With the opulent BMW Vision Future Luxury, the Bavarian company has surpassed even its own boundaries in terms of exclusivity and luxury. Up until now the most sumptuous model line was the 7 Series, but with this prototype it seems BMW has inaugurated a newer model line, perhaps even a new era.
Exclusivity comes with innovation, two inseparable qualities that have come to distinguish the quality of BMW Group. And in this instance, those qualities have been especially elevated. Karim Habib, Director of BMW Design, summarizes the prototype design approach that anticipates the future of the firm: The design of the BMW Vision Future Luxury is the messenger of our philosophy of modern luxury, one in which innovative technologies play a key and vital role. These innovations deliver a new, multifaceted luxury experience that spans intelligent lightweight engineering, innovative interior design and a radically new user interface design.
Spacious and dynamic
The long wheelbase, short overhangs and low, set-back passenger cabin lend the stretched silhouette of the prototype a refined dynamism. Perhaps the greatest visual impact, one that reveals the true nature of the vehicle, is provided by the surface of the body, with its form hand-sculpted by expert modellers. The scintillating bronze-colour finish further enhances the fabulous effect. Beyond the extent of the vehicles dimensions, two small parts stand out not for their size, but for the striking effect generated by their form: the side mirrors, designed to appear as continuations of the chrome window trims, they complete the exterior personality of the car with their aerodynamic and ethereal beauty.
The use of carbon fibre in the construction of the BMW Vision Future Luxury allows the design of doors with an amazingly airy aspect. By using the new carbon material, it was possible to reduce the size of the pillar that separates the door openings. The new unobtrusive pillar is integrated into the seat frames, the doorsills and the centre console and, as the doors open in opposite directions, theres a greater sense of space.
At the front, the lean contours of the headlights also hint at the innovative technology sheltering behind them: BMW Laserlight. This new technology paves the way for a very flat and dynamic interpretation of the typical BMW twin round headlamps and the concentrated, parallel light beam is up to ten times more intense than that of an LED system. The reduced energy consumption and packaging requirements of laser lights make this technology a prime candidate for use in future vehicles.
Looking at the back of the car, the rear lighting is unprecedented on a BMW. The organic LED lights anticipate a new direction in the classic L-shaped design of the taillights. The BMW Vision Future Luxurys L-shaped rear lights comprise a large number of small, likewise L-shaped OLEDs. Organic LEDs are not only extremely thin as well as flexible, they also produce very uniform illumination over their entire surface. Due to their very thin dimensions, and since they do not require reflectors in order to produce the desired broad light dispersion, they open up completely new ways of using light in and around the vehicle.
The guiding principle behind the interior design of BMW Vision Future Luxury is called "subtractive modelling". This means that the vehicle architecture is composed of a succession of layers of different materials and levels. An initial base layer of fine carbon fibre is followed by a functional level featuring user interface components, control and display interfaces and lighting functions, which in turn is followed by a further structural, load-bearing layer of aluminium for additional strength. Finally, the top layers comprise wood, then leather, to create a warm and comfortable ambience. This particular geometry of the interior is always reduced to the essentials to reduce the weight considerably.
Like sitting in a lounge
In the cockpit, the BMW Vision Future Luxury offers a luxurious personal space. Firstly, the drivers space is designed with a comfortable wrap-around control panel. Passengers in the rear will enjoy comfort comparable to sitting in a luxurious lounge. Two large seats, a retractable table, the angled Rear Seat Displays and the rigid backs of the front seats create a very private ambience, sectioning this area off from the rest of the interior.
The division between darker materials in the upper areas and light materials in the lower areas creates a feeling of warmth and a luxurious sense of space. Only the most sumptuous materials are used to finish the elegant interior. The finest-quality leather in Batavia brown and a lighter Silk shade, the sensuous feel of nubuck leather and the all add to the charm of the design. The soft glow of strategically placed lighting, integrated into the wood, accentuates the welcoming atmosphere. A thick, exquisite pure silk carpet completes the exclusive selection of interior materials.
Three ingeniously arranged and interconnected screens surround the driver of the BMW Vision Future Luxury. This arrangement visually facilitates control of all the information provided by the car. The left-hand display presents vehicle-related information, while in the centre a programmable cluster displays speedometer, rev counter and other information, as well as additional which is displayed when relevant. The right-hand display the Driver Information Display provides additional informational data and entertainment. The driver also has the option of controlling all these functions by voice command.
The primary driver display is the contact-analogue BMW Vision Head Up Display, which augments the drivers view of the real world by projecting information directly in the drivers line of sight onto the road. This technology gives a new dimension to driver assistance functions such as Speed Limit Info, where road signs can be identified and highlighted in the drivers field of view, or the Traffic Light Assistant, which provides real-time information about traffic light phasing.
In place of a central shared information display for driver and front passenger, the BMW Vision Future Luxury offers front passengers their own Passenger Information Display. This display is connected to the Driver Information Display via a touch-sensitive panel, where information can be exchanged between driver and front passenger. Without risk of distracting the driver, the front passenger can control the relevant functions using the touch interface controlled iDrive Controller.
The displayed information is also available to the passengers in the rear, where two carbon-trimmed screens and a removable touchpad put the finishing touch to the integrated user interface concept of the BMW Vision Future Luxury. These displays can communicate with the front displays and also with the BMW ConnectedDrive services. All content and functions can be controlled from the rear seats using the detachable Rear Seat Touch Command Tablet in the centre console.