What does the new era of Sheer Driving Pleasure look like? That’s the question the BMW Vision M NEXT seeks to answer. After the #NEXTGen Event in Munich a few weeks back where the Vision M NEXT had its debut we can finally admire the concept study in the US too, to be precise: on the Pebble Beach lawn.
It is a bright and sunny Thursday morning, the birds are singing and we are listening to the ocean breeze. Wait a moment, this is Pebble Beach, usually foggy and misty, a little mysterious and yet comforting, but today shall be different.
“EASE your Life – BOOST your Moment.” – the theme seems to be fitting just about perfectly and ends up leading the day. You shall take life easy, let it lead you and from time to time you shall get behind the wheel yourself and lead your own way. The weather can’t be changed and although it has been predictable for the last 10 years here at Pebble Beach it is yet to make a change, so boost your moment and take this as an opportunity, a change into a great direction. In the future, drivers will be able to choose whether they want to be driven autonomously (in EASE Mode) or drive themselves (in BOOST Mode).
The Vision M Next is said to run a plug-in hybrid with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine and twin electric motors. The combination was claimed by BMW to deliver 600 horsepower, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.
“Like most artists, I’m fascinated by things we haven’t seen before, images still to be discovered. So I was delighted to accept the invitation of Adrian van Hooydonk and his team. I think the way I look at photography puts me in a good place to bring out essential, abstract elements. The M NEXT study is a highly complex vehicle whose radical design extends beyond the job description of an everyday model. A concept like this represents a very interesting opportunity for me to transport these ideas and future forms into the public consciousness.”Thomas Demand, artist.
Its design is a cross between the BMW i8 and the M1 Hommage. There are plenty of square shapes that’s reminiscent of the Giugiaro-designed BMW M1 from the ’70s. The C-pillar vents, the louvered rear window, its spindle-thin taillights with BMW Roundels in them — harking back to the original M1 — all combine to make the Vision M NEXT an interesting car when it hits the market.
“When we reveal a new vehicle, there are myriad overall views at play. This time we’re taking a new approach and presenting a selection of artworks ahead of the car’s unveiling. The photos are fascinating and tell their own story. They are very close to the BMW Vision Vehicle and yet completely abstract, pure art. They will only become tangible when you set eyes on the Vision Vehicle itself.”Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design
The Kidney Grille is an unnecessary but cool design feature. They are relatively small by modern BMW standards, but it looks as if they are floating inside. Being a plug-in hybrid, those grilles aren’t necessary nor real. Basically they’re closed off by a transparent panel that’s laser etched and backlit, making it look floating and light.