BMWs latest in a long line of electric concept cars takes a stab at the nostalgic.
Designed to look like the iconic BMW M1 from the 1970s, the Vision M takes the design language into the 21st century. And with an emphasis on the driver, the Vision M takes a step away from previous Vision concepts. Where the Vision Next 100 focused on automation, BMW has made it clear that the Vision M concept is all about the driver.
With power coming from an undisclosed inline-four as well as electric batteries, BMW has announced the power figures at 591hp, a 0 to 60 time of 3 seconds, and a top speed of 186mph. Compare that to BMWs current high performance electric hybrid the i8 which has a combined output of 356hp and a 0 to 60 of just 4.4 seconds. With an all electric range of 62 miles the Vision M far outpaces the i8’s 18.
Additionally the Vision M will have a few driver mode options: “Pure”, a rear wheel drive mode or “electric”, an all-wheel drive mode. This must mean that there is at least one electric motor at the front. There is also a Boost+ button providing extra power when needed.
When it comes to the looks both inside and out, BMW swung for the fences. With an exterior that looks both futuristic and refreshingly retro, they nailed it. Add to it the splash of thrilling orange on the back end and the Vision M is sure to stand out. The paint scheme for the Vision M is called “Mate-Neon” and it’s not hard to tell why. The rest of the colour comes from recycled carbon fiber sections around the body.
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Inside, the cockpit is all driver focused. Instead of using a key to start the engine, the car uses facial recognition technology that automatically unlocks the car as the driver approaches. The butterfly doors will then open with the touch of an exterior sensor. Once inside, the driver is surrounded by Midnight Blue microsuede, except for the steering wheel and the door handle of which both are finished in leather. On the topic of the steering wheel there is a true futuristic look to it – very hard and similar in shape to an F1 wheel. The seat is made from memory foam and appears to be a part of the interior shell. And instead of dials, the driver gets three heads-up displays around the wheel itself. But the best thing about the cockpit is the cupholders. They’re designed to be “gyroscopic” so they don’t spill your drinks all over the gorgeous cabin.
The best thing about the Vision M concept as stated above is that it is a 100% driver focused car. Adrian von Hooydonk, BMW Group’s Head of Design, says it “demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging.” An example of this is how the heads-up display will change what info is presented based on how fast the M is moving, with everything important moving into the driver’s line of sight.
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Now chances are this will just be another BMW concept dream. But we can still hold out hope. BMW has teased us in the past with the return of the M1, could this be the idea that finally gets the concept to the road? And if it does, will it carry everything we have seen so far? The facial recognition, the driver pod with triple heads-up displays and gyroscopic cup holders. Probably not but it is something to look forward to. We are certainly excited about the possibility. Let us know what you think in the comments.