BMW showcased a top-of-the-line luxury sedan concept at the Auto China 2014. China’s increasing demand for cars – they are now the largest car market of the world – includes a healthy demand for large cars. The five-meter BMW Concept is purported to be a gap between the Rolls Royce Ghost and BMW 7 Series, a product designed and aimed directly at Chinese market. China was the ideal venue to display the concept – long wheelbase saloons are venerated there. And the Vision Future Luxury Concept doesn’t disappoint for length. And dangling a 5-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 customer reaction to the concept, the Bavarian automaker is displaying a future for their mainstream RWD products. If the next-gen 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. It builds on the carbon fiber production expertise of BMWand would perhaps weigh in equivalent to the current 2 Series Coupe. While no specific drivetrain were mentioned, one suspects that 3, 4, and 6 cylinder eDrive engines will be the motive power for the line. If a 4-cylinder eDrive can propel the X5 with alacrity, think how well it will perform in a carbon fiber space frame, lighter car.
Additionally, the automaker previewed a head-up display, which included info gleaned from sensors monitoring the real world. The example is given that road and speed limit signs would be read and that would be highlighted in the head-up display. One tends to believe that this is a further step towards the integration between vehicle systems and sensors, which will be needed for future with autonomously driven cars. As an example of why reading things like speed limit sings, instead of depending on GPS database, is important in road construction – an unpredictable and temporary speed limit variation from what’s stored in GPS system’s database.
The automaker further highlighted a layering concept for the interior surfaces, using leather, wood, aluminum and carbon fiber that mimics the layering of surfaces on the exterior. The interior pics shows off BMW’s design prowess. And the exterior shows off BMW’s vision for the surfaces to be found on its future vehicles. China is the right market to launch this BMW concept, as the country has surpassed the Europe and United States in auto sales. And they will see more and more automakers’ concepts geared towards their market in the future.