BMW News

Last month, BMW AG Board of Management Chairman Harald Krüger promised a surprise at the 2017 Frankfurt International Auto Show (IAA) and today, he delivered, as BMW unveiled its latest concept: the BMW i Vision Dynamics. This four-door Gran Coupe clearly demonstrates how BMW envisions future sedans. It is an elegant car with impressive performance, luxury, the kind of out-of-the-box styling for which BMW i has become known, and it's fully electric with a usable real-world range.

The BMW i Vision Dynamics concept has a range of 373 miles before needing its batteries recharged. Its top speed of 120 miles per hour is about 35 miles per hour lower than most larger BMW sedans or coupes, but for most of the world—and even most of the Autobahn—120 mph will keep you moving with or ahead of most traffic.

We would expect a car with a big electric motor to have big torque and obviously, the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept has that, since BMW says it will move from zero to 60 mph in four seconds. That may not be "ludicrous," but it is still quite quick.

“At the BMW Group, the future of electric mobility has already arrived,” said Harald Krüger. “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 twelve 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.”

As BMW AG Board of Management member for development Klaus Fröhlich explains it, “BMW i is the innovation driver for the BMW Group. 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.”

Right from the start, the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept car's styling may generate controversy among some BMW enthusiasts who might find the front treatment too avant garde, but this is a concept, not a production car. BMW has a tendency to exaggerate new design elements in its concepts, which are later toned down in production versions derived from the experimental models. The BMW i Vision Dynamics should therefore be examined not for its styling alone, but for the technology and driver experience BMW intends for future customers.

BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk sees the BMW i Vision Dynamics as pioneering and inspiration for other models. “With the i3 and i8 we have designed a revolutionary city car and a revolutionary sports car,” said van Hooydonk. “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.”

What will strike most observers upon first looking at the front of the car will probably be the huge kidney grill outline that is missing the traditional slats. Instead the surface of the grille—which is not needed for engine cooling—contains sensors, which are needed for the car's semi-autonomous functions. BMW call it an "intelligence surface."

The headlights are in the right place, and there are four of them as is BMW's tradition, but they are no longer round. As lighting technology advances, headlights don't need the space they once occupied. We first saw the vertical side air scoops on the i8 but on the BMW i Vision Dynamics they are even more vertical and have been moved clear out to the side of the headlights and flow into integral dive planes.

When viewed from the side, the BMW i Vision Dynamics shows its BMW heritage with its long wheelbase, coupe-like roofline, and short overhangs front and rear. The glass is flush with the body and flows front to rear in a styling cue first seen on other BMW i concepts. Besides being very BMW i-ish, it gives passengers a great view.

Like the headlights, the taillights are in the right place for a BMW, and even assume a more or less traditional L-shape, but they are quite slim and add to the rear's broad horizontal impression. The rest of the rear is smooth and uncluttered except for the unobtrusive air flow exits and BMW i blue accents.

BMW gave us a first look today at the BMW i Vision Dynamics styling. We anxiously await more details on the interior, but even more, we want to learn about the technology that the BMW i Vision Dynamics portends for future BMWs, especially the drivetrain, battery and charging details, and any self-driving functions built into the concept.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]