The BMW Group is celebrating its centenary under the motto “THE NEXT 100 YEARS”. At its Munich Centenary Event on 7 March, the automaker introduced the BMW VISION NEXT 100.
BMW has today introduced two more Vision concepts: the MINI VISION NEXT 100 and the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100. A fourth Vision Vehicle, by BMW Motorrad, will make its premiere on 16 October in Los Angeles, completing the BMW Group’s brand quartet of far-forward looking concepts.
In developing the BMW VISION NEXT 100, the main objective was to create not an anonymous vehicle but one that is highly personalized and fully geared to meet the driver’s every need – because the very emotional connection between a BMW and its driver is something we want to retain.
For the BMW VISION NEXT 100, the design team specifically took into account all the trends and technological developments that will be most relevant to BMW in the decades ahead. But they also took many of their cues from innovations and designs of the past. The key factor throughout, however, was something that has always been typical of the BMW brand: the desire to be uncompromising in its future focus on technologies and customer value.
MINI VISION NEXT 100: “Every MINI is my MINI”
Today’s MINI is the perfect premium compact car for the modern city. Digitalisation and connectivity are increasingly changing the way we get around on a daily basis – and this change is taking place most rapidly and noticeably in urban areas. The MINI VISION NEXT 100 is MINI’s answer to several key questions on urban mobility over the years ahead. In the cities of the future, will there be space for a car which engages at an emotional level? What will become of the “clever use of space” principle that underpins MINI? And how can MINI respond to a world becoming ever more digitalised and interconnected?
The core philosophy behind the MINI VISION NEXT 100 is the thoughtful use of the planet’s resources in providing personal mobility. The motto “Every MINI is my MINI” describes a particular take on car-sharing. In the future, fans of the brand will be able to call on a MINI tailored to their personal requirements where ever they are, day or night. The MINI of the future will be available 24/7, able to pick its driver up from their desired location in a fully automated way and will adapt itself to the driver’s individual tastes, interests and preferences. At the heart of this concept is fully connected digital intelligence.
Clever approaches to future mobility with MINI:
- “Digitally Mine” – where every MINI becomes my MINI
- The “Cooperizer”: a link between the driver and digital intelligence
- “Urban go-kart”: small, clever, nimble. The hallmark driving fun of a MINI will remain intact in the years ahead
- Novel use of sustainable materials in the interior
- Experience sharing – users become part of a MINI community
The Cooperizer forms a connection between the driver and digital intelligence
The Cooperizer is the name the MINI VISION NEXT 100 gives to the centrally-positioned circular instrument that has become such a signature feature of MINI cockpits. In the MINI VISION NEXT 100 it illuminates like a kaleidoscope. The colours and patterns it generates symbolise the car’s multi-faceted digital intelligence, which allows it to select a personalised setting for each driver, encompassing entertainment, communications and autonomous-driving options.
On the move, the driver can influence the Cooperizer’s decision-making, as the rotary controls allow adjustments to the interior ambience and driving mode. So the car can be adapted to give a perfectly personalised driving experience, whether driven conventionally or autonomously. Pressing the “Inspire Me” button brings another special Cooperizer trick into play. Here, the MINI checks downloaded user data to select information of interest to the driver and provide them with potential sources of inspiration. For example, the MINI VISION NEXT 100 might suggest the MINI set-up configured for an artist the driver admires and whose exhibition they have recently visited. Or it could recommend a challenging, twisting route to the outskirts of town and switch to John Cooper Works performance mode.
Autonomous driving plays an important role in the MINI VISION NEXT 100, allowing it to travel occupant-free to a charging station, cleaning service, parking space or the next user. To switch from driving themselves to autonomous driving, the driver simply moves the steering wheel into the central area between themselves and the front passenger. In the process, those on board enjoy greater freedom of movement and getting in and out of the car in busy city centres is that much easier. The single-section bench seat and a full-width footwell, uninterrupted by a centre console, also help this, allowing passengers to gain rapid access from both sides of the car – without having to decide in advance where they would prefer to sit. When dynamic driving is the order of the day, active elements within the seat provide lateral support for the driver and front passenger. Park the car in a tight spot, and the doors automatically open as wide as possible within the restricted confines.
