BMW has revealed its futuristic electric i Concept Vision Dee at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
BMW i Vision Dee – Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience – the concept gives a glimpse of the design and technology in the German automaker’s upcoming EV range based on the modular Neue Klasse platform.
As previously reported, the Neue Klasse platform is set to debut in 2025 on the 3 Series-sized vehicle, which will compete with the Tesla Model 3. The 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 a stripped back style to hone in on technology.
The concept has reimagined the “phygital” – physical and digital portmanteau – version of traditional BMW exterior design elements including the double-kidney grille, twin round headlights and Hofmeister kink.
The i Vision Dee Concept can use its closed kidney grille and headlights to produce different ‘face’ expressions such as joy, surprise and approval. It can also project the driver’s avatar image to the side window.
On the inside the reductive design language has been taken to a whole new level. There’s a weird-looking steering wheel with a central vertical spoke and a touchpad, 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 the traditional touchscreen infotainment system.
BMW has confirmed the 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 touchpad and the so-called BMW Mixed Reality Slider, which allows the driver to determine how much digital content they want to see.
There are also dimmable windows that allow passengers to “fade reality gradually”.
BMW hasn’t given any other information about the first Neue Klasse-based vehicle yet, but it says that more insights and images will be revealed in 2023.
It is still unknown what the name of this first Neue Klasse vehicle will be. It could wear the i3 badge, which is currently used on the 3 Series-based EV for China and was previously used on unique hatches.
BMW has previously said its range of Neue Klasse vehicles will be fitted with new cylindrical battery cells from the middle of the decade.
The company is also developing solid-state batteries and aims to have this type of high-voltage battery ready for series introduction by the end of the decade.
BMW plans to unveil a vehicle equipped with this battery technology before 2025.
Unlike some other automakers, BMW has yet to make any announcements about when it will end development and production of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The automaker’s latest plan calls for it to produce a total of two million fully electric cars by 2025. By 2030, the company expects half of its annual global sales to be EVs.
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