BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics from the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show was a big hit, and the company is in the process of developing a production model out of it. Before that happens, though, the BMW M8 will get a technologically advanced, bald, younger brother. BMW’s Vision ConnectedDrive, a radical concept the automaker will show in Geneva Motor Show, will showcase a flamboyant new design language and advanced technologies set to make their production debut in BMW’s future range-topping hybrid sports car due in 2013.
The Vision ConnectedDrive, a two-seat roadster, serves as a rolling test bed for new ideas on design, electrically assisted driveline architecture and programmable information displays, including a radical new three-dimensional driver interface. BMW says the design study demonstrates current and future methods of mobile networking, and says the technology within the roadster is designed to make the vehicle an integral part of the networked world.
The comfort, safety and infotainment systems within the Vision ConnectedDrive can be optimised and individualised to suit the requirements of both the driver and the passenger. Sensors in the headlights and taillights monitor the traffic and the environment, while antennas in the wing mirrors capture navigation data and transmit information to other road users.
A three-dimensional head-up display provides an optical fusion of the actual view of the road ahead with virtual content. Information is displayed either in the foreground or the background, depending on its relevance to the current traffic situation. The passenger can become involved in the ConnectedDrive experience as well, acting as co-pilot in a navigation capacity. Information and address details sourced online by the passenger can be forwarded to the driver’s instrument panel to assist with directions.
The concept embodies the dynamic BMW design language with its long wheelbase, set back seating position and long bonnet but combines it with taut surfaces and distinctive flowing lines. This results in an interesting play of light and shadow making the car appear as if it is accelerating even at a standstill. The sliding doors, inspired by those on the BMW Z1, disappear into the body of the car. This allows the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive to be driven with the doors open, emphasizing the link between the vehicle and its environment.
Being a concept, The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive will not make production in current form, nor is there any word on what it’s powered by. However, expect to see some of the technology and features showcased by the Geneva show car trickling down to future production models.