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With the presentation of the BMW Concept 8 Series, BMW already offered a close-to-series glimpse at the design of their new luxury segment sports car. The dynamic qualities of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe are now also clearly manifesting themselves. A close-to-series prototype is currently undergoing intensive testing on a high-speed proving ground in Aprilia, Italy. The tests serve in particular to optimise the vehicle’s driving dynamics on surfaces with a high friction coefficient and mark yet a further decisive stage on the way to the launch of the new BMW 8 Coupe during 2018.
The test drives are being carried out with a heavily camouflaged prototype, which nevertheless gives strong indication of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s typical sports car proportions. As in the case of the BMW Concept 8 Series, the dynamically stretched lines, the flat silhouette and the powerful front and rear ends give a foretaste of the fascinatingly sporty driving experience.
This impression is confirmed with each lap completed on the proving ground in Italy. With its around 4 kilometres long oval circuit, including steep bends, the area situated in the proximity of Rome offers above all the perfect conditions for high-speed and high friction coefficient tests. Moreover, the acceleration, braking and steering behaviour of the new sports car are analysed on circuits, slalom courses and different road surfaces. The highly demanding test programme facilitates the targeted harmonisation of all drive and suspension systems. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe has shown that it offers maximum agility and precision in highly dynamics situations. Likewise, the car is also able to meet the highest demands in terms of supremacy and comfort.
“The test drives under the most severe conditions show that we are right on target with our concept for the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. The vehicle dynamics values already achieved are absolutely impressive. Our customers and fans can look forward to a genuine sports car,” says Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of the BMW AG, Development and Research, who oversees the test programme in Italy.
The high vehicle dynamics potential results from an extraordinary close connection between motorsports and series production. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe is being developed parallel to and in close coordination with the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE racing car. Whilst the prototype of the production model is undergoing endurance tests, the teams, which are supported by BMW Motorsport, are currently preparing in Daytona (USA) for the initial racetrack use of the BMW M8 GTE. On 27/28 January, the BMW M8 GTE will make its racing debut at the Daytona 24-hour race. In June 2018, it will then participate in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. The knowledge gained there and at numerous other racing events in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) in North America will directly benefit series development of the BMW 8 Series Coupe.
Likewise, the know-how gained during training and on the racetrack will advance development of the new BMW M8. In June 2017, a prototype of this new model from the BMW M GmbH was already presented during the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. The Nordschleife of the legendary racing circuit is also the main proving ground for testing and further enhancing the new BMW M8.
The BMW Group has defined its strong presence in the luxury segment as one of the major pillars of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. With the consistent extension of its model portfolio through the addition of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and the new BMW M8, the BMW Group creates the ideal prerequisites for winning over the most demanding target groups and convincing them with a unique combination of supreme dynamics and modern luxury.
With the unveiling of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, the BMW Group is not only pulling back the covers on a new model concept for the luxury segment, it is also introducing a whole new take on luxury for the BMW brand. The Concept X7 iPerformance embodies this understanding of luxury in the form of a striking exterior composed of intently focused lines, and combines it with a generously-sized, six-person interior pared down to the essentials: elementary forms, high-class materials and a state-of-the-art infotainment system brimming with connectivity. The Concept’s iPerformance badge denotes the presence of groundbreaking BMW eDrive technology allied with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create an exceptionally efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid powertrain that excels in all driving situations – including running with zero local emissions.
A taster of the production version.
This study car offers a look ahead to the future production model set to make its debut in 2018. The forthcoming BMW X7 forms part of the largest model offensive in the company’s history. As part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy, the BMW Group is seeking to substantially increase its sales and revenues in the luxury class. The BMW X7 has a key role to play here, as Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Management Board responsible for Sales and Brand BMW explains: “Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground. The BMW X7 continues this tradition: the X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the BMW brand and beyond. It also embodies one of the most important elements of our corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, to grow our presence in the luxury class. Furthermore, the BMW Concept X7 demonstrates it’s perfectly possible to combine a large sports activity vehicle with an electrified drivetrain.”
A case study in modernity, luxury and presence.
