Automotive

iSmove motorhome packs incredible concept-grade transforming trickery

iSmove motorhome packs incredi...
A small Class A motorhome, the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove is as short as some camper vans but with a roomy, luxurious interior
A small Class A motorhome, the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove is as short as some camper vans but with a roomy, luxurious interior
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Shown here in shower configuration, with the sliding wall pushed to the left, the bathroom is a big highlight of the iSmove
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Shown here in shower configuration, with the sliding wall pushed to the left, the bathroom is a big highlight of the iSmove
With the wall pushed to the right, the iSmove bathroom becomes a toilet room with sink and plenty of storage
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With the wall pushed to the right, the iSmove bathroom becomes a toilet room with sink and plenty of storage
A small Class A motorhome, the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove is as short as some camper vans but with a roomy, luxurious interior
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A small Class A motorhome, the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove is as short as some camper vans but with a roomy, luxurious interior
The available premium kitchen expands with a slide-out stove lid and extension worktop (Niesmann's video shows the sink cover working as the left worktop, but here there are two cutting board surfaces)
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The available premium kitchen expands with a slide-out stove lid and extension worktop (Niesmann's video shows the sink cover working as the left worktop, but here there are two cutting board surfaces)
Niesman + Bischoff will be skipping this year's Caravan Salon, along with the entire Erwin Hymer family, but that hasn't stopped it from revealing the all-new iSmove just ahead of the show
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Niesman + Bischoff will be skipping this year's Caravan Salon, along with the entire Erwin Hymer family, but that hasn't stopped it from revealing the all-new iSmove just ahead of the show
Storage capacity is also a focus of the iSmove construction, highlighted by the pass-through garage built under the bed
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Storage capacity is also a focus of the iSmove construction, highlighted by the pass-through garage built under the bed
A diagram of some of the iSmove's signature features
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A diagram of some of the iSmove's signature features
The iSmove 6.9 E floor plan has individual longitudinal rear beds that combine into a double
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The iSmove 6.9 E floor plan has individual longitudinal rear beds that combine into a double
The 730-cm iSmove 7.3 F floor plan offers an island-style queen bed in the rear
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The 730-cm iSmove 7.3 F floor plan offers an island-style queen bed in the rear
Niesmann + Bischoff offer a number of color options, but it's hard to go wrong with the red-accented white theme they show here
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Niesmann + Bischoff offer a number of color options, but it's hard to go wrong with the red-accented white theme they show here
The available front bed is barely noticeable at all when lifted closed, but drops down into a full-blown slumber chamber
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The available front bed is barely noticeable at all when lifted closed, but drops down into a full-blown slumber chamber
The smaller 7-m floor plan has two longitudinal beds that combine into a double, while the longer 7.3-m variant expands the bedroom out with an island queen
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The smaller 7-m floor plan has two longitudinal beds that combine into a double, while the longer 7.3-m variant expands the bedroom out with an island queen
Finding peace and scenery with the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove
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Finding peace and scenery with the Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove
Niesmann adds available wireless induction docks in the driver's cab, offering a stand-up design that lets drivers access navigation and other features while charging
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Niesmann adds available wireless induction docks in the driver's cab, offering a stand-up design that lets drivers access navigation and other features while charging
Along with the expandable countertop, the premium kitchen includes a 138-L drawer fridge
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Along with the expandable countertop, the premium kitchen includes a 138-L drawer fridge
Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove
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Niesmann + Bischoff iSmove
The available dining area expansion uses a swivel bench to help create a spacious five-seat lounge
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The available dining area expansion uses a swivel bench to help create a spacious five-seat lounge
Looking back toward the bedroom past the kitchen and bathroom; the retracted auto-lift kitchen shelf and open bedroom door create a more spacious interior feel
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Looking back toward the bedroom past the kitchen and bathroom; the retracted auto-lift kitchen shelf and open bedroom door create a more spacious interior feel
Niesmann has worked to integrate the optional front double bed into the headliner, so it's barely noticeable when closed away
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Niesmann has worked to integrate the optional front double bed into the headliner, so it's barely noticeable when closed away
The swivel sofa rotates back into a proper two-seat bench for the drive
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The swivel sofa rotates back into a proper two-seat bench for the drive
View gallery - 20 images

