Still a couple of years away though

Shown for the first time in official photos earlier in 2018, the BMW Vision iNext made its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept vehicle previews the German company’s future platform, autonomous technology, and its take on car connectivity and electrification.

A Taste of the Future

The Production Version of the 2018 Vision iNext will Bring an All-New Platform, New Autonomous Technology
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BMW describes the Vision iNext as "a building block for the future of the BMW Group, encompassing technology, design and new ways of thinking that are set to filter through across the company and its brands." That’s a pompous way of saying that this concept is the first Bimmer that brings autonomous driving, state-of-the-art connectivity, electrification, and smart services under the same roof. When it debuts in 2020, the production version will be the first of many BMW’s to feature the new-generation technologies previewed today.

A New Design Language Too

The Production Version of the 2018 Vision iNext will Bring an All-New Platform, New Autonomous Technology
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The doors can be opened via touch-sensitive pads placed where the bottom of the B-pillar should be

The Vision iNext previews BMW’s upcoming styling language too. The concept SUV retains the familiar kidney grille up front, but the element is significantly taller and almost as wide as on the new X7. The bumper looks rather familiar, but the headlamps are a new take on the company’s traditional quad-lamp layout. While both headlamps retain the split design seen on all current Bimmers, they’re very narrow. Recently unveiled BMWs have slightly narrower headlamps than their successors, so it’s safe to assume that the trend is to make them slimmer and slimmer.

The profile of the Vision iNext suggests a long wagon with a crossover-specific ride height. There are no B-pillars and the doors are long, providing plenty of space to hop on inside the cabin. The doors can be opened via touch-sensitive pads placed where the bottom of the B-pillar should be. The rear section mimics the front end, sporting clean surfaces and slim taillights. However, the bumper incorporates some sort of diffuser for a sportier look.

Cozy Interior

The Production Version of the 2018 Vision iNext will Bring an All-New Platform, New Autonomous Technology
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"Shy Tech" features functions that can be operated using surfaces made of wood or cloth

The concept’s cabin was design to look like a cozy room. That’s because BMW thinks buyers will want to enjoy their surrounds more when cars will be able to drive without human input. And it makes sense.

Everything from the floor and door panels to the dashboard looks as clean as they get. There’s no center console or center stack, with all the vital information displayed on two big screens mounted on top of the dashboard. BMW used a mix of cloth and wood to create a look inspired by furniture design, as well as warm colors like brown and beige.

The concept also introduces BMW’s new Shy Tech. Short for smart technologies placed out of sight, it features functions that can be operated using surfaces made of wood or cloth. eliminating the need for buttons and knobs. BMW didn’t elaborate much, but it’s trend most automakers are following these days by moving physical controls into the infotainment system. The difference is that BMW is also integrating them into common surfaces around the passengers.

Electrified Autonomous Driving

The Production Version of the 2018 Vision iNext will Bring an All-New Platform, New Autonomous Technology
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While it confirms that the Vision iNext previews a next-gen drivetrain centered around an electric motor and autonomous driving capabilities, BMW doesn’t go into detail. Thankfully though, we know that the iX3 will go into production soon with a single electric motor and a 70-kWh battery that generate 270 horsepower and return 250 miles per charge.

Expect similar numbers for the production version of the iNext, although BMW has plenty of time to develop a version with enhanced specs. A dual-motor variant with all-wheel drive is also likely.

Further reading

The BMW iNext Points To the Future Of The Automaker's Electric SUVs Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW iNext Concept.

2020 BMW iX3
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW iX3.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

The BMW Vision iNEXT provides an insight into the future of personal mobility. The latest Vision Vehicle from the BMW Group symbolises the dawn of a new era in driving pleasure – and is celebrating its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Far more than a vehicle alone, the BMW Vision iNEXT represents a building block for the future of the BMW Group, encompassing technology, design and new ways of thinking that are set to filter through across the company and its brands. This is the first time all of the BMW Group’s strategic innovation fields – Autonomous driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services (ACES) – have been incorporated into a single vehicle, while its design lends them visual expression (D+ACES) and offers a look ahead to the future face of driving pleasure.

