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BMW celebrates its centenary by looking 100 years into the future

It’s BMW’s 100th birthday today and, while the company is inevitably keen to celebrate its rich automotive heritage, it has also peered into the future to envisage what the next 100 years of motoring will look like – and this is the result, the BMW Vision Next 100 concept…

Reportedly the first of several concept cars that will be revealed to celebrate BMW’s centenary, the Vision Next 100 is a culmination of the knowledge gained by BMW’s designers and engineers, in order to predict what our cars might be like decades into the future. Accounting for what BMW clearly sees as the inevitable switch to autonomous cars, the concept comprises two driving modes: ‘Ease’, in which the car drives itself, and ‘Boost’, in which the car is manually controlled. The latter emphasises the importance the company places on creating the ‘Ultimate Driving Experience’, and the driver’s choice to control the car.

Vision Next 100

Said to be similar in size to the current 5-Series (albeit with the interior space of the 7-Series), its radical body – which boasts an impressive 0.18Cd drag coefficient – is crafted in part from the offset residue of carbon-fibre, left over from the composite’s normal production. The zero-emissions concept retains BMW’s signature kidney grille, which houses a host of sensors rather than providing cooling for the engine as it does in BMW’s current range. Inside, the futuristic ‘monospace’ interior is teeming with technology. The 800-piece ‘Alive Geometry’ readout that spans the entire dashboard and some of the side panels works in conjunction with a new head-up display to seamlessly interact with and deliver information to the driver, whether or not they are in control of the vehicle. Ergonomically, the interior will also change depending on which driving mode you’re in – in ‘Ease’, for example, the steering wheel retracts and the seats swivel for a more natural and interactive experience with your other passengers. No comment was made on the car’s powertrain – apparently even BMW’s experts can’t predict that much…

In other news from the centenary celebrations in Munich today, it was revealed that BMW Group Classic, the company’s burgeoning heritage department, will relocate to one of BMW’s original plants, dating back to 1918. 

Photos: BMW

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