2018 BMW iNext Concept
As each of the major automakers vie for technological supremacy, the space between blue-sky concept cars and their production-based realities is starting to blur. The latest to step into this space is the BMW iNext, an autonomous, battery-powered SUV that comes stuffed with the Bavarian’s latest and greatest ideas for the next generation.
“The iNext project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all its brands are set to benefit,” said BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Harald Krüger. That means that over the next several years, this thing will provide the guidance for not just BMW’s line, but the Mini line as well, both of which are promised to offer “in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services,” according to BMW. Indeed, now that BMW has been doing the EV thing for more than a decade at this point, it’s about time the company stepped up its game. Read on to see how.
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Collective gasps welcomed the BMW Turbo Concept on the stage at the 1972 edition of the Paris Motor Show. The car, stunning from every angle, was the embodiment of what future BMW products would offer: cutting-edge looks, state-of-the-art technology, and performance. This mesmerizing prototype designed by Paul Bracq was the inspiration for BMW’s one and only supercar: the M1. Thirty years later, BMW honored both the Turbo and the M1 by creating the appropriately-named M1 Hommage. Dressed in a similar coat of hypnotic red as the Turbo and with countless design cues that trace their roots in the Giugiaro-penned M1, the Hommage was a way for BMW to look back while also looking towards the future.
First displayed at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este in 2008, the M1 Hommage was the German manufacturer’s way of refreshing the wedge-shaped M1 which was celebrating its 30th birthday. BMW brought the much-revered older siblings to complement the launch of this design experiment, but many were left bemused by the company’s announcement that there would be no new supercar to come from Munich.
This wasn’t, however, entirely true as BMW didn’t ignore its waves of fans who fell in love with their 2008 concept and went on to include certain unmistakable design cues in their 2009 Vision EfficentDynamics concept which led to the BMW i8. It’s not a supercar, it was never intended to be, but it’s similar enough to the M1 Hommage to make us happy, and it also channels the Turbo prototype through all of its hybrid technology that it incorporates.
Toyota showed up to Goodwood with a camouflaged Supra in hopes of stealing the spotlight, but Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar, Brabham, and others made sure to get their own attention by bringing their latest gear. BMW was particularly eager to show off here, as next to their all-new 8 Series, they will be revealing this - the BMW M Performance Parts Concept M2.
Debuting at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the car will showcase all the breadth of BMW M Performance division who spruced up the M2 to previously unimaginable levels. It is a lighter, meaner, and angrier version of the BMW M2 Coupe. Some of the parts showcased here are destined for the new BMW M2 Competition.
BMW has eased into the electric future, starting with the BMW X5 I Performance – it’s first plug-in hybrid – back in 2015. Fast forward a few years and here we are looking at the BMW iX3 Concept, an X3-based, all-electric SUV (or SAV as BMW likes to call it) that features the brand’s fifth-gen electric drive system, modular batteries, and some i-specific design cues that we’ll surely see when the iX3 goes into production. As a concept that’s practically ready to roll off the production line, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it.
2018 BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
Introduced in 1989 as a replacement for the 6 Series, the 8 Series became BMW’s largest and most luxurious coupe yet. Produced in a little over 30,000 units until 1999, it’s among the rarest and most desirable Bimmers ever built. Come 2018, and the flagship two-door is set to return alongside an M8 version (for the very first time) and a race-spec model. But BMW isn’t stopping here. With some nameplates already available in Gran Coupe trim, the 8 Series will also get a four-door coupe model. The vehicle was confirmed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, where the German firm showcased the Concept M8 Gran Coupe.
Designed to offer "a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series," the Concept M8 Gran Coupe also previews a car that "will take over as the new flagship model" for the lineup. This means it will sit atop the 7 Series full-size, and even though it won’t be necessarily larger than the four-door, it will definitely cost more and have more exclusive features inside and out. And, despite the "flagship" description, it won’t take over the 7 Series’ battle with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8. Instead, it will compete against the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7. The concept also suggests that the 8 Series Gran Coupe will be joined by a sportier M8 version.
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2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
No one can claim BMW’s lineup lacks enough models. The German automaker has split more hairs when it comes to niche segments than any other brand. But one thing BMW lacks is a three-row SUV. That will change when the X7 Sport Activity Vehicle begins production for the 2019 model year. In the mean time, BMW has teased the X7 with this concept version. It’s (hopefully) a heavily stylized and futuristic interpretation of what the X7 will be, and comes packed with high-tech features and overstated design elements.
The X7 will ride on BMW’s CLAR platform, which is currently used in the 7 Series sedan. Powertrain specifications haven’t been detailed, but BMW says the X7 will offer electric propulsion, which BMW calls eDrive, paired with a TwinPower Turbo engine. Obviously, this is where the iPerformance designation comes in. The gasoline-electric hybrid system will be of the plug-in variety and can run in full EV mode with zero local emissions. We expect BMW’s inline-six and V-8 engines will be available, too, with rear-wheel driving coming as standard and all-wheel drive being optional, perhaps depending on the powertrain. So, until BMW debuts the production version of the X7, this concept remains the best guess at what we can expect. Let’s just hope the overstyled exterior gets heavily toned down before the X7 hits showrooms in late 2018.
Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s presentation at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.
2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept
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.