Innovative use of sustainable materials
Making responsible use of resources is key in the selection of materials for the MINI VISION NEXT 100. These materials should retain their high level of perceived quality over many years, age stylishly and offer a special tactile experience. As digitisation increases, analogue qualities and experiences will become more important. With the more intensive use of a shared car, interiors will need to be much more hard wearing. In addition to the modern materials made from recycled plastic and aluminium in the floor area, roof lining and side panel trim, for example, the MINI interior designers used materials less commonly found in car cabins, such as brass, basalt and cellulose. The wraparound carrier and information strip, with its mount for the sliding steering wheel, and the Cooperizer with its thin brass structure are good examples here.
Experience sharing – the user becomes part of a MINI community
Sharing cars, homes and goods is ever-more common, as digitalisation, connectivity and artificial intelligence make processes simpler and more automated. The MINI VISION NEXT 100 can bring together a community of likeminded people, with a shared MINI lifestyle in common. Everybody benefits from everybody. And mobility opens up inspirational experiences yet stands by its sustainable approach and prudent use of resources.
For example, a MINI user in the future is interested in a certain type of art and a friend gets hold of some last-minute tickets to a preview for an exhibition they might like. The Vision Vehicle identifies what’s involved, and coordinates and organises the whole excursion. The drive itself becomes part of a perfectly arranged service. MINI calls this vision of the future experience sharing.
Head of MINI Design Anders Warming sums up the most important aspects of the car: “The MINI VISION NEXT 100 shows how MINI’s unique take on the world could look in the future. The driving experience remains the emotional centrepiece, with effortless and seamless services grouped around it.”
Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100
Rolls-Royce epitomises automotive luxury in a way that no other brand can. Founded in 1904, its products rose to pre-eminence around the world in a matter of years – in keeping with Sir Henry Royce’s motto: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it doesn’t exist, design it.”
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is the first purely visionary vehicle in the 112-year history of the marque.
In creating it, the team focused on the following questions:
- What is the future of luxury?
- How might the exclusive character of a Rolls-Royce translate into the future?
- How will the demands of the Rolls-Royce clientele change? And how might Rolls-Royce even exceed their expectations in its constant quest for perfection?
- Could other traditional Rolls-Royce characteristics – such as precise craftsmanship, a pioneering spirit and a love for perfection – combined with future technologies and trends set new standards for luxury in decades to come?
- How can we ensure a journey in a Rolls-Royce remains as unique an experience in the future as it is today?
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars already realises the most diverse customer wishes and offers virtually unlimited scope for personalising its vehicles. Over the years and decades ahead, however, the opportunities will become even more extensive, and customers will be able to commission their personal Rolls-Royce into a genuine one-off piece. In terms of technology, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is based on an advanced lightweight platform equipped with a high-performance electric drive. From the wheelbase to the design of the body, its various specifications and equipment can be tailored specifically to suit the needs of the individual customer.
The Rolls-Royce design team expects that further progress in composite materials and technologies will have a decisive influence on how production can be customised in the future. Advances will also unlock new creative possibilities for the brand to meet the discerning wishes of its customers and achieve its goal of producing the bespoke automotive equivalent of haute couture.
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 incorporates just some of the design options that will be possible in the future.
It focuses on the following key aspects of a new dimension of automotive luxury:
- The “Personal Vision”: One of a limitless number of possible personal visions of a Rolls-Royce of the future
- The “Grand Sanctuary”: The vehicle interior as a private retreat
- The “Effortless Journey”: Guided by “Eleanor”, the passenger’s virtual assistant.
- The “Grand Arrival”: Stepping out at your destination in ultimate elegance.
