The BMW Vision Future Luxury concept has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Beijing motor show. The new concept's key exterior styling elements, contemporary interior design touches, lightweight carbonfibre construction and innovative lighting systems will be incorporated on next year’s sixth-generation 7-series.
Revealed at the Beijing motor show, the big new saloon is described as a showcase for future BMW models. But while initial speculation suggested the Vision Future Luxury pointed at a possible 9-series flagship model to be installed at the top of the German car maker’s line-up, BMW officials have confirmed the new concept was created more specifically as a pointer to the next 7-series, which is due to head into UK showrooms late next year.
“The BMW Vision Future Luxury is the messenger of our philosophy of modern luxury,” says Karim Habib, head of BMW design, adding: “It takes our thinking a stage further.”
The exterior styling of BMW’s latest concept car shows hints of the Gran Lusso Coupé that was wheeled out at last year’s Ville d’Este concourse in Italy, but in keeping with the up-market positioning of the 7-series its overall appearance is much more formal.
An oversized kidney grille, heavily structured facia and slim line headlamps dominate a bold front end, while a more elegant looking rear is distinguished by a heavily angled rear window, comparatively short boot lid, and uncharacteristically shaped tail lamps.
The conceptual nature of the Vision Future Luxury’s exterior is further reflected in the flanks, which receive BMW’s latest air breather aperture behind the front wheel arches, a prominent shoulder and traditional Hofmeister kick within the trailing edge of the rear side windows.
The sides of the BMW concept are supported by a carbonfibre inner structure in a move that allows the front seats to form part of the load bearing structure. This latter treatment is thought to hint to an innovative construction process that will see the new 7-series receive lightweight carbonfibre body sides similar to that used by its i-brand models as part of an effort to provide the new luxury class saloon with a significant reduction in kerb weight.
Pillarless doors are used front and rear. But while the front doors boast conventional front hinges, BMW’s design team has endowed the Vision Future Luxury with rear-hinged coach-style doors up back to ease entry to the rear, which accommodates two deeply countoured individual seats.
As with the exterior, the four-seat interior is highly conceptual in nature. However, BMW says the displays, with their three dimensional graphics, basic architecture, including flowing centre console and materials, among which is a combination of brush aluminium and wood, will be reflected on future models, including the new 7-series.
Also hinted to on the new concept is touchscreen operation, a further developed head-up display unit with real-time information and a new iDrive controller.
Among the lighting technology BMW is hinting will appear on the next 7-series with the Vision Future Luxury are state-of-the-art laser headlamps and OLED (organic light emitting diode) tail lamps – the former of which are set to appear first on the German car maker’s upcoming i8.