BMW Vi­sion in­ext

Con­cept hints at a new elec­tric lux­ury SUV that’s set to join an ex­panded BMW i line-up

What Car? - - Electric Car Special - Dar­ren Moss Dar­[email protected]­mar­ket.com

ABOUT THE SAME size as the X5 SUV, the Vi­sion in­ext (although it won’t have that name when it goes on sale) is said to be ca­pa­ble of level four au­ton­omy – mean­ing that, in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions such as on the mo­tor­way, driv­ers won’t need to pay at­ten­tion to what the car is do­ing.

The con­cept fea­tures su­per-slim LED head­lights, a large cen­tral grille and body­work de­signed to chan­nel air ef ciently around the car. You can ex­pect most of its styling to be toned down for pro­duc­tion, but the over­sized grille could well make it on to the nished car.

In­side, the Vi­sion in­ext isn’t as pod-like as many other au­ton­o­mous con­cepts, re­tain­ing a steer­ing wheel should the driver choose to take charge of the car. In­deed, BMW of cials have said the com­pany’s cars will al­ways in­clude a steer­ing wheel.

The dash­board fea­tures wood and leather trim and in­cludes a widescreen dis­play for in­fo­tain­ment with a smaller screen an­gled to­wards the driver, likely to be used as a dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter for when the car is be­ing driven.

The Vi­sion in­ext can travel for around

380 miles on a sin­gle charge. Driv­ers can choose be­tween Boost and Ease modes, with the for­mer al­low­ing the Vi­sion in­ext to be driven like a nor­mal car. When Ease mode is en­gaged, how­ever, the steer­ing wheel re­tracts slightly and the in­fo­tain­ment dis­plays show places of in­ter­est near to the car.

There aren’t any other vis­i­ble con­trol sur­faces in­side the con­cept; BMW says this is be­cause it might be pos­si­ble to in­te­grate con­trols into wooden or cloth sur­faces in the fu­ture. For ex­am­ple, in au­ton­o­mous mode, the driver can make in­puts di­rectly into the wooden cen­tre con­sole to con­trol things like the stereo.

The pro­duc­tion model will be part of a larger fam­ily of i-branded cars from BMW. The com­pany says it plans to sell 25 mod­els with elec­tri ed pow­er­trains (which can in­clude hy­brids and plug-in hy­brids as well as fully elec­tric cars) by 2025. Of those, 12 will be fully elec­tric.

‘The driver can make in­puts di­rectly into the wooden cen­tre con­sole’

BMW says the Vi­sion in­ext pro­vides the “build­ing blocks” of its fu­ture

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