- BMW's new concept shows how vehicles with the self-driving car brand can look in time.
- With turbocharging and a hybrid drivetrain, the Vision M Next hits 60 in three seconds.
- At the moment, the Vision M Next is just a concept, but it makes our imagination run wild.
Admittedly, there are many delightful elements in the BMW Vision M Next Concept. First, just look at this! It is a stylish interpretation of past and present BMW vehicles. To be more specific, it's like falling in love with the 1972 BMW E25 Turbo Concept and the i8 PHEV. The wedge-shaped design is also a fitting ode to the E26 BMW M1. The 70s and 80s are back and I love it!
However, the only thing that really stands out about the Vision M Next is BMW's ideas for autonomous driving.
Yes, the BMW Vision M Next is an autonomous vehicle. But it's a type of autonomy where drivers can override controls. In short, this is a concept car worth the wait and fans of traditional cars can sink their teeth into it.
BMW Vision M Next: the future of the brand?
The German manufacturer says all future BMW vehicles will be built using the D+ACES philosophy. This means that design, autonomous driving, electrification and services are carefully combined to create the ultimate car of the future. “The BMW Vision M Next gives a glimpse into the future of sports driving,” says Adrian Van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President, BMW Group Design. "It demonstrates how modern technology can also make your driving experience cleaner and more emotional."
It's no secret that things shake at BMW HQ. The company is now struggling to cope with the advent of all-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S and Model X. And I find that worrying considering BMW was one of the first to sell an EV in i3 form in 2013. It seems upper management underestimated the potential of full electric vehicles and now they are playing catch up. Being the last to go up is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, you can use it to your advantage. And if the BMW Vision M Next is any indication, it's safe to say that gearboxes, car enthusiasts and car enthusiasts alike can look forward to a bright and pleasant future.
BMW Vision M Next. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.
Nice kind of hybrid power
We have already installed the BMW Vision M Next in search. It has all the elements of a car poster: eye-catching retro, wedge-shaped silhouette, gull-wing doors, ridiculous colorways, and backlit elements on the kidney grille. The triangular blade-shaped elements on the air intakes remind me of the snout of a Lamborghini Aventador. In short, the BMW Vision M Next is every inch of a supercar. But what makes a super car in the purest sense of the word is its massive power reserves. In this regard, the BMW Vision M Next has you covered.
It's actually a hybrid supercar, but it's a good hybrid engine. The car has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a range of electric motors. BMW didn't say how many, but with the option to go with electric all-wheel drive or pure rear-wheel drive, we're guessing it has at least two or three electric motors. All in all, you have 600 horsepower at your disposal, allowing for a top speed of 186 miles per hour (300 km/h).
And I mean wow! I personally don't like hybrids. I think they are clumsy, overly complex and extremely boring on the road. But if the hybrid has 600 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds, I don't mind that, especially if it looks exactly like the BMW Vision M Next.
In the future, what if you have to drive past certain zero emission zones? No problems. The Vision M Next has an all-electric range of 62 miles (100 km), which, frankly, is not enough. That said, 62 miles is basically enough for quick city walks, so maybe that's not bad at all.
Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.
EASE & BOOST mode
Remember how the BMW Vision M Next was an autonomous car? You can enable full autonomy in EASE mode. Meanwhile, if you want to drive the way a BMW should drive, your best bet is to use the BOOST mode.
Easy, right? You can read the newspaper, upload a selfie, or chat with other passengers in EASE mode, all at speed. But if you want to drive a car, BOOST mode puts you in the driver's seat. It all sounds amazing: being able to enjoy both autonomy and actual driving. I sincerely hope that other car manufacturers are looking at what BMW is doing in the Vision M Next. If manufacturers want full autonomy to become a reality, it's important to give consumers the ability to choose whether or not to drive. We want autonomous cars, but we want to choose when to do it.
Related: BMW Group and Daimler AG autonomous driving partner.
Boost Pod: the beauty of simplicity
The ultra-minimalist interior in the BMW Vision M Next is a triumph in contemporary design. The most striking feature is the accent line in the driver area. It runs forward from the seat to the steering wheel. It's the perfect line of sight while driving, which speaks volumes about BMW's commitment to excellence.
Inside, you'll find high-tech woven synthetic fibers, anodized titanium and painted surfaces. Surprisingly, leather is found only at the touch points of the steering wheel and door handles. The visible roof structure is made from recycled carbon fiber, while the headlining is painted tone-on-tone.