A year ago, German camper giant Hymer dropped the buzz bomb that was the VisionVenture camper van concept. The all-new iSmove motorhome from Hymer sibling brand Niesmann + Bischoff isn't the production version of that van – it's not even a van – but it does pack features that bear remarkable resemblance to the 2019 concept, most notably the transforming hybrid wet/dry bathroom. Seven patent-pending, VisionVenture-style features in all give the iSmove about as much comfort, space and style as you can squeeze into a light, compact motorhome that's the same length as some camper vans.

Hymer emphasized last year that it wasn't pursuing a production VisionVenture camper van but would be trickling some of the concept's features into production. We assumed that to mean "Hymer" production, but as the premium motorhome brand of the Erwin Hymer Group, Niesmann + Bischoff makes an even more logical launch point.

To be clear, the announcements we've seen from Niesmann and its parent company don't specifically tie the iSmove to the VisionVenture. But certain features look too familiar to be coincidence, as does the clean, modern feel of the interior space. While not a van, the iSmove comes built atop a Fiat Ducato with AL-KO frame and stretches the same 7 meters (23 ft) as larger extended-wheelbase camper vans like the Frankia Yucon 7.0. The motorhome box has merely provided more space for Niesmann's artists to work.

The biggest feature tying the iSmove's cabin to the larger-than-life VisionVenture interior conceptualization is its bathroom design. It's not precisely the VisionVenture's rotating hybrid wet/dry bath, but it's quite similar. Niesmann creates two rooms out of one with a front bathroom wall that slides backward, taking the sink basin with it and stowing it away with toilet at the rear. The result of this instant hand maneuver is a dedicated shower, without a toilet or sink bowl cramping things up. When the shower's over, the wall slides forward to leave a toilet room with corner sink (the shower floor remains in place). The innovative bathroom design provides the feel of a dry bathroom within the footprint of a wet bathroom.

Shown here in shower configuration, with the sliding wall pushed to the left, the bathroom is a big highlight of the iSmove
Shown here in shower configuration, with the sliding wall pushed to the left, the bathroom is a big highlight of the iSmove

The bathroom isn't the only space in which Niesmann makes use of smart, movable furniture. In fact, every room in the motorhome relies on some form of available transformational components.

An even better example of Niesmann's flex-space ingenuity is found in the front lounge, which pairs the ubiquitous swivel driver cab seats with a not-so-ubiquitous swivel rear bench, available optionally. The bench faces forward and secures two rear passengers with seat belts during the drive, then swings to the driver's sidewall to serve as a lounge sofa that teams with the cushioned seat across the aisle and the swivel cab seats to create a roomy five-person living area for dining, relaxing and watching the available 32-in flat-screen TV mounted to the wall above.

The available dining area expansion uses a swivel bench to help create a spacious five-seat lounge
The available dining area expansion uses a swivel bench to help create a spacious five-seat lounge

Another clever lounge feature is located overhead: a particularly sleek, neatly integrated available drop-down bed looks like an unassuming headliner, complete with its own integrated recessed lighting. The ceiling panel lowers down at night, opening up a 130 x 187-cm (51 x 74-in) transverse double bed that becomes something of a suspended sleeper cocoon thanks to the fabric walls that surround it.

The available front bed is barely noticeable at all when lifted closed, but drops down into a full-blown slumber chamber
The available front bed is barely noticeable at all when lifted closed, but drops down into a full-blown slumber chamber

The optional premium kitchen upgrade brings yet another expandable room concept to the iSmove. It rides as a particularly compact block with a top that's nearly square, rather than an extended rectangular. Discerning cooks will definitely want more elbow room for slicing, dicing and frying, and they'll find it via the slide-out extension frame at the front, which relies on the sink cover/cutting board to drop in as a worktop.

