One of the biggest talking points for the Tesla Model 3 is its massive interior screen. Its centrally-mounted touchscreen acts as the only display of information for the front passengers. It houses all possible in-cabin info, including but not limited to: speed, navigation, climate controls and media. Fans of the Model 3 love it and find it incredibly intuitive. Critics find it distracting. Either way, the idea of it must have resonated with the Bavarians, as the BMW iNEXT seems as if it’s going to have something similar.
In a recent official teaser from BMW, we get to see just a glimpse of the back of the centrally-mounted “Curved Display” in the BMW iNEXT.
This new Curved Display will be mounted in the center of the dash but seems as if it’s set a bit more on the driver’s side and it’s curved slightly toward the driver. So while it’s a centrally-mounted display, much like the Model 3, it’s not just a big slab sticking straight out of the dash. That slight tilt toward the driver both makes it more intuitive for the driver and acts as a throwback to BMWs of yore, which had their dashes slanted rather aggressively towards the driver.
“The curved, single-section display is the central control element and represents the modern interpretation of driver orientation. It occupies a dominant central position in a highly iconic display structure that provides a highly distinctive display experience,” explains Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. “The Curved Display is set in high-quality materials and is virtually freely suspended on the instrument panel. This makes it a key element in terms of the modern, luxurious and generous sense of space in the BMW iNEXT.”
This new Curved Display will be a single-piece touchscreen but will have two separate areas; Control Display and Information. It seems as if the Control Display will be the area closest to the driver, providing all necessary driving information, such as speed, range and navigation directions. It can also be customized to insure only necessary info is being displayed. While the Information area will have everything else. We assume it’s going to be similar to the screen seen in the iNEXT Concept car, though possibly without the i3-like screen directly in front of the driver.
Despite being angle toward the driver, the front passenger will also be able to easily interact with it. Not only that, certain display items can be shifted back and forth between the Control Display and Information areas, allowing an easy and intuitive way for both the driver and passenger to interact with it.
“The Curved Display in the BMW iNEXT takes us to the next level of driver-oriented controls,” says Robert Irlinger, Head of BMW i. “The new display unit enables intuitive, natural and ergonomically perfect use of the touch function.”
We’re excited to see this new Curved Display, as it marks a big change for BMW. It’s the first time the brand will be going with such a centrally-mounted control display and it’s going to make the interior of the BMW iNEXT quite unique. The latter point is exciting in itself, as we recently saw some spy photos of the iNEXT’s cabin and were disappointed to see it looking very similar to every other BMW. Though, that must have just been for test mule-duty, as we did not see this massive screen.
We’ll see the BMW iNEXT for real soon enough and, despite a lot of the criticism from fans, we’re very curious and excited to see it.