BMW has revealed a dramatic Vision Future Luxury concept at the Beijing Motor Show – a car that previews some of the styling themes coming to next year’s new 7 Series.
But it is also believed the Vision Future luxury may offer significant pointers to another future BMW model – an ultra-luxurious 9 Series range-topper.
Described as a “long-term outlook on the perception of modern luxury for the BMW brand”, the Vision Future Luxury is a significant preview for BMW – it’s a visionary concept, says BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk.
It’s being shown in Beijing as it’s one of the biggest markets for luxury cars in the world – and certainly, going forward, one of the most significant. Any future BMW 9 Series would be a real hit in China…
But it’s the 7 Series preview that’s of most interest for now. Today’s car has dated rather badly and is off the pace of Mercedes-Benz’ fantastic S-Class. BMW knows it has to really up its game to ensure the next 7 Series can compete: the Vision Future Luxury is a tantalising preview of how it may do this.
It seems BMW head of design Karim Habib, creator of the current 7 Series, has a much more elegant look in mind for its replacement. The Vision Future Luxury shows a deftness that contrasts with today’s car – the coupe-like profile of the rear is particularly elegant.
Indeed, the rear, with its thin high-set rear lights and integrated Air Breather aero detailing, is particularly fascinating – just as the 2001 7 Series did, it looks as if the next-gen 7 may introduce a new look for the back of BMW saloons.
The interior is also a step on from BMW’s somewhat generic current designs. Touchscreen infotainment panels are fully integrated and the trio of intersecting 3D displays for the driver create a standout ultra-deep appearance. The passenger also gets a display neatly integrated into the dash.
There are more displays in the rear, which are fully wired to the internet and can also be used to communicate with the passengers up front. Materials front and rear are outstanding: layered lime wood, aniline leather, nubuck leather, all are abundant. Even the carpet is indulgent: deep-pile pure silk, no less. Muddy boots not allowed.
BMW is not taking the challenge from Mercedes’ S-Class lying down: the BMW Vision Future Luxury is a tasty preview as to how future range-topping BMW saloons (and four-door coupes?) may look. BMW 7 Series, BMW 9 Series… if either, or both, take cues from this, Mercedes may finally have a fight from Munich on its hands.