The status of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance as a luxury-class BMW SAV is instantly apparent. The spectacular exterior, imposing dimensions and skilfully judged proportions endow it with an extraordinary sense of presence and an ultra-modern aesthetic fused with innate dynamism. “The Concept introduces the BMW Sports Activity Vehicle DNA into the luxury segment. The new BMW design language employs just a few, extremely precise lines and subtle surface-work to raise the bar in terms of presence and prestige,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance has a luxurious and sophisticated feel to it, thanks to its understated use of forms and incredibly precise details.”
The luxurious character of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is brought alive by its cabin, in particular. The vehicle’s sheer size forms the basis for an interior experience unmatched by any BMW past or present. As a result of the interplay between precise, pared-down forms and an open sense of space, the driver and passengers find themselves immersed in a very modern setting with an equally exclusive feel. The wealth of possibilities offered by personalised, digital connectivity allows the vehicle’s interior to be turned, as desired, into a personalised place of either retreat or productivity.
A contemporary feeling of lightness in the interior.
Inside the roomy cabin of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, clear forms, warm colours and select materials combine to create a highly exclusive, sophisticated ambience. In addition, the large panoramic roof provides a remarkable amount of room above the occupants’ heads while also giving the interior a light and airy, open-to-the-sky feel. The six amply proportioned seats are arranged in three rows, and four of them have an exclusive individual design. Secured to the vehicle floor by nothing more than a slender seat base, the individual seats allow those sitting directly behind to enjoy generous legroom. The dark, olive-bronze leather – with discreet gold pigmentation – covering the seat bolsters carries the air of exclusivity through to the finer details and the Smoke White leather adorning the remainder of the seats provides an intriguing contrast. The shell-like backs of the individual seats are likewise trimmed in leather and serve to enhance the high-class, contemporary ambience.
A perfect ensemble of materials and colour.
The dark shoulder line running underneath the windows traces a continuous horizon throughout the cabin that brings fresh calmness to the bright interior. Decorative materials are deployed sparingly. Having said that, the selective use of open-pore ash in a dark-stained, matt finish sets the seal on the natural material experience. Matt and polished aluminium elements have likewise been carefully incorporated to add further classy touches. And the luxurious sense of spaciousness enjoyed from all seats is reinforced to subtle effect by strands of laser light in the roof and the dynamic ambient and contour lighting.
Minimalist forms in the driver’s cabin.
Amid the modern and pared-back design of the interior is the driver focus familiar to BMW customers. The forms and surfacing of the instrument panel, centre console and doors allow them to “wrap around” the driver. And the raised seating position provides unbeatable all-round visibility and an exceptional view over the road. The new BMW design language, featuring amply-sized surfaces and clear edges, gives the instrument panel a “reduced to the essentials”, modern aesthetic. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen and central touchscreen information display are sited at close quarters to one another. The effect is of one unbroken – and smartly sophisticated – display. A new operating concept allows interactive use of the two displays. Below them, in the centre stack and centre console, the grouping of functions within the clean and tautly chiselled surfaces underscores the minimalist approach. Partially backlit crystal glass in the dark Silver Night shade lends sophisticated flourishes to control elements like the selector lever, iDrive Controller and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel.
Personalised infotainment through the seamless integration of the owner’s digital world into the car.
The two individual seats in the second row offer all the benefits of the front pair. The first sign of an attachment between the panoramic roof and body comes comfortably to the rear of the second row of seats in the form of a Y structure, which means the passengers in the centre row experience the same sensation of freedom and lightness as those in the front. Second-row passengers also enjoy personalised infotainment comfort courtesy of the rear-seat entertainment system’s touchscreen monitors. Here, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance showcases the BMW Group’s vision of seamless integrating the customer’s digital world into the car via BMW Connected. For example, passengers here have access to highly personalised, digital services such as their choice of infotainment / office content, with which they can make their journey more comfortable, more entertaining or more productive. And content can even be shared with others on board. For instance, they can send a track to the car’s music system by touch gesture, forward an interesting article to the next-door display for the person sitting alongside them to read or transfer an address from their email directly to the car’s navigation system. Interactive LED choreography via the doors and instrument panel traces the communication flow between the rear screens and the display at the front of the cabin.
Impressive size and presence – the exterior.
