Much has been said about BMW’s styling of late, often in a derogatory way. Making comparisons to legends of past always delivers disappointment. When we think of BMW we think M635 csi, E30 M3, E46 M3 CSL, and just about any other M car you care to mention.
With BMW heavily invested in technology and unafraid of relinquishing brand differentiation for return on investment, it’s difficult to fathom what we could expect in the future from the German marque so closely aligned with sheer driving pleasure.
Change is never easy, especially when it comes to that famed kidney grill. Chris Bangle ushered in a brilliant new age of design which was misunderstood, unappreciated, and rightly criticised at times. Now however, they stand the test of time (mostly).
So what does the future of driving look like, or could look and feel like for a BMW customer? BMW have shown their hand to some degree here. Choice is the overriding theme for the BMW Vision M NEXT concept, a hybrid inspired by BMWs of yore, chiefly the M1 with its wedge shape, and Turbo. Be driven or drive yourself. Choose between electric all-wheel drive and pure rear-wheel drive. Choose all-electric propulsion or the power of a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Performance is on par with any of today’s supercars, generating 441 kW (600 hp), a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 3 seconds. As you’d expect, there’s also a button activated BOOST+ mode.
So not so bad after all, huh?
Well, what new technology doesn’t come with an encyclopaedia of acronyms. Yes, the BMW Vision M NEXT carries a few, in BMW’s own words:
Autonomous driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services (ACES). The Design lends these areas visual expression and makes the underlying technology something you can engage with (D+ACES).
The design is purely subjective at this point, but I feel they could’ve taken it further. Despite the nod to the past, it feels too closely aligned with today’s design aesthetics albeit with some nice detail touches.
Let’s see how this one develops!