Recently I had an opportunity to drive a BMW i4 M50, more to come on that, but what immediately came to mind was that this was a great concept looking for a new shell. In other words, the i4 M50 has a wonderful personality, but it ain’t a looker. Enter the BMW Vision Neue Klasse (VNK), to replace the front engined rear drive ICE architecture with a fresh look suitable for its electric propulsion. What follows are comments/observations based on looking at photos on the web of the VNK. I very much look forward to seeing it in person.
Now we know why BMW teased its revised logo a year or so ago – rather than a separate roundel on the hood and trunk, the Vision Neue Klasse gets an etched in metal (aluminum) roundel. It will echo the previously shown minimalist badge.
The wheels are exceptionally well done. Looking at the motion shots of the car show some nifty styling and BMW has managed to maintain the ‘five spokes’ look while static. These don’t appear to be cheap to produce – but imagine being in the design studio with a bunch of 6 inch round wheel designs on cardboard backing being spun on an electric drill to test their looks in motion.
Clever Integration of the Spoiler
The headlamps/grille and tail lamps of the Vision Neue Klasse are stunning – the 3D effect is good from almost every angle published so far. While it doesn’t need a grille it is good that it is there, the equivalent Tesla front fascia, without a grille, is boring. The integration of the rear spoiler into the tail lamps is clever, and in my mind echoes the old Porsche 917K spoilers complete with the missing middle lip.
Lights Might Be Too Futuristic For Production
The lights (windows) probably will not make it to the production version. The upper accent line on the sides of the car, that provides a horizontal reference front to rear, appears to be part of the window – it will be interesting to see how that was done. The exterior rearview mirrors look dangerous – they extend quite a ways from the vehicle given their thinness. One wonders if they will make it into production; there are other ways of skinning that cat that are still aesthetically pleasing.
The Hofmeister Kink is Back
Incorporating the Hofmeister Kink in the door panel was very clever. I am really impressed with the angularity of the design, sharp creases and muscular wheel arches. Looking at the design I tried to draw on my memory of small sedan designs of the past – I thought maybe Italian and I also remembered the NSU Ro 80. Regardless, this, on first blush, looks like a classic. If the production model retains the features shown, it will be a smash hit.