The origins of BMW's blue and white badge are the stuff of urban legend, supposedly derived from the movement of an aircraft propeller through a blue sky.

BMW's modern aircraft connection is less romantic but no less impressive. BMW was the first European company to adopt head-up display technology and its latest variation on the tech is inspired by the cutting-edge head-up displays (HUDs) in the EF2000 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

If it's good enough for a fighter jet skimming the treetops at just under 500mph it's good enough for a BMW, goes the reasoning behind the new HUD.

Available as part of the ConnectedDrive technology in the 2012 BMW 5-Series, BMW's HUD uses an intense light source inside the instrument panel to shine through a translucent TFT display. This is then reflected onto the windscreen through specially shaped mirrors, that take into account the subtle curve of the screen to project the display in the correct shape.

It also uses a wafer-thin foil embedded in the glass to ensure that the light isn't refracted in different directions, meaning the image you see on the screen is perfectly sharp.

Unlike older displays, it's also in full color. The benefit of this is easier assimilation of information, as different colors can be used for different symbols, leaving less for the brain to decode.

If you need any more convincing of its effectiveness, even Eurofighter test pilot Robert Hierl is impressed: “Our monochrome head-up display technology is unable to offer such a brilliant display quality.”

Jet fighter technology in a BMW? We eagerly await the car-to-car missile option...