New Concept Car: BMW Vision ConnectedDrive

It's open season for concept cars! This is BMW's Geneva show car - a two-seater roadster called the Vision ConnectedDrive. Its purpose is to present the latest evolution of design director Adrian van Hooydonk's layered styling language, and showcase a raft of cutting-edge technology that could debut on the forthcoming EfficientDynamics supercar and MegaCity electric city car.

The overall dimensions are typical for a BMW Roadster with a stretched bonnet, long wheelbase and seats set well back towards the rear axle, but the front and rear treatment and body surfacing is entirely new. The round headlights sit more upright than usual, while the L-shaped rear lights preview a more sculptured look that will appear on production model in the near future.

The surface treatment will be recogniseable from the Vision EfficientDynamics concept, which used a similar 'layering' principle. According to BMW: "The term “layering” describes a new approach to the BMW Group’s design language, redefining the way surfaces, interfaces and materials have been treated in the past."

In a nod to the past, the ConnectedDrive uses electric sliding doors inspired by those seen on the Z1 roadster built between 1989 and 1991. The double-layer doors open by the outer shell sliding forward into the bodywork and the rear shell retracting backwards, allowing the passengers to enter over a wide sill.

But it's technology that's key with this car. Numerous sensors, mounted in the front and rear light clusters, monitor the environment in front, behind and on both sides of the vehicle. These are capable of recognising people and other vehicles and pass relevant information to the driver.

Multi-coloured fibre-optic strands running around the cabin represnt the flow of information, and are activated when a certain funtion is switched on - one of the reasons why a roadster bodyshape was chosen, to best show off the cabin.

A new head-up display aims to represent information in an entirely new way. It projects a 3-D picture onto the windscreen with layers on information, one behind the other - offering the most amount of data to the driver in the most efficient way possible. For example the most important function will sit in the foreground, with other less-relevant stats ghosted into the background.

According to BMW this car is a concept only, and there are no plans to spin off a production model from it, but all the technology you see is the fruit of its R&D department and will appear on showroom models in the future. We'll bring you more details when we meet the car in the flesh in Geneva. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express


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