Is it a preview of the i5... or maybe the i7?

With the EV war in full swing and every manufacturer trying to prove their dominance in this small but growing segment, it came as no surprise that there were plenty of EV and future concepts display at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. One such concept was the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept – a model that previews a production model that will slot between the BMW i3 and BMW i8, and most likely the BMW i5 that we thought for sure was coming to Frankfurt this year. Whether or not this thing is anywhere near being ready for a shift into production remains to be seen, it has a pretty wild exterior design but, as a sedan, it will slot in nicely below the i8. It features a futuristic-like exterior design, along with an all-electric drivetrain.

As of now, details about this specific concept are scant at best. BMW hasn’t even enlightened us with any information about the interior and has given us very little about the drivetrain itself, so this is pretty much a best guess scenario. It’s also one of the 12 promised, pure-electric models that will grace Bimmer’s lineup by 2025 and stand next to another 13 electrified/hybrid vehicles. With that said, it’s time to take a good look at the latest vision concept and see what we might be able to expect from the mysterious and evasive i5 or maybe even an i7 since the i5 could end up being an SUV according to a report back in 2016. So, there are a lot of unknowns here, but that just means we can have fun with it. Let’s get to it.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

Official video

Exterior

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior
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What we have here is one serious failure to communicate. By that, I mean, we have no idea what the hell BMW is doing with its i-division. The i3 stands at the bottom of the line while the hybrid i8 – one of the most misunderstood cars in the world – sits at the top of the lineup. We’ve been expecting an i5 for some time now, and BMW has certainly been playing the waiting game.

The i Vision Dynamics is another one of those wild and crazy looking concepts that probably won’t contribute much to a production model.

We originally expected to see the i5 in Frankfurt, but we still didn’t know what it would be, since some reports have called for the expectation of a sedan and others, the later as of October of 2016, claiming it would be an SUV. Then the doors opened at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, and BMW’s booth was packed with new cars and concepts, one of which was the i Vision Dynamics, another one of those wild and crazy looking concepts that probably won’t contribute much to a production model. Of course, BMW hasn’t come right out and said this concept previews the upcoming i5, but it did say that it what another electric BMW might look like – nice wordplay, Bimmer. Well played.

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior
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With that in mind, we’re looking at a concept that is pretty wild and may loosely preview a sedan that could sport an i5 or i7 badge. Up front, it is void of the traditional kidney grilles and instead gets a weird outline of what would be really tall dual grilles on the nose. It features very thin, LED headlights and these thin creases in each corner that could channel some cooling air toward the brakes or battery packs. The lower fascia consists of a wing in each corner as well as a lip in the center of an oddly shaped air dam. The hood is quite muscular, and if you look at it just right, the front end kind of looks like a stoned, but angry fish. It does have decent proportions up front, as the front end isn’t too long or too short, so the low-slung, four-door look works quite well here.

The most dominating feature is the unique window frames which somewhat resemble a headless bat with its wings spread

Like all concepts these days, the side profile is void of door handles and side view mirrors (Hey Uncle Sam, can automakers just put these technologies into production already?) The most dominating feature is the unique window frames which somewhat resemble a headless bat with its wings spread. The smaller area between the doors is interesting, but I’m not quite sure how attractive that is yet – I guess I’ll have to wait to see if the look grows on me. The fenders and rear quarters flare out a bit at the bottom to fully enclose the sides of the wheels, and one sharp body line makes up the mid profile. The roof is a glossy black and likely allows for a full view of the sky from the inside, but could also offer a solution for solar charging. Okay, I’m reaching a bit, but a guy can hope, right?

