BMW enjoys not driving

While always advocating active participation behind the wheel, BMW sees the future in a different light by separating the driver from external reality.

By Jacques Knight

The three-volume Vision Dee revives a rather elegant neoclassical design, but the innovation is promising in many practical aspects.

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ifThere is one area that BMW should not abandon, and that is the field of driving, which has created a real passion among brand enthusiasts for decades. But it seems that in Munich we can feel the increasing pressure for alternative energies and the automation of personal journeys. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas, this is where the propeller-driven brand showcased a stunning concept. This car, which is supposed to embody the car of the future for its built-in technologies, takes the form of a rather ordinary compact sedan with three volumes. But these are only appearances.

For “Digital Emotional Experience”, the i Vision Dee is mainly used as a support for several futuristic displays where the series model from which it takes lines should not be immediately accepted. This body is all the same, as it contrasts with the rather disturbing design of some of the latest BMW models, which are equipped with grilles in the form of huge nostrils.

The electric motorization, with little need for cooling, allows a return to fairer proportions reminiscent of the Alfa Romeo 164 for profile, among others. But this neoclassicism changes completely when you open the door to project the sitters into an entirely different universe. “This is the future of the car, and also of BMW: the combination of virtual experience with real driving pleasure,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

The latter also refers to the “Neue Klasse”, the generation that is supposedly moving towards the digitization of travel. And so, the sleep of the driver, who, like his passengers, can devote himself to work (a little) and entertainment (a lot). There’s nothing on the vertical center spoke steering wheel that a Citroen can sport. The dashboard is blank and it’s a head-up display that comes to reflect on the windshield in five levels until it’s full.

Avatar in the driver’s seat

This ranges from the simple analog we know in yesterday’s car, to digital driving information, communication system content, augmented reality projection, access to virtual worlds. The projection is then full-width, and to add to the immersive experience, passengers can also use the tinted windows to gradually dim the real world around them. Even better, the driver’s image will be projected onto the appropriate window to “dialogue” with pedestrians!

No one has driven as far as the BMW i Vision Dee. BMW, which does not mix driving and cinema, shakes the confidence of sports fans. As far as the Motorsport section goes, there will be no betrayal, but then… The digital experience is focused on 100% electric models and will undoubtedly be fully robotic driving, complemented by a salon with very comprehensive seats that invite you to relax. .

Molded in one piece, we see their center armrests overlapped at the front. They slide on the central monorail, a solution seen in the past on the Renault 14, which was abandoned because it exerted too much force on the floor when the passenger tried to take something out of his pocket. Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group Design Director, said: “Technology applied correctly will create valuable experiences, make you a better driver and simply bring people and cars closer together.” there is

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