The “next premium” automobile, as BMW called it, was preview through designer sketches last month in Munich when Van Hooydonk gave some insight into BMW’s future strategy and electric mobility.
The new Megacity family will drive BMW into a new arena where they intend to become the world’s leader in premium electric vehicles.
The project lays under the umbrella of maximum sustainability: from the production process, starting with the first supplier, through to component recycling at the end of the vehicle life cycle, sustainability based on the three cornerstones of eco-friendliness, economic efficiency and social compatibility must be the main process driver.
Due out in 2013, the MCV will be a rear-wheel four-seater electric car that will carry a premium price and will set apart from existing electric vehicles from near-premium automakers. It will also be BMW’s first volume production car to use lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the structure and body panels.
In the interview for Wallpaper, Van Hooydonk said that his task with this car was to mix exciting design with a clean image: “The car will be attractive but not controversial, and it will need to express cleanliness combined with premium and efficient dynamics. The sub-brand offers a chance to innovate as well as feature BMW’s customary design quality and detailing.”
As he mentioned in his presentation at the BMW Museum last month, BMW has invested time, money and resources to conduct an extensive market research to discover the exactly target group and demographic for this vehicle. BMW discovered that customers are not looking for a micro, fragile-looking car, but rather a solid four-seater that inspires safety.
“Of course the car should also show its new skills in the design, including being lightweight and safe, as well as offering the driving fun that you can have with an electric powered car,’ says Van Hooydonk. ‘We want to give our customers a small island of wellbeing – an island of silence – for their mobility. Therefore you will find also a totally new type of interior that gives exactly this feeling to the driver and passengers.’
Benoît Jacob, the designer who previously worked on the M1 and CS coupe concepts, will head the new design team for the sub-brand. Furthermore, Van Hooydonk confirms BMW’s plans to extend the MCV offerings by creating derivatives based on the same architecture.
BMW’s Chief Designer emphasizes once again the unique, yet challenging opportunity given to his team to create the DNA of a sub-brand, a single lifetime experience as he told the journalists during his presentation at Mobility Days.
“The complete new package, due to the electric powertrain, and the use of new materials like carbon fibre, gives us designers more freedom for creativity – the freedom to give the customers of the future totally new features and impressions. And of course, the know-how of this project, the new ideas that we have, will also have an impact on the core brand, BMW.”[Source: Wallpaper ]