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Around back, the taillights are sleek and ribbon-like in nature, protruding from the body just a bit for extra character. The BMW name and Vision Dynamics name is backlit on the rear fascia while the corners mimic that of the front fascia with slightly larger vertical cutouts. Down below, the lower fascia has a lip in each corner that is flanked on the inside by a pair of backlit stripes that reside pretty much where exhaust outlets would go if this was an ICE-powered vehicle. As I’ve mentioned about a few other concepts at this show, this concept has excellent fit and finish for all exterior body panels, leaving seams that are barely noticeable, something that makes it almost look as if the entire shell is one piece. Not bad. It’s still a little futuristic for my taste and I doubt will see much DNA carry over to a production model, but at least this is cool to look at.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept vs. BMW i5 Rendering

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2018 BMW i5
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Interior

2015 BMW i8 Interior
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Interior from 2015 BMW i8 shown here

Oh… so you were hoping to learn about the interior of this concept were ya? Well, sorry to break your heart, but you’re just out of luck on that one. See, this concept debuted in all its glory and basked in the ambiance that is the Frankfurt Motor Show, but BMW decided to black out the windows and failed to provide even a single picture or description of the inside. For all we know, it could be a bare shell in there or maybe it’s just some outrageous futuristic cabin that BMW doesn’t want to show off yet. Either way, you better wish in one hand and crap in the other to see which fills up first. Not that it matters because I doubt you’ll get your wish, but hey it’s worth a shot.

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Interior
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BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s Interior High Resolution
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2015 BMW i8 Interior 2018 BMW i3 Interior

If I had to guess, I’d say that the interior is likely a combination of the i3 and i8 with a futurist twist to them. Big massive screens, a retractable steering wheel, digital displays for all mirrors – you know, the usual conceptual stuff. With that said, the only other big difference between the images above and what could be inside this concept is the rear passenger area that probably has its own supply of touchscreen displays and amenities to keep rear passengers happy. After all, this is a sports sedan, and the BMW badge means you should expect the best, right?

Big massive screens, a retractable steering wheel, digital displays for all mirrors – you know, the usual conceptual stuff

If this does, indeed, lead to a production model –be it an i5, i7, i9, or even an i37 – I would expect to see a lot more of the i8 interior than anything else. It should get the sleek digital displays that will, of course, make use of the best technology available at the time. BMW may decide to go with sportier seats up front and a flat-bottom steering wheel. I wouldn’t expect a shifter since it will be all-electric, so it should have a wide-open center console with a big touchpad controller for the infotainment display. All told, it could be one impressive sports sedan, but we’ll have to wait and see what Bimmer decides to do once the hype about this concept dies down a bit.

Drivetrain

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Like the interior, the drivetrain department is also quite a big mystery. Thing like battery size and capacity, charging times and ability, energy recuperation, and even the number of motors remains a complete mystery. But, BMW has given a couple of details as an appetizer to really get our attention. But, there’s a little problem. See, BMW says this is a car that represents a “new level of sporting.” Well, that’s only half correct really if you read between the lines. It can make the 62-mph sprint in four seconds flat, so that’s pretty sporty.

It is said to offer up some 600 km, or 373 miles, of range on a single charge

Unfortunately, top speed is said to be “over 120 mph.” That could mean it tops out at 125 mph – not very promising for an electric car that could easily be confused with a sports sedan despite BMW’s “Gran Coupe” terminology. It is said to offer up some 600 km, or 373 miles, of range on a single charge. How long that charge will take is still unknown, but it should put an end to any range anxiety that you may have.

For now, that’s all we’ve got, but we’ll be sure to update you if new information does happen to become available.

Conclusion

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Unfortunately, you’re probably leaving this review with more questions than answers. How big is the battery? How long does it take to charge? What’s the real top speed? What does the interior look like? Will it lead to a production model? And, you couldn’t be blamed for wanting to know all of those things. I want to know too, in fact.

Usually, BMW is pretty good about talking itself up and bragging about its concepts, but this time it has left us hanging in the worst way. Not that it’s all bad, mystery can be a good thing, but let’s hope we do find out answers to these questions eventually. And, just to throw this out there, it’s quite possible that BMW could have a prototype of the production model just about ready to show off at the next show, so maybe it didn’t want to give away any hints as to what we can expect yet. After all, leaks have ruined plenty of debuts this year already, so you can’t blame Bimmer too much for wanting to keep some secrecy.

But, what do you all think about this concept? Would it make an awesome production model? Would you consider an all-electric sedan from Bimmer if it’s good for close to 400 miles on a single charge? Does it preview the i5 or maybe an i7 or i9? Let us know what you’re feeling in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • * No interior to look at
    • * Few specs to go by
    • * Not sure about that nose quite yet

References

BMW i5

2018 BMW i5 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review on the BMW i5.

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the BMW i8.

