations of technological know-how. Indeed, underlying sensors turn the kidneys into an “intelligence surface”. The headlights similarly combine tradition and the future. The classical BMW four-eyed front end is reprised here in a very modern and pared-back interpretation, two intricate, freestanding LED light elements on each side of the car’s nose integrating all the necessary lighting functions, yet also providing an extremely striking look characteristic of BMW.
Poise and dynamic allure at the rear as well.
Smooth curves guide the car’s horizontal profile when viewed from the rear and add poise and power. The tapering of the passenger cell creates broad shoulders and a muscular presence. The most eye-catching feature of the rear end are the L-shaped lights. Their slim cut underscores the dynamic efficiency of the vision vehicle on a detailed level, while at the same time accentuating its wide stance on the road.
The BMW i Vision Dynamics exudes modernity, progressiveness and an appealing technical aesthetic from every angle. As a trailblazer for the BMW brand, it showcases very clearly the BMW Group’s future vision of emotionally engaging electrified mobility. Indeed, BMW will continue to focus its attentions on sporty and elegant vehicles in the years ahead.