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BMW Envisions Future Luxury With New Beijing Auto Show Concept Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Apr, 20 2014 | 1 Comment


Nearly one year ago, BMW partnered with legendary design house Pininfarina to develop the Gran Lusso, a large and ultra-luxurious coupe concept.

No sooner did the covers come off the Gran Lusso at the Concorso d'Eleganza than rumours of a new 8 or 9 Series production model began to circulate.

BMW has done little to hose down speculation of a big new coupe or saloon, and this week the carmaker has unveiled a new evolution of the concept: the Vision Future Luxury.

The two concepts are not identical, and this time there’s no direct Pininfarina involvement - but the Gran Lusso’s influence on the Vision Future Luxury is clear.

And, just as the 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics concept eventually lead to the special new BMW i8, we might expect this latest ‘Vision’ to eventually appear in showrooms.

This time, instead of the Gran Lusso’s two-door coupe design, BMW has delivered a large four-door concept that focuses on space and luxury - key features for any Chinese market unveiling, where rear comfort is a top priority.

Among the Future Luxury concept’s features are a new detachable Touch Command Tablet for rear passengers, offering access to a Concierge service, along with trip information, games and internet connectivity.

Rear occupants also get large displays mounted in the headrests of the front seats.

In the front row, there’s a ‘contact analogue’ head-up display, augmenting the driver’s view ahead by projecting a wider array of data onto a larger view space, overlaying the road itself.

As a result, "buildings, traffic signs or hazards can be highlighted directly in the real-world environment, selectively directing the driver’s attention to specific information which is particularly important at any given time."

There’s also a host of new materials technologies in the Vision Future Luxury concept, including subtractive moulding and unique applications of carbon fabrics.

"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 aluminum for additional strength,” the concept’s designers say.

“Finally, the top layers comprise wood, then leather, to create a warm and comfortable ambience." BMW declined to go into specifics but said the process cuts the "total weight substantially."

Powertrain details for the concept have not been revealed.

BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk said today that while the Vision Future Luxury has not been confirmed for production, the concept does offer a preview of the company’s styling and technology direction for the future.

If not a new 8 or 9 Series offering, expect to see some Future Luxury influences in the next-generation 7 Series limo.

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