As we told you, BMW unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show its Vision Future Luxury Concept, a vehicle that previews the 9-Series flagship sedan. A production version of the 9-Series will debut around 2016 and will take on cars such as the Maybach S-Class. For those who don’t know, the Mercedes-benz Maybach S-Class will arrive in November at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The new 9-Series from BMW will be company’s largest model as it will have a length of about 5500 mm or 216 inches, which means that it will be 280 mm longer than the long wheelbase 7-Series sedan. According to BMW Group design director Adrian van Hooydonk, the new Vision Future Luxury Concept previews a long-term outlook on the perception of modern luxury for the brand.
Still, he said that this is not a production-ready model. The front end of the vehicle shows a dramatic design change for BMW as the concept car comes with new ultra-thin laser headlamps, a big kidney front grille, an “aggressive” front hood and the assertive multi-material front apron that accentuates the elegant front-end styling.
As you can see from the photos, at the outboard ends of the apron there are two carbon air deflectors that conceal a range of BMW EfficientDynamics aerodynamics features. A slender chrome strip on the air deflectors highlights the airflow system. Viewed from the side, the concept car shows the Air Breather system at the rear of the front wheel arch, a C-pillar with internal air channelling, and openings in the rear apron which vent air from the wheel arches.
Moreover, the car features a carbon strip on the door sill. At the rear, we find the organic LED taillights, a first for BMW vehicles, that preview a completely new treatment of the typical BMW L-shaped lights. For those who don’t know, an organic LED consists of wafer-thin organic semiconductor layers positioned between two electrodes. The rear end shows a more sculptured trunk design and a stylish bumper with integrated tailpipes. The exterior design is completed by the Liquid Platinum Bronze exterior paintwork.
Opening the doors of the new concept car, we observer that there is no B-pillars, but there is a catch: lightweight carbon-fiber bars are used as B-pillars and connect the front and rear windows when the doors are closed. The carbon construction allows the seat frames to be integrated into the load-bearing structure.
The BMW Vision Future Luxury’s wide-opening coach doors would not have been possible without this new carbon B-pillar solution. Still, we don’t expect this feature on the upcoming 9-Series. BMW Vision Future Luxury is expressed in the design principle of subtractive modeling, meaning that the specific geometry and functions of an individual component are created from one and the same layered composite structure, comprising many different levels and materials.
An initial base layer of fine carbon fabric is followed by a functional level featuring user interface components, control and display interfaces and lighting functions, which in turn is followed by a further structural, load-bearing layer of aluminium for additional strength. Finally, the top layers comprise wood, then leather, to create a warm and comfortable ambience.
The new concept car offers separate displays for the driver and passengers, but the information can be exchanged between them via a touch-sensitive panel. The primary driver display, however, is the “contact-analogue” BMW Vision Head Up Display. This display augments the driver’s view of the real world by projecting information directly in the driver’s line of sight onto the road.
The rear seats receive two displays located in the carbon fiber shells. There is also a detachable rear seat touch command tablet that communicates with the front displays as well as with the BMW ConnectedDrive services. This allows rear passengers to control all the content and functions. [source: BMW]