The flush stove lid, meanwhile, slides out for access to the dual-burner gas cooktop, becoming a right-side counter extension that cuts across the motorhome aisle to complete an L-shaped kitchen. It doubles as an accessible desktop for use from the bedroom. The negative to this design is that the stove's transverse layout makes it harder to reach the rear burner and creates the possibility of burning oneself while reaching over the front burner. The upside is that it saves space without losing the food prep capability motorhome buyers expect.

Along with the expandable countertop, the premium kitchen includes a 138-L drawer fridge
Along with the expandable countertop, the premium kitchen includes a 138-L drawer fridge

At the rear end of the kitchen, an electrically controlled shelf unit drops away when not in use to enhance the greater feeling of space and openness, popping up to provide access to shelf contents like condiments, glasses, wine and coffee. A large 138-L compressor fridge/freezer drawer finishes the kitchen block off below the counter.

The rear bedroom is the simplest space in the iSmove, its only convertible components being the raised kitchen shelf and closing door that fully close it off from the rest of the motorhome, creating a more private master suite. The bedroom houses buyer's choice of two longitudinal beds joined in the middle, averaging roughly 200 x 73 cm (79 x 29 in) each, or a centered 140 x 200-cm (55 x 79-cm) island queen bed. The bed area sits high above floor height because it is positioned over top a full-width, through-loading gear garage that contributes heavily to the iSmove's total storage capacity just over 4,450 liters. The voluminous garage is accessed from the outside and is large enough to accommodate bikes.

Another iSmove feature that ties back to the VisionVenture is the light gray felt wall paneling that teams so readily with the ambient lighting throughout to create a warm, homey space. Erwin Hymer experimented with gray felt on the hallway and staircase walls of last year's concept van. Niesmann says the available felt trim also the improves the acoustics of the interior, something that should help it sell more optional Sonos sound systems.

Niesmann has worked to integrate the optional front double bed into the headliner, so it's barely noticeable when closed away
Niesmann has worked to integrate the optional front double bed into the headliner, so it's barely noticeable when closed away

The iSmove's boxy dimensions and lack of off-road upgrades make it less of an all-terrain explorer than the VisionVenture concept, but it is still designed to venture off the grid. It comes standard with a 100-Ah lithium battery and 200-L water tank, while a 120-W solar charging system and 50-L fixed gas tank are available options.

Niesmann + Bischoff even upgrades the Fiat Ducato driver's cab, adding side storage drawers and inductive charging mobile device dashboard docks for both driver and passenger. The charging docks stand the devices up for use in navigation and other activities. The Ducato comes standard with a 138-hp 2.3-liter turbo-diesel engine, and a 158-hp unit is available optionally. Gross vehicle weight rating is 3,500 kg (7,715 lb) and can be upgraded to 3,700 or 4,500 kg (8,155 or 9,920 lb).

Niesmann adds available wireless induction docks in the driver's cab, offering a stand-up design that lets drivers access navigation and other features while charging
Niesmann adds available wireless induction docks in the driver's cab, offering a stand-up design that lets drivers access navigation and other features while charging

The iSmove starts at €90,870 after VAT (approx. US$107,700), but given how many of those intelligent features are optional, we suspect most buyers will be spending considerably more. The Erwin Hymer Group brand family will not be attending this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, but the iSmove will roll out to Niesmann + Bischoff dealerships later this month.

Niesmann's pictures don't do the iSmove's features justice, but the 3.5-minute video below does a nice job of showcasing the motorhome's highlights.

Luxury Motorhome World Premiere // The new iSmove from NIESMANN+BISCHOFF // 2020

Source: Niesmann & Bischoff

View gallery - 20 images
3 comments
CAVUMark
OK. I really like all the swooping lights and dramatic music. I'm sold. If you want a beta tester in SOCAL let me know.
NewThings
It's most definitely a beauty. 100K+ is steep but I guess not when compared to today's car prices. I personally like some of the school bus conversions that are being done and those are very personal to those that accomplish those conversions.
Username
The one fail is the location of the TV. It should be across from the bench seat.
That bathroom design needs to make it's way onto boats!