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At #NEXTGen, BMW Vision M NEXT Paints A Future Where Active, Engaged Driving Still Exists

At BMW Group’s #NEXTGen infotainment platform at the BMW Welt was the exclusive world premiere of the BMW Vision M NEXT, a glimpse into the future where drivers will be able to choose whether they wish to be driven or do the driving themselves. BMW M brand’s electrified future places the focus squarely on the actively engaged driver. Where the BMW Vision iNEXT showed us how autonomous driving will transform life onboard future BMW vehicles, the BMW Vision M NEXT blends state-of-the-art technology to make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging.

The BMW Vision M NEXT features two experience concepts — EASE and BOOST. EASE encapsulates all the experiences you’d expect during a journey where the vehicle assumes the task of driving. The interior transformed into a living space on wheels where passengers can rest and relax by talking, interacting, and enjoying in-car entertainment. BOOST on the other hand gives us the ultimate active driving experience. Both concepts are built atop BMW Group’s future innovations around Autonomous driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services (ACES). Couple these with the design direction and you’re getting a visual expression of this engagement with the underlying tech.

With a driver-focused interior, the concepts bring with it a tremendous breath of technology. Facial recognition unlocks the car automatically as the driver approaches. Open the gullwing doors via a touch sensor and you’re met with a minimalist interior. Functional elements such as the air vents are integrated almost out of sight. A flowing seat sculpture design features head restraints that seem to hover above both seat shells, increasing the sense of lightness. The Boost Pod brings together all the control options and info acros three distinct visual tiers in the driver’s direct field of view. The first plane comes in the form of the horizontally arranged steering wheel and two small displays. Then comes 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 finishes things off and keeps everything right in the driver’s line of sight. The steering wheel gives direct access to all the driving settings while vital info like revs, speed, energy management, the driver’s heart rate and availability of BOOST+ mode is tastefully displayed across five clusters in the Curved Glass Display.

Needless to say that there’s been so much detail and dedication put into the interior of the BMW Vision M NEXT but the exterior’s sure to capture your attention as well. It’s a crossroad of sorts for BMW as the concept intertwines iconic details synonymous with the brand with forward-thinking elements to make for a progressive design language. Fundamentally, the BMW Vision M NEXT is an evolution of the current BMW i8, albeit with much enhancements and reworks. The signature BMW kidney grille is present here and flanked on either side by triangular elements in Thrilling Orange. The front end is confident with soft outer curves of the kidney grille openings pulling inspiration from a turbine’s air intake. The BMW Vision M NEXT headlights are arranged one above the other rather than side by side, representing a reinterpretation of BMW’s classic four-eyed front end. Laser Wire lighting technology is introduced here which sees glass fibres coated with phosphorous being used to produce headlight elements with a new, super-slim and extremely precise form.

The powerfully contoured shoulders are also used to create the effect of the iconic Hofmeister kink which we’re accustomed to seeing be incorporated into the window graphic. Get to the rear and the first thing you might notice is the rear window and three-piece glass louvres which take cues from the legendary BMW M1.

The performance numbers are impressive as well. The Power PHEV drive system 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. Combined power gives the BMW Vision M NEXT 600 hp with a top speed of 186 mph and a 0 to 62 time of just three seconds. BOOST+ mode drives an extra jolt of power at the push of a button. Driving in all-electric mode maxes out at 62 miles which will prove to be plenty for city dwellers.

#NEXTGen concentrates on personal mobility solutions “made by the BMW Group” with the Group’s latest technological advances in the fields of design, autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and services all on display. Look through more visuals of the BMW Vision M NEXT in the gallery above.