BMW has revealed its futuristic electric i Vision Dee concept at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This BMW i Vision Dee – Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience – concept provides a glimpse at what the design and technology will be in the German carmaker’s upcoming range of EVs based on the modular Neue Klasse platform.
As previously reported, the Neue Klasse platform is set to debut in 2025 on a 3 Series-sized vehicle, which will be pitted against the Tesla Model 3. An X3-sized electric SUV is understood to be the second vehicle.
In terms of design, the BMW i Vision Dee concept is a classic three-box sedan with pared back styling in order to hone in on the technology.
The concept has reimagined “phygital” – a portmanteau of physical and digital – versions of traditional BMW exterior design elements including the double kidney grille, twin circular headlights, and Hofmeister kink.
The i Vision Dee concept can use its closed kidney grille and headlights to produce different ‘facial’ expressions such as joy, astonishment and approval. It can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto the side window.
On the inside the reductive design language has been taken to a new level. There’s a strange-looking steering wheel with a central vertical spoke and touchpads, and not much else.
The main highlight of the interior is the large head-up display that spans the full width of the windscreen and replaces a traditional touchscreen infotainment system.
BMW has confirmed a standard production version of this full-width head-up display will be used in Neue Klasse models from 2025 onwards.
The head-up display in the BMW i Vision Dee concept is controlled by the steering wheel touchpads and the so-called BMW Mixed Reality Slider, which allows drivers to decide how much digital content they want to see.
There are also dimmable windows that allow passengers to “gradually fade out reality”.
BMW hasn’t provided any other information about the first Neue Klasse-based vehicle yet, but it says that more insights and glimpses will be revealed during 2023.
It’s still unknown what this first Neue Klasse vehicle will be called. It could wear the i3 badge, which is currently used on a 3 Series-based EV for China and was previously used on a quirky hatch.
BMW has previously said its range of Neue Klasse vehicles will be fitted with new cylindrical battery cells from mid-decade.
The company is also developing all-solid-state batteries and aims to have high-voltage batteries of this type ready for series introduction by the end of this decade.
BMW plans to reveal a vehicle fitted with this battery technology before 2025.
Unlike some other carmakers, BMW has yet to make any announcements about when it will end development and production of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The carmaker’s latest plan calls for it to produce a total of two million all-electric cars by 2025. By 2030, the company expects half of its annual global sales to be be EVs.
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