Press release

Just a year on from the presentation of its future-focused NEXT 100 vision vehicles, the BMW Group is introducing the electric mobility of the much more immediate future at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt. The BMW i Vision Dynamics is a four-door Gran Coupe with a range of 600 km (373 miles), a top speed of over 200 km/h (120 mph) and acceleration of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds, and offers a look ahead to the e-mobility experience of the future with a new level of sporting elegance. “At the BMW Group, the future of electric mobility has already arrived,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG. “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 12 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.”

BMW i sets the pace of innovation.

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BMW i is a byword for visionary vehicles and a new understanding of premium mobility focused squarely on sustainability. “BMW i is the innovation driver for the BMW Group,” explains Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, Development. “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.”

The inspirational design of BMW i models is particularly effective in both flagging up the brand’s pioneering role visually and making it something people can experience. “With the i3 and i8 we have designed a revolutionary city car and a revolutionary sports car,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “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.”

“I do more with less” – the design identity of BMW i.

The outline of the BMW i Vision Dynamics represents a further evolution of the classical BMW proportions; a long wheelbase, flowing roofline and short overhangs create a basic profile brimming with elegance and dynamism. This silhouette is fleshed out by large, fluently contoured surfaces, the exterior appearing as if cut from a single mould. Aerodynamic requirements define the car’s progressive appearance down to its details. Barely visible joins and the flush integration of glass into the main body lend the study a modern and technical overall impression. The tension between large surfaces and finely worked details points to the innovative technology at the heart of the car in an understated yet intuitively appreciable way, rather than advertising it in grandiose fashion. And that is very much in keeping with the identity of BMW i: “I do more with less”.

Iconic window graphic symbolises the interior experience of the future.

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Within the smoothly flowing, neatly aligned progression of the surfaces along the car’s flanks, the new characterisation of the window profile is a standout feature of the BMW i Vision Dynamics. This iconic styling cue, which made its debut on the first wave of BMW i models, is depicted here in a fresh, likewise function-led interpretation and also sharpens the identity of the car’s flanks. Their virtually symmetrical form allows all passengers an equally good view out, highlighting the attention paid to the passengers and the shared driving experience in the interior. This is something that will gain further in importance in the future, in particular as far as (semi-) autonomous and connected driving is concerned. The distinctive driving experience is further enhanced by the full-length glass surface running from the windscreen to the rear window. This heightens the sensation of room and enables a feeling of spaciousness and freedom inside the car that belies its dynamic exterior silhouette. Viewed from the outside, the unbroken roof graphic reinforces the enclosed, modern feel of the exterior thanks to seamless transitions through the front and rear end.

Familiar icons at the front gain new significance.

The prominent, enclosed “kidneys” in the minimalist front end bring together the past and the future of BMW in more than just styling terms. Where the BMW kidneys have previously acted as a symbol for the company’s expertise in drive system development, the BMW i Vision Dynamics deploys them as declarations of technological know-how. Indeed, underlying sensors turn the kidneys into an “intelligence surface”. The headlights similarly combine tradition and the future. The classical BMW four-eyed front end is reprised here in a very modern and pared-back interpretation, two intricate, freestanding LED light elements on each side of the car’s nose integrating all the necessary lighting functions, yet also providing an extremely striking look characteristic of BMW.

Poise and dynamic allure at the rear as well.

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Smooth curves guide the car’s horizontal profile when viewed from the rear and add poise and power. The tapering of the passenger cell creates broad shoulders and a muscular presence. The most eye-catching feature of the rear end are the L-shaped lights. Their slim cut underscores the dynamic efficiency of the vision vehicle on a detailed level, while at the same time accentuating its wide stance on the road.

The BMW i Vision Dynamics exudes modernity, progressiveness and an appealing technical aesthetic from every angle. As a trailblazer for the BMW brand, it showcases very clearly the BMW Group’s future vision of emotionally engaging electrified mobility. Indeed, BMW will continue to focus its attentions on sporty and elegant vehicles in the years ahead.

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