Otherworldly BMW Vision iNEXT makes public premiere in LA
BMW premiered its latest look into the the future of mobility at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week in the form of the Vision iNext concept. As the innovation flagship for the automaker, the Vision iNext brings together autonomous driving, connectivity and electrification in a package that manages to be both minimalist and wildly outlandish at the same time.
The BMW Vision iNext was first announced in September – at the time, we described it as a "strange, otherworldly look into the crystal ball." The human-centered design of the Vision iNext is meant to show that the future of mobility is not about technology for its own sake, but about how technology interacts with people. BMW describes this as "a boutique ambience on wheels."
The interior of the vehicle is simple, clean, and very BMW. The German carmaker often leans towards minimalistic, simple interior designs, and the Vision iNext exemplifies that approach. Components of cloth and wood dominate, with plastics often being disguised as one or the other. Warm, space-creating colors are the focus while technology, which is very obviously present, tries to blend in with the natural forms.
In line with its human-centered design philosophy, BMW attempts to hide the technology as much as possible in the Vision iNext, calling it "Shy Tech." Most of the screens and buttons are hidden or minimized until needed and many functions are hidden beneath wood or cloth covers.
A production model of the Vision iNext is expected in 2021 and will be produced at BMW's Dingolfing plant in Germany.
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• The seats don't look very comfortable.
• I wonder whether the production version will still feature a wooden ironing board above the center console.
• Square steering wheels seem popular, nowadays, but (unless you plan to turn corners) make no more sense than riding on square wheels (see "wheel" in any dictionary or encyclopedia).
• I can only assume that those weird blue outlines near the bottom of the rear end show where to cut out holes for the trail pipes when you have it converted to internal combustion.