The expansive exterior of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance projects the exclusive experience available inside the car confidently to the outside world. Clear, vertical proportions with significant ground clearance identify the Concept as an X model without the need to look twice. At the same time, the Concept speaks its own, unmistakeable design language – a new one for BMW – through an array of details and design features which set it apart clearly from previous models. Viewed from any angle, the interplay between a small number of precise lines and artfully sculpted surfaces sends out a charismatic statement of modernity, presence and exclusivity.
A new face in the BMW X family.
The front end of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is one of its most eye-catching angles, the vehicle’s height alone ensuring it rises prominently over the road. In an all-new interpretation of classical BMW elements, the front-end design groups together the various facets of the vehicle into a powerful visual statement. The large, vertical kidney grille at the heart of the upright front-end silhouette hogs the attention. The grille frame and bars are single-piece and solid in design, as if hewn from a single piece. Look at it again, though, and fascinating contrasts emerge between gleaming edges and matt surfaces, all of which breathes extra vibrancy and class into the frontal impression.
The upper sections of the slim, elongated twin headlights with BMW laser light link to the large kidney grille. A blue X signature in BMW laser light provides a confident pointer to the Concept’s membership of the SAV family from BMW. The headlights and kidney grille combine to create an exciting contrast of horizontal dynamism and vertical solidity, bringing traditional BMW front-end design cues into the future. Large, tautly sculpted surfaces surround the familiar BMW design icons, underlining the car’s cohesive and muscular front-end aesthetic.
A prominent bar extends across the full width of the front apron in its lower section, before rising vertically to frame the outer air intakes at their upper edge. This lends the front end additional stature. Quasi-vertical aero lips further accentuate the car’s powerfully assured stance on the road. Customary X features like the trapezoidal bumpers and underguard, meanwhile, are merely hinted at, their understated design serving the cause of clear and exclusive surfacing.
From the side, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance cuts a sumptuous figure, complete with the characteristic ground clearance of X vehicles. The nigh-on vertical front end, striking and almost vertical rear and steeply rising angle from the rear wheels to the tailgate give the muscular proportions a modern flourish. The high-set lines of the flanks bring an expressive confidence to the car’s silhouette. And the long shoulderline stretches the car and injects an athletic tension to the flanks. It also separates the car’s body into the light and airy glasshouse (which offers a preview of the large interior) and the muscular metal forms.
For the first time in an X vehicle, the wheel arches feature a circular cut and emphasize the exclusivity and elegance of the flanks. Smart and precise surfacing absorbs the powerful wheel arches in an aesthetic movement. The surfaces gain in volume and strength as they head towards the rear end, further underscoring the subtle dynamism of the car when viewed from the side.
Bold accents in the flanks
A conspicuous chrome strip in the door sills provides an exclusive counterpoint to the car’s long, stretched shoulderline and sophisticated surfaces below. As with the trim element at the front end, the chrome strip in the car’s flanks frames the Air Breathers in a vertical accent, before continuing in a straight line to the rear end. These surrounds for the front, side and rear air apertures create a geometrically precise impression and lend the car a sense of robust solidity.
The exclusive exterior colour shade Manhattan metallic immerses the car’s surfaces and forms in a dark olive-bronze that highlights the confident styling of the flanks with sophisticated flair. With their bold multi-spoke design, the 23-inch light-alloy wheels combine the muscularity for which BMW’s X models are renowned with the exclusivity of a luxury BMW sedan, while aerodynamically optimised inlays between the spokes reduce drag. Added to which, conspicuous aero lips at the front and rear also ensure improved airflow around those areas of the car and send out a powerful visual message of the plug-in hybrid drive concept’s efficiency. A bird’s-eye view of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance reveals a particular highlight. Like the side window surrounds, the panoramic roof is framed by an eye-catching chrome strip, which extends from one A-pillar to the rear end – and back around the other side. In between, the roof’s transparent, Y-shaped supporting structure adds a modern flourish.
Power, presence and exclusivity at the rear.