Human-centred design.
Mobility is an intrinsic part of our lives, our experiences, our sensory beings. It is, in short, a basic human requirement. Consequently, deliberations about the future of mobility revolve more than ever around people, our emotions and our mobility needs and preferences. The possibilities offered by autonomous driving, electrification and ever-greater connectivity will in future open the door to completely new experiences and ways of shaping a journey by car. At the same time, they also promise to change our desires and lifestyle habits.

A boutique ambience on wheels.
Drivers will have ever greater freedom to decide how they wish to use the time spent travelling in a car. The design of the vehicle’s interior will become increasingly important, with the feel-good factor playing a more prominent role. The all-electric BMW Vision iNEXT has therefore been created as a mobile space that offers real quality of life and addresses the need for a new “favourite space” in which we can be ourselves and relax. The resultant design exudes emotional appeal and conveys a positive sensation when entering the vehicle.

The geometry of the iNEXT cabin is composed of just a few, clean-cut lines, placing the focus on materials and colours. A mix of cloth and wood creates the kind of sophisticated feel associated with furniture design, helping to give the interior its special “boutique” character. The inside of the car is awash with warm, welcoming colours, such as the nude shade Purus Rosé, Brown and Beige, while the shimmering metallic Mystic Bronze accentuates their effect. The rear compartment is dominated by the petrol-coloured Enlighted Cloudburst cloth upholstery with its intricate Jacquard weave, which runs asymmetrically across the seat area and extends into the side panelling and parcel shelf.

Smart technology – integrated out of sight.
Smart technologies will help people in an ever more unobtrusive way in the future. In the BMW Vision iNEXT, these technologies stay in the background and out of sight – hence the name Shy Tech – and are only deployed when needed or at the driver’s or passengers’ request. There is virtually no need for either screens or buttons. Functions can be operated using surfaces made of materials such as wood or cloth, like the Jacquard cloth upholstery in the BMW Vision iNEXT. Control of the vehicle is therefore tailored in every respect to the requirements of the people travelling in it.

The exterior: precision and clarity.
The exterior of the BMW Vision iNEXT is also brimming with innovations. The new BMW i design language is clearly visible with its striking lines and clear forms, including powerfully sculpted surfaces curved like muscles onto the flanks. The stunning Liquid Greyrose Copper paint finish, which gradually changes in shade from warm copper to dark rose, projects unbridled dynamism and gives the exterior still greater impact.

The BMW Vision iNEXT features a very modern take on the classical BMW four-eyed front end, complete with super-slender headlights, while cameras (rather than exterior mirrors) show what’s happening behind. The windscreen merges seamlessly into a large panoramic roof, providing a clear view of the car’s innovative interior.

At the rear, the horizontal lines and surfaces create a wide and dynamic stance, and the slim rear lights cut deep into the car’s tail. The air flows along the roof of the BMW Vision iNEXT all the way to its trailing edge, and this combines with a diffuser – illuminated for extra effect – to enhance the car’s aerodynamics. The diffuser is an attractive styling element and a highly functional one, too: besides its positive influence over the Vision Car’s aerodynamics, it also increases electric range. Taking its cue from racing cars, the diffuser adds to the sporting presence for which BMWs are renowned – without a single exhaust tailpipe in sight.

World premiere in California.
The BMW Vision iNEXT is celebrating its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2018. The BMW Group’s Vision Car will herald the beginning of a new era in driving pleasure and mark the next step in the Munich-based company’s ongoing model offensive. The BMW iNEXT production model will roll off the assembly line at Plant Dingolfing from 2021, the new technological flagship transporting the company’s strategic innovation fields (D+ACES) onto the road.

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