The Personal Vision: One of a limitless number of possible personal visions of a Rolls-Royce of the future
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is but one of a limitless number of possible personal visions of a Rolls-Royce of the future. Indeed, in an evolution of the Rolls-Royce experience of today, the customer’s taste will shape exactly how his or her Rolls-Royce will look and how it will be configured.
In the spirit of the great coachbuilt cars of the past, Rolls-Royce will create the chassis of the future, hand-built from the most advanced materials and powered by a zero emissions powertrain. Innovative manufacturing technologies will enable customers to involve themselves in the style and proportion of their personal Rolls-Royce vision. They will be able to commission their very own cars shaped by Rolls-Royce designers to their personal tastes – unique bespoke masterpieces curated as a fingerprint of their owner.
The Grand Sanctuary – The vehicle interior as a private retreat
In a Rolls-Royce, the well-being and desires of the occupants are all-important. For this reason, the design of the interior is the central starting point: it is intended as a space in which passengers can enjoy their very own style of luxury. The vehicle interior becomes a personal retreat.
In creating the interior, the designers opted for a clear-cut hierarchy of lines, as well as sustainable, authentic materials and subtle lighting. These combine to create a peaceful oasis, the ideal atmosphere in which to relax.
With this approach, the designers were able to create an inviting, purist space in which the intrinsic beauty of the materials shines through. The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, for instance, incorporates warm tone Macassar wood, a carpet of hand-twisted silk on the floor and further extraordinarily soft silk on the upholstery.
In the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 a panorama window of generous proportions provides outstanding visibility. Designed to “waft” along fully autonomously, the driver’s seat, steering wheel and instruments are superfluous in this model; what remains is a completely new sense of space. Cocooned in their own private haven, passengers have just a central analogue timepiece below the panorama window as a reminder that time not lost is the highest form of luxury.
The Effortless Journey: Guided by Eleanor, the passenger’s virtual assistant
In creating the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the designers also sought to keep the presence of technologies as subdued as possible while at the same time ensuring full connectivity. The vehicle is controlled by a virtual intelligence which fulfils the passenger’s every need. This virtual assistant is embodied in a digital representation of the Spirit of Ecstasy, which appears on the full-width transparent OLED display. It is named after Eleanor Thornton, the model who inspired sculptor Charles Robert Sykes’ iconic Rolls-Royce bonnet ornament. The more time Eleanor spends on the road with a passenger, the more she learns about their interests and needs – their favourite restaurants, tastes in art and favourite routes, for instance – and about the preferences and desires of all the other vehicle occupants as well, of course. Using speech interaction, the passengers can call upon her services to tailor their journey as desired.
The Grand Arrival – Stepping out at your destination in ultimate elegance
From the outside, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is a vision of timeless aesthetics. Measuring 5.9 m in length, its silhouette radiates powerful elegance. At the same time, its coupé-style forms and the free-standing wheel arches on either side of the Pantheon radiator grille lend dynamism and lightness to its outward appearance.
The elegance and lightness of the body is further underscored by the paintwork “Crystal Water” and the Spirit of Ecstasy, made from hand-cut lead crystal and illuminated from inside.
Thanks to its impressive exterior design, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 will attract attention wherever it arrives. Its charismatic presence is further enhanced by the way the passengers alight: in a generous gesture, the roof and coach door open to reveal the interior of the vehicle. Passengers simply stand up and gracefully step out. The spectacle is additionally underscored by light projections, which create a “red carpet” showing the way out and turn every arrival into a Grand Arrival.
Should the need arise, two umbrellas integrated into the doors are available to protect passengers from the elements. Rolls-Royce bespoke luggage can be stowed in the front of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, where there is ample storage space. An intelligent mechanism opens a hatch in the side of the car and presents the luggage to the waiting hands of the porter.
Giles Taylor, Design Director Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: “With the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 we were very mindful not to dwell on the past. We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the marque.”