The rear of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance sends out an impressive statement of powerful authority and exclusive elegance. The imposing size of the vehicle’s body – the key to its huge swathes of interior space – is particularly clear when viewed from the rear. Vertical aero lips mark out the rear of the car clearly from the flanks. Within the upright rear silhouette, the slim rear lights break up the body volumes and a classy chrome bar connects the two lighting elements. The boldly designed lights create a three-dimensional L shape and bring a technical, high-quality flavour to the rear. As at the front of the car, the surfaces frame the lights like jewels. Between the wheel arches, the rear apron with practical tailgate opening provides a strong platform for the rear structure. The absence of tailpipe embellishers in the rear apron is an indicator of the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid drive concept. And the subtle, body-coloured underguard ensures the rear concludes its progress towards the road in stylish fashion.
Distinctive brand presence for BMW’s luxury-segment cars.
As part of its forthcoming model offensive, BMW has developed a new presence for its luxury cars that sees the profile and positioning of the most exclusive members of its range refined into a distinct product category.
The new BMW 8 Series, new BMW X7, BMW i8 and new BMW i8 Roadster will join the BMW 7 Series in the brand’s significantly expanded luxury segment line-up. The identity and attitude shared by BMW’s elite models are echoed in a newly designed logo which combines a black-and-white version of the manufacturer’s roundel first used 100 years ago with the company name “Bayerische Motoren Werke” written out in full.
With its classical, understated aesthetic and the company’s original name spelt out, the logo highlights BMW’s inimitable history. The boldness to explore standalone solutions and concepts, and the ability to take on challenges and emerge from them stronger, are deeply-rooted elements of BMW heritage. This approach – encompassing everything from the first altitude-world-record-breaking aero engine to the launch of the BMW i brand – has proven to be a recipe for success, as well as showcasing the company’s passion, confidence and gift for bringing the future into the present day. The new presence for the brand’s luxury-segment models will be unveiled for the first time at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt on 14 – 24 September 2017.
The BMW Group is using the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach to present its exciting new take on a BMW roadster. Dynamic, progressive and an irresistible purveyor of thrills, the BMW Concept Z4 boasts lithe and compact proportions, a dynamic silhouette and an emotionally appealing use of forms. The attention-grabbing design study offers a look ahead to the series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year.
“The BMW Concept Z4 in an all-out driving machine,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.”
A statement of unbridled driving pleasure.
The sporty and progressive BMW Concept Z4 encapsulates the BMW Group’s vision of a modern roadster. “The BMW Concept Z4 expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details. From the dynamic-looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end: a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion,” adds van Hooydonk.
BMW’s roadster tradition, reloaded.
The BMW Concept Z4 adopts classical roadster design cues, such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung, stretched silhouette and a compact rear end, wraps them in a fresh, confident package and enriches them with the contemporary BMW design language. A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the centre of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. This gives the new proportions a focused, sporty and agile feel. The outline of the car follows a distinct wedge shape, which fills the BMW Concept Z4 with dynamism before it even pulls away. The large domes stretching out rearwards from the cabin elegantly integrate the function of rollover bars and provide a sporting conclusion to the low-to-the-road silhouette at the rear.
Reimagining the design language and surfaces.
The clearly sculpted shark nose at the front end spawns dramatic surface contouring that extends the full length of the flanks. The new direction taken by BMW’s design language can be seen here in just a few precise lines that form clear surfaces, while the body’s volumes are powerfully sculpted. The surfaces and forms therefore create an extremely modern and emotionally engaging impression. The large Air Breathers rearwards of the front wheels act as the source of the flanks’ elaborately modelled surfaces (they appear to be shaped by the flow of air as it exits the Air Breathers). Light and shaded surfaces develop in a rising movement towards the rear, then twist to form muscular wheel arches and athletic volumes. All of which shines a bright stylistic spotlight on the car’s rear-wheel drive. The dramatic interplay of lines and surfaces underscores the wedge shape of the flanks and infuses them with even greater dynamism. And the low door sills, with their distinctive crease, makes the body appear closer to the road, emphasising the low-slung sensation when viewing the car from the side.
The expressive Energetic Orange frozen exterior paint finish showcases the contrasts of light and shade in the surfacing, accentuating the three-dimensionality of the exterior. And the 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a sporty bi-colour double-spoke design provide harmonious finishing touches to the styling of the flanks.
Low and progressive – the front end.
