Very futuristic.It should be – this is the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept car. Expect to see many of its features making their way over to the forthcoming sixth-generation 7-Series.
What features would those be? Well, the design, for one thing. It's made from carbon fibre, with the seat frames forming part of the load-bearing structure. That's enabled BMW to give the car a pared-down B-pillar – and those rear coach doors, too. Round the front, there are Laserlight headlamps – similar to those seen on the recent Audi Laserlight, they pump out up to 10 times more illumination than LED headlamps. At the back, OLED lights allow for thinner, more artfully-designed rear lamps.
That's all very well, but what's it like to drive? BMW's keeping schtum about some fairly vital details – like the powertrain and chassis – but it promises that the design of the car will optimise airflow and reduce drag. That's thanks to its Air Breather system behind the front wheel arch and a C-pillar with internal air channeling. If only they'd thought to wrap it in synthetic sharkskin, too.
I'm not hearing much about luxury here… Aside from the swathes of leather and "pure silk carpet" covering the interior, you also get plenty of tech to help your journey pass in comfort.
Passengers in the front and back get touchscreen information displays that can be used to communicate with the driver and connect to the internet – BMW suggests that you use it to book opera tickets using its ConnectedDrive Luxury Concierge service, which gives you some idea of the car's target market. Passengers in the back also get a detachable tablet that can be used for infotainment and web browsing.
But what about the driver? Don't they get any tech to play with? Fear not – the BMW Vision Future Luxury overlays augmented reality information onto the windscreen. BMW claims that it'll highlight "buildings, traffic signs or hazards" – we thought traffic signs were pretty good at highlighting themselves, but oh well – while also providing real-time information about traffic light phasing.
When can I buy it?As we said, this is a concept car designed to showcase features that'll appear on the sixth-generation 7-Series. So while you won't be able to buy this car in its present form, the 7-Series will come with many of its features – suitably watered down for mainstream consumer tastes, of course.