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Starting as an aircraft engine manufacturer during WWI, Bayerische Motoren Werke has now been abbreviated for 100 years. On 7th March 2016, BMW kick-started centenary celebrations by unveiling the Vision Next 100 concept car at a special event in Munich, the city that has now been home to its headquarters for a century.
Although the brand has a colourful, successful 100-year history to be proud of, their centenary is being used as a focus for the next 100 years, beginning with the launch of a new concept that’s been built for an autonomous age, highlighting how mobility is diversifying.
The start of BMW’s centenary celebrations mixed past icons with future plans: from aircraft engines to motorcycles and onto the 1928 Dixi, with 100 years of Bavarian Motor Works leading to the landmark Vision Next 100 concept car – a futuristic four-door monospace design with wing doors and a carbon-fibre and composite construction, boasting 0.18Cd drag coefficient.
Unveiled as a zero-emissions vehicle, the Vision Next 100 explores future styling trends and technologies, with the brand aiming to make the driving experience more dynamic through driver-vehicle communication in the next 100 years.
Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group Chief Designer, said: ‘Technology should be as intuitive as possible to operate and experience so that future interactions between human, machine and surroundings become seamless. The BMW Vision Next 100 shows how we intend to shape this future.’
This aerodynamic, copper-coloured, future-facing concept will feature the familiar BMW kidney-grille design - to house multiple sensors - as well as the next-generation of HMI controls, large wheels, autonomous technology, active aero, renewable materials and organic LEDs that can move. It can also change shape, using Alive Geometry to flex the bodywork when in motion.
An augmented reality screen will be used to show the ideal driving line and upcoming hazards, plus the concept will feature two driving modes: ‘Boost’, where the driver is in control and ‘Ease’, where the car takes over, the steering wheel and centre console retract and the seats turn for the driver and front passenger to face each other.
BMW wants to transform those who get behind the wheel of the Vision Next 100 into the ‘Ultimate Driver’, by expanding their range of perception and supporting them with ‘the Companion’, which will respond to the driver’s every need and learn driving habits to enable it to create the ultimate future driving experience.