BMW displayed a range topping luxury sedan concept at the recent Beijing auto show. China’s increasing demand for cars – they are now the world’s largest car market – includes a healthy demand for large cars. The BMW concept, a five meter car, is purported to be a bridge between the 7 series and the Rolls Royce Ghost, a product aimed directly at the Chinese market.
China was the ideal venue to display this concept – long wheelbase sedans are venerated there. And the Vision Future Luxury Concept doesn’t disappoint for length. And dangling a five meter concept in China to judge customer reaction is like opening a new BBQ joint in KC and wondering if it will be well received – the results are baked in.
But beyond the ruse of judging public reaction to the concept, BMW is displaying a future for their mainstream RWD products. If the next generation of BMW’s will use G-code designations, one thought would be that the Vision Future Luxury Concept is showing us what an H-code vehicle may be like.
The Vision Future Luxury Concept builds on BMW’s carbon fiber production expertise. This large concept would probably weigh in equivalent to a current 2 series coupe. While no specific drivetrain were mentioned in the press release, one suspects that 3, 4, and 6 cylinder eDrive powertrains will be the motive power for the line. If a four cylinder eDrive can propel the X5 with alacrity, think how well it will perform in a lighter, carbon fiber space frame, car.
In addition BMW previewed a head-up display that included information gleaned from sensors monitoring the real world. The example given is that road signs would be read, speed limit signs, and that that would be highlighted in the head-up display. One tends to believe that this is a further step towards the integration between vehicle sensors and systems that will be required for a future with autonomously driven cars. As an example of why reading things like speed limit signs, rather than relying on a GPS database, is important is road construction – a temporary and unpredictable speed limit variation from what’s stored in the GPS system’s database.
BMW further highlighted a layering concept for the interior surfaces, utilizing CF, aluminum, wood, and leather – which mimics the layering of surfaces on the exterior. The interior photos shows off BMW’s design prowess. And the exterior shows off BMW’s vision for the surfaces to be found on its future cars.
China was the right market to debut this BMW concept, as China has surpassed the US and Europe in car sales. And they will see more and more of manufacturers’ concepts geared towards their market in the future.