Automotive

BMW i Vision Circular concept shows the automaker's vision for 2040

BMW i Vision Circular concept ...
The BMW i Vision Circular concept was unveiled last month at IAA Mobility 2021
The BMW i Vision Circular concept was unveiled last month at IAA Mobility 2021
View 10 Images
The BMW i Vision Circular concept was unveiled last month at IAA Mobility 2021
1/10
The BMW i Vision Circular concept was unveiled last month at IAA Mobility 2021
The BMW i Vision Circular's crystal instrument panel "hovers" within the cabin
2/10
The BMW i Vision Circular's crystal instrument panel "hovers" within the cabin
The windshield in installed on the BMW i Vision Circular mock-up
3/10
The windshield in installed on the BMW i Vision Circular mock-up
The physical BMW i Vision Circular mock-up is made ready for the show
4/10
The physical BMW i Vision Circular mock-up is made ready for the show
The front and rear side doors open forward and backward respectively, allowing for easy access to the vehicle's cabin
5/10
The front and rear side doors open forward and backward respectively, allowing for easy access to the vehicle's cabin
The BMW i Vision Circular seats four, driver included
6/10
The BMW i Vision Circular seats four, driver included
The BMW i Vision Circular has a glass roof, with an integrated shading mechanism
7/10
The BMW i Vision Circular has a glass roof, with an integrated shading mechanism
A view of the BMW i Vision Circular's cabin
8/10
A view of the BMW i Vision Circular's cabin
The BMW i Vision Circular is about 4 m (13 ft) in length
9/10
The BMW i Vision Circular is about 4 m (13 ft) in length
The BMW i Vision Circular's distinctive rear end
10/10
The BMW i Vision Circular's distinctive rear end
View gallery - 10 images

Given that the currently available BMW i8 and i3 are already fairly futuristic cars, one might wonder what form a Bimmer made 19 years from now would take. The German automaker is exploring that question, with its BMW i Vision Circular concept.

Presented at last month's IAA Mobility 2021 show in Munich, the fully-electric four-seater BMW i Vision Circular is intended to provide a glimpse of where BMW sees itself being in the year 2040. The design of the car is focused on four of the Rs of sustainable manufacturing – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink.

Starting on the outside, it's worth noting that no exterior paint is used on the vehicle. Instead, its main body is constructed of gold-anodized recycled aluminum, while its rear end is made of recycled steel that has been heat-treated to take on a bluish-purple color. This not only eliminates the need for potentially toxic paint, but also leaves the two metals in a reportedly 100-percent recyclable form.

The bumpers are made of recycled, recyclable plastic. No chrome or leather is used anywhere in the car.

The tires, meanwhile, are composed of a translucent "certified, sustainably cultivated natural rubber," to which colored particles of recycled rubber have been added for extra strength. Those tires are mounted on rims that are designed to maximize aerodynamics and brake cooling, while minimizing materials use.

The physical BMW i Vision Circular mock-up is made ready for the show
The physical BMW i Vision Circular mock-up is made ready for the show

Up top, there's a glass roof with a built-in mechanical shading system, which flows into a dark glass tailgate that incorporates the tail lights, turn indicators and digital displays. A similar setup is used for the lighting in front. Although no information has been provided on the car's motor, it would be powered by an entirely recyclable all-solid-state battery.

Additionally, all of the vehicle's components can be installed or removed using a special BMW-specific socket wrench. This means that individual parts can easily be taken out for recycling plus they can be swapped out for upgrades, allowing the car to stay fully functional and up-to-date instead of ending up in the crusher. There are no bonded connections between parts.

The front and rear side doors open forward and backward respectively, allowing for easy access to the vehicle's cabin.

The BMW i Vision Circular's crystal instrument panel "hovers" within the cabin
The BMW i Vision Circular's crystal instrument panel "hovers" within the cabin

Some of the cabin's features include velvet-like recycled plastic upholstery; a V-shaped instrument panel with a crystal body and sides made of "responsibly sourced and externally certified" wood; a head-up display that projects driving data onto the bottom of the windshield; a Hans-Zimmer-designed sound system that can deliver different audio to different passengers via headrest-integrated speakers; and a 3D-printed steering wheel made of bio-based materials.

That steering wheel sports a crystal interface that includes displays similar to those on the instrumental panel, which are navigated utilizing thumb pads – so the driver's hands always stay on the wheel.

"The BMW i Vision Circular illustrates our all-encompassing, meticulous way of thinking when it comes to sustainable mobility," says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW. "It symbolizes our ambition to be a pioneering force in the development of a circular economy."

Source: BMW

View gallery - 10 images
5 comments
5 comments
TechGazer
Will those wheels/tires survive any surface other than flawless pavement?
paul314
" a special BMW-specific socket wrench"? Because we need another standard for socket wrenches and only manufacturer- approved mechanics to do anything with our cars. (I predict that if such a thing comes to fruition it will be both difficult for authorized people to get, hindering upgrades, and simple enough to copy that any evildoer who wants to part out a car can manage it easily.)
Aermaco
Their list of sustainable measures taken with details and materials is commendable environmentally. But those 4 Rs are short of the following 4 which, had they been enacted, would truly have created a remarkable vehicle.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink holds the best for last of their 4 Rs missing; Research, Reevaluate, Restudy, Reconsider, the other 4 Rs that will find the vastly superior potentials for propulsion and travel yet BMW naturally had settle for the state of the art that is devoid of Rs #4-8.

The above statement or 4 more Rs is beyond the current state of manufacturing and design, but they said its for 2040 and that's 19 long years from now as all technologies are advancing exponentially. We can know that very soon the results of the 4-8 Rs will make 2040 become far beyond this handsome Beemer with all its 20s values that will be moot in 2040.
jerryd
While sounds interesting, the metal you don't use is the is the most eco of all.
Instead use plants and sand that needs 40% less weight, thus less battery, etc lowering building costs 35%.
Composite EVs are made from a couple pieces so far less work, energy needed. And needs little energy to make.
Composite can be recycled lot easier as the body doesn't need to be taken apart, just heated with solar and recycled heat that can be turned into new composite EVs, fuel, chemicals, insulation, etc.
The sad thing is BMW knows all of this. They just refuse to build viable ones. The i3 and i8 were close but badly designed and used CF instead of Kevlar like and medium tech fabrics
The i3 could have went 200 miles on the 80 mile pack at $25k had BMW designed, built it right.
Sergius
Perfect...