BMW has been teasing ‘Dee’ across its social media channels for a while now, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Hasselhoff making cameo appearances. After last night’s unveiling ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show CES in Las Vegas it’s clear what the nickname stands for – a new visionary concept car that merges reality with the virtual world. Dubbed to herald the return of the ‘Neue Klasse’ – a game-changing compact car series from the 1960s and early 1970s – the new BMW i Vision Dee is small in size, but full of advanced technology that will soon become available to buyers worldwide.
The overall design has been reduced by Adrian van Hooydonk and his team to a puristic, almost flat silhouette that skipped the controversial man-eating grilles and ornamental decorum of previous BMW concept cars. Traditional design elements, like the BMW kidney grille, twin circular headlights and the Hofmeister kink, have been reimagined, with phygital icons replacing analogue elements. Meanwhile, the car’s body has been transformed into a screen using a new E Ink technology allowing to curate the car’s appearance using up to 32 colours. Inside, the usual hubbub of displays, switches and buttons has been replaced by the so-called BMW Mixed Reality Slider and a combination of advanced Head-up Displays that project simple driving information or use the full windshield as a screen for displaying content or the driver's avatar.
“With BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing how the car can be seamlessly integrated into your digital life and become a trusty companion. The vehicle itself becomes your portal to the digital world – with the driver always in control,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “Implemented the right way, technology will create worthwhile experiences, make you a better driver and simply bring humans and machines closer together.”