BMW Vision M Next Concept Pictures Fun in the Future
【Summary】Autonomous cars and plug-in hybrids are coming, but BMW still thinks options will exist for drivers that want to have some fun.
BMW has a number of futuristic cars that fit neatly under its "Next" umbrella. While the cars are radically different from one another, they all do one thing: picture what cars of the future might look like. Autonomy is one of the key aspects of BMW's Next concepts, but in a move to separate its latest concept from the rest, the German automaker's latest concept is actually for people that envision themselves driving among autonomous vehicles.
No Autonomy Here
Earlier this week, BMW unveiled the Vision M Next concept that is meant to be " a take on how driving pleasure might look in the future." It's an interesting idea, as the majority of other automakers all have futuristic concepts that are looking to take the driver out of the picture. Leave it to BMW, the maker of the ultimate driving machine, to think of a future where the driver is still involved.
The first and most obvious thing about the Vision M Next is its supercar-like design. Take one peek at a lot of autonomous concepts, and the vehicles aren't too concerned with looks – it's all about having an eco-friendly design that's appealing, but not offensive. This clearly isn't the case with this concept.
On the inside, the interior is positively futuristic. For one, the concept doesn't have a traditional key. Instead, BMW requires that you use facial recognition technology to open the butterfly doors. On the inside, the cabin has Boost Pod, BMW's latest design philosophy that features multiple curved glass screens that sit immediately in front of the driver. Everything else errs to the minimalistic side of things, which is refreshing for a futuristic concept.
Blistering Performance From A Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain
What's really interesting about the Vision M Next Concept is its performance. Power for the concept comes from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's mounted in the middle of the vehicle. While BMW states that it's a plug-in hybrid system, a lot of the details are a secret. In total, horsepower is rated at 591 horses and BMW claims the sports car can get to 62 mph in roughly three seconds. Top speed is 186 mph. Running on nothing but electricity, the concept has a range of 62 miles.
Comparing the Vision M Next to BMW's iNext reveals just how drastic the latest concept is. The iNext was all about autonomy, while the Vision M Next is more about driving pleasure. For BMW, the future will still include some people that want to drive, so the Vision M Next "demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging."
Don't expect to see a production version of the Vision M Next on the road anytime soon. There's no word on whether BMW actually has plans for something similar to the concept in its pipelines, while only coyly stating that the concept is a look at what's in store for the future of BMW's electrified cars.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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