With the exception of the crazy concepts found at the Tokyo Motor Show, Geneva is often where you find some of the most original ideas and designs on the yearly auto show calendar.
BMW are continuing this tradition with their Vision ConnectedDrive concept car, which is due to be shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March. The ConnectedDrive is BMW's interpretation of a car fully integrated into the networked modern world.
Featuring an asymmetric roadster bodystyle that still has hints of ex-BMW design boss Chris Bangle's influence in the creased bodypanels. The body is designed to reflect the technology within, the strips of fiber-optic lights breaking free of the cabin to become part of the exterior and the windscreen glass seemingly splitting through the hood.
Three layers of technology
The Vision ConnectedDrive features technology divided into three layers and each is distinguished by a corresponding light installation.
The first layer is safety, represented by a red ring of light wrapping around the passenger cell and extending down the hood, which BMW says represents "the flow of safety-specific information and the driver's focus on the road ahead". Blue lighting encompasses the red layer and represents 'infotainment', promoting "active social exchange". The final layer is all about comfort, and uses green fiber optic lighting which (perhaps predictably) emphasises the environment outside the vehicle.
Marketing speak aside the Vision concept features the latest in several of BMW's technological features, and even a blast from the past.
Headlights and rear lights feature sensors that analyse the traffic around the vehicle and send messages to the driver to take appropriate action. It also features a 3D head-up display in the driver's line of sight to eliminate the need for the driver's eyes to refocus between display and road. The instrument cluster is driver-programmable, and even passengers aren't left out - for the first time they're given their own information display with which they can pass information on to the driver. Whether it gives them sole control of music choice or lets them complain about your driving via text messages hasn't been revealed...
In a nod to the past, the Vision ConnectedDrive's doors lower into the body as they did in the old Z1 roadster, which looks very cool, but isn't ideal for saving the modesty of anyone trying to climb in or out should they be wearing a short skirt thanks to a graceless climb over a wide sill. As a result, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears should probably avoid it.
There's no word yet on what powers the high-tech roadster, but more details are sure to be revealed at the car's first public appearance at Geneva. Though it's unlikely to make production, you can be sure that some of the Vision ConnectedDrive's tech and styling cues will make their way onto a BMW near you soon.
[BMW via MotorAuthority