BMW M has given a glimpse of its future with a dramatic sports car concept packing 600 horsepower.
Unveiled on Tuesday, the new BMW Vision M Next concept looks like a modern interpretation of the M1 supercar, right down to the dual-BMW logo motif at the rear.
Unfortunately, the concept doesn't match the inline-6 configuration of the M1. Instead, it features a turbocharged 4-cylinder at the rear plus an electric motor at each axle. The combination is good for 600 hp, which results in 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. The system can also provide a temporary boost in power, though BMW didn't say by how much.
BMW M1 at Circuit Of The Americas
With an electric motor at each axle, the Vision M Next benefits from the extra traction of all-wheel drive. The two motors are also powerful enough to drive the car without the aid of the gas engine, with the battery claimed to hold sufficient charge for a 62-mile range.
Another upcoming technology the concept hints at is self-driving capability. The concept is meant to convey what a vehicle aimed at driving enthusiasts could be like in a world where cars no longer require human drivers. By selecting Ease mode, the driver can let go of the wheel and relax. Once the destination is reached, the driver can tell the car to park itself using the MyBMW app.
The exterior design is an evolution of the i8's themes, with a few M1 cues thrown in. The signature BMW kidney grille is flanked on either side by triangular elements that combine with blade-shaped air intakes. The headlights are also mounted higher than the grille to make the latter appear lower. Making its debut on the concept is Laser Wire lighting technology, which in the headlights uses fiberglass coated with phosphorous for the light signature.
BMW Vision M Next concept
Open up the butterfly doors and you're treated to a cabin that is purely the stuff of fantasies, for now. The dash is mostly devoid of features, with everything integrated into the driver's cockpit, which BMW has labeled the Boost Pod. It brings together all the control options and information across three layered sections, with an augmented reality head-up display at the top, a curved glass display in the center, and the steering wheel at the bottom.
The Vision M Next sits alongside the previous Vision Next, Motorrad Vision Next and Vision iNext concepts, which similarly hint at the future for the respective BMW, BMW Motorrad and BMW i divisions. While the Vision iNext is confirmed to spawn a production model in 2021, BMW is quiet on the production potential of the others.
There have been hints that the Vision M Next, or something like it, could be the route taken for the replacement for the i8 sports car, however. Recall, BMW R&D boss Klaus Froehlich earlier in the year said the combination of a powerful internal-combustion engine and electric motors with the lightweight chassis of the i8 could result in a “real performance package.” Stay tuned.
BMW Vision M Next concept