The design of the BMW Concept Z4’s front end is undeniably sporty in nature. The relationship between the low-set, broad kidney grille and the positioning of the headlights higher up sparks deliberate associations with the BMW Z8 and lends the BMW Concept Z4 a certain flamboyance. In place of the customary bars, the inside of the kidney grille features elaborately designed mesh, whose vertical orientation recalls the sporty, functional kidney design of early BMW roadsters such as the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. In a departure from the BMW norm, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the classical four-eyed headlight look, with two overlapping tubes on each side. The turn signal indicators point diagonally towards the kidneys from above and underline the dynamic flair of the front end. And the clamshell bonnet with stylised gill vents curves over the wheels, creating an intriguing and virtually seamless sweep over the front end as a whole.
The front apron cuts a genuinely athletic figure with its sculptural design language. Its trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back and so carry the promise of a dynamic driving experience. The large carbon-fibre insert in the central air intake is straight out of the motor sport playbook and champions the use of detail to emphasise the front end’s dynamic presence. Together, these design elements compose a fresh and memorable face for the Concept Z4 – one which pays a very modern and sporting tribute to the celebrated roadsters of BMW’s past.
Athletic and eye-catching – the rear end.
The design of the BMW Concept Z4 likewise references details and qualities from BMW’s rich roadster tradition and updates them for the years ahead. The wide and low design of the rear picks up the lines of the car’s flanks and massages them into a modern rear of beguiling clarity in terms of surfaces and styling elements. The powerfully flared wheel arches give the car broad haunches, which are emphasised by the slim, L-shaped rear lights and therefore further enhance the car’s sporting stance. Above the rear lights, the boot lid – complete with prominent spoiler – stretches across to the burly wheel arch extensions, sending out a message of power-infused agility. Below, large air outlets in the rear apron create their own dynamic impression. The carbon-fibre diffuser adds a sporty and exclusive flourish and signs off the rear end at its lowest point to the road.
Exterior and interior in unison.
The kinship between the interior and exterior of the BMW Concept Z4 is evident in both forms and colour scheme. The design language of the interior takes the powerful, three-dimensional character of the exterior and adds another voice to the dynamic chorus. Much of the interior adopts the colour of the car body, creating a clear visual link between the interior and exterior. Only a classy chrome trim strip provides separation.
Maximum focus on the driving experience.
At the same time, the interior serves to reinforce the total focus on the driving experience too. The driver’s seat as well as the door trim panels, instrument panel and centre stack that encircle the driver are finished entirely in black, meaning that they stand out prominently from the coordinated orange shades of the exterior and the rest of the interior. Together they form a clearly defined area that wraps around the driver like a capsule, producing a very sporty sensation. This creates a pure-of-purpose driving environment with a pronounced “cone of vision”, where the steering wheel as well as the surrounding black surfaces appear to be surging forward and, in so doing, accentuate the cabin’s powerful driver focus.
The instrument cluster and central information display form a high-quality cluster of screens that are integrated into the driver’s cockpit to flawless ergonomic effect. The two displays are now positioned at almost the same height and in close proximity to one another, which gives the impression of a single, cohesive unit. They work together to deliver the right information at the right time. The driver can choose which elements they wish to call up (via touch command) from the content available in the information display – route guidance, playlists or other infotainment features. Above the instrument cluster, the Head-Up Display presents the key driving information within the driver’s direct field of view.
Emerging from the driver’s side of the cabin is a sporty instrument panel of inherent lightness. The clever arrangement of surfaces and edging breaks up the considerable volumes and engenders the impression of a powerfully chiselled muscle. The clear wraparound design from the doors to the instrument panel enhances the sporty, cocooned feeling in both seats.
Pared back to the essentials.
In keeping with the focus on the essentials, all the controls are grouped into “function islands”. Nothing distracts from the driving experience. Trim elements inside the cabin are likewise minimalist in nature. Indeed, it is instead the classy materials, carefully applied polished chrome accents and swish, hexagonal laser-cut motifs in the seats that do most to create the interior’s exclusive ambience. Carbon-fibre door sill finishers and embossed asymmetrical logos in the seats and instrument panel set the seal on the interior’s sporting profile.