CES: BMW i Vision Dee gives taste of the ‘Neue Klasse’
At the CES, BMW gave the first glimpses of its future electric cars of the New Class (‘Neue Klasse’). The i Vision Dee, a study of a futuristic mid-size sedan, in which the “Dee” stands for Digital Emotional Experience, sees BMW focusing on UX when switching between levels of augmented reality.
Among other things, the BMW i Vision Dee visualises an extended head-up display spanning the width of the windscreen, which models in BMW’s Neue Klasse will feature from 2025. In conjunction with the extended head-up display, the digital highlight and central control element of the BMW i Vision Dee is the BMW Mixed Reality Slider. With sensor technology discreetly integrated into the dashboard (as with the iX, BMW refers to it as “shy tech”), drivers can determine the level of digital content they want to see on the extended BMW head-up display. The five-level selection ranges from analogue, to driving-relevant information, to content from the communication system and an augmented reality projection to enter virtual worlds. BMW is not yet stating whether or in what gradation this system will come to the Neue Klasse cars.
According to the company, the future digital functions of series-production BMWs will extend “far beyond the level of voice control and driver assistance systems we are familiar with today”. “With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “With this vision, we are looking far into the future and underlining the tremendous importance of digitalisation for our upcoming product generations.”
BMW is not giving any more details about the study’s powertrain, except that the drive is electric. “The future of the BMW Group is electric, circular and digital,” so the statement. The BMW i Vision Dee stands for “the digital aspect of this trio”, – so an electric drive study is likely to follow.
In terms of body design, the i Vision Dee takes up some elements of the IAA study i Vision Circular, which was intended to represent a BMW compact car of 2040, but with a focus on the circular economy, i.e. circularity in the BMW future. However, the extensive BMW kidney grille at the front with the integrated headlights can be found in both studies.
A unique feature of the i Vision Dee is the advanced colour-changing technology: the BMW iX with the “Flow Featuring E Ink” presented at CES 2022 could still change from black to white. The BMW i Vision Dee can display 32 colours. The BMW study at CES is not alone in changing colours: VW’s ID.7 lookalike can also change colour – albeit there as part of the camouflage of the near-production study.
This year, BMW plans to provide further information and insights into the vehicle concept of the New Class, for which several technical details have already been leaked. However, these are based on partly changing interview statements by board members and media reports.