Upon first seeing the BMW Vision M NEXT, the brand’s latest new supercar concept, my first thought was that it looked like a combination of the BMW M1 and i8. I still feel that way. There are so many angles and lines that harken back to that original M1 supercar and there are also some genuine BMW i8 styling cues as well. Considering both cars are gorgeous, that’s not a bad combination.
The BMW i8 is itself based off of a futuristic concept car, much like the M NEXT, the i Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. So since the M NEXT is a futuristic concept and the BMW i8 is a car that came from a futuristic concept, let’s take a look at how both cars compare.
What I find interesting about this comparison is just how different they look. While the BMW Vision M NEXT is far newer than the i8, it actually looks a bit more traditional. In fact, it looks more like the original BMW M1, from back in the late ’70s, than anything else. It’s wedgy and sort of tall at the rear, looks far more like an old-school mid-engine supercar, rather than something hybrid and modern. The BMW i8 is smoother and curvier, with wild swoops and flying buttresses.
Both sport swan-style doors, though, which is an old-school supercar touch. While absurd, and honestly more difficult to use, how can you not love swan doors on a supercar? They just add such a hilarious sense of occasion and isn’t that the whole point? Aside from that, though, their profiles are decidedly different. The M NEXT is sharper, boxier and more aggressive, while the i8 is a bit softer, more flowing and more futuristic. It makes sense, though. The i8 is designed to be a hybrid car for the future, something efficient as well as exciting. While the M NEXT is designed to be a performance car that just so happens to use hybrid tech because it’s the best performance tech.
Out back, the BMW i8 is all futuristic, Jetsons-style design, with its flying buttresses and sculpted taillights. It’s a stunning design, it truly is. Years later, there’s still nothing on the road like it. The M NEXT, though, is all BMW M1 at the back. Its louvered rear window and C-pillar along with Roundels at each corner are obvious nods to the original supercar. It’s not as pretty as the i8 but it’s much more aggressive.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that the BMW Vision M NEXT is certainly the sportier looking car of the two. Of course, it’s just a concept and the i8 is a production car, so maybe it’s not a fair comparison. Though I think it’s also safe to say that if whatever production car comes from the M NEXT concept is as close to the M NEXT as the i8 is to its own EfficientDynamics concept, it’s going to be one helluva car.