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2017 BMW Concept Z4
BMW essentially struck gold in the compact, two-seater market when it released the Z4 back in 2003. It featured a sporty exterior, with potent, naturally aspired engines, and could be had as a soft-top convertible or in coupe form. That first generation lasted until 2009, but before the first-gen made its exit BMW was able to introduce a Z4 M in both forms with performance credentials good enough to get the little car that could up to 60 mph in as little as 4.8 seconds if you knew how to shift it right. The second-gen came to be in 2009 and, while most of the engine choices were naturally aspirated, one was offered with turbocharged goodness. Within a couple of years, the entire drivetrain lineup went turbo, and BMW hasn’t looked back since. The second-generation model lasted from 2009 to 2016 and, ever since its discontinuance, fans and purists everywhere have begged for the third-gen model – an all-new roadster that’s due for the 2018 model year and has been caught many times testing out in public over the last two years. At the kickoff of Monterey Car Week, BMW decided to release the Concept Z4, a wild interpretation of the upcoming roadster and something that at least gives us a little hint as to where BMW is going with the third-gen model.
As is the usual case with concepts, this car isn’t a firm representation of what we’ll see. For instance, it has no roof or, at the very least, has a Targa-style top. The exterior design is quite bold and features stout overhangs with crisp lines and a style that you could only get from BMW. There’s no word on what might be lurking under the hood, but BMW claims the Concept Z4 is an “all-out driving machine” that is stripped down to the bare essentials. With that said, let’s take a good look at the concept and talk more about it!
Updated 08/21/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s presentation at the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
2017 BMW 8 Series Concept
Back in the late 1980s when BMW introduced the first 8 Series Coupe, it threw the lineup into turmoil as the 6 Series quickly lost relevance. The 6 Series was eventually discontinued a few years after the 8 Series rolled into showrooms. The 8 Series quickly became an icon, but was ultimately short-lived, being discontinued just 10 years after its introduction. The 6 Series bounced back in 2003 and has been on the market ever since. Fast forward to 2017, and we’re looking at another 8 Series Coupe. This specific model is a concept, but promises to be near-production ready and represents what the new 8 Series will look like when it hits the market in 2018 as a 2019 model. Little is known as far as specifics go, but the 8 Series concept shows off a bold new styling language for future BMW products and essentially redefines the line between beauty and luxury. Inside, the concept represents the evolution of BMW’s iconic styling while the motivation under the hood is likely the same 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V-8 from the current 7 Series.
The new 8 Series Coupe coming and there’s no denying it at this point. It’s quite likely to throw BMW’s lineup into chaos once again. Is there a place for the 6 Series with a new 8 Series on the market? Does the design language of the new 8 Series fit into the ego of BMW fanboys enough to encourage paying much more for a slightly larger coupe? These are two important questions, but they all lead to the same quandary: Will the production model based on this concept perform well enough for the name to gain that iconic status it was once known for, while earning itself a permanent place in Bimmer’s stable? Well, let’s dive on into this concept and see just what the future might hold.
2016 BMW X2 Concept
In 1999, BMW launched its first-ever SUV, joining the increasingly popular crossover market with the X5. The mid-size hauler was later joined by the smaller X3 and X1, as well as the coupe-shaped X6 and X4 models. The German company is planning to expand its family of X models even further in the future with a larger X7, already confirmed for production. An X2 has also been in the rumor mill for a few years, but BMW has yet to confirm it. This changed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where the Munich-based firm showcased the X2 Concept.
Described as a vehicle for "active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality," the X2 Concept slots between the X1 and the X3.. But although the even number next to the "X" places it in the same lineup with the X4 and X6, the X2’s styling lacks the hunched stance of its coupe siblings. This is where it gets a bit confusing, but needless to say, the X2 is definitely sportier than the X3 and X1.
"The BMW Concept X2 combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of an X model. This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character, and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand," said Karim Habib, head of BMW Design.
BMW has yet to specifically confirm that a production X2 is underway as of January 2017, but a road-going model is expected to arrive within the next couple of years. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the concept and the brand-new BMW features that define it.
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2016 BMW 2002 Hommage
If you look back on this history of the Villa d’Este Concours event, you will find a lot of hype about models like the BMW CSL Hommage from last year and the 328 Hommage from before that. Needless to say, BMW likes to bring the past to present with some interesting concepts that pay tribute to older models from years past. This year, BMW is bringing another “very special model,” called the BMW 2002 Hommage, a model that is based on the BMW 2002 Turbo.
Underneath all the fancy body lines and the little pieces that trigger memories from way back when, the BMW 2002 Hommage is probably just an M2. Be that as it may, it’s still a pretty nice place to start. Adrian van Hooydonk, the Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, said, “Exactly 50 years ago, the 02 range kick-started an era of success for BMW. This compact coupe is one of the vehicles which made the brand what it is today. The 2002 sat at the top of the range and was the first series-produced car anywhere in Europe to come with turbo technology. That set the seal on the coupe as a genuine sports car. At the same time, the 2002 turbo was at the technological vanguard of engine development at BMW. The BMW 2002 Hommage is our way of raising a glass to all these achievements.”
Karim Habib, the Head of Design for BMW Automobiles, believes that the BMW 2002 Hommage “encapsulates BMW’s major motorsport triumphs” and is a “confident statement of unadulterated driving joy.” So, with that said, let’s take a closer look at BMW’s latest concept for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and what it’s all about.
Update 08-24-2016: We’ve created a new video that covers the highlights of the BMW 2002 Hommage. Click on play to see it for yourself.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 2002 Hommage.