BMW Shows off Unique, Breakthrough Crossover Concept Car

The long-awaited autonomous vehicle could be on sale as early as 2021, according to BMW.

BMW Shows off Unique, Breakthrough Crossover Concept Car
BMW

BMW finally released information about its long-awaited iNEXT concept vehicle -- the vehicle tasked with leading the company's foray into electric vehicles.

The German auto giant showed fans the new concept of the iNEXT that will serve as the basis for the 2021 production line.

The concept car is giving BMW executives so much hope that Chairman of the Board Harald Kruger said "The iNEXT project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all of its brands are set to benefit."

Details of the iNEXT

BMW has been teasing the creation and release of the car for years, but no one knew anything about it beyond the limited information put forth from BMW. 

BMW Shows off Unique, Breakthrough Crossover Concept Car
Source: BMW

However, the development and potential for the iNEXT car gives executives hope for the BMW brand. Last year, Ian Robertson -- BMW's head of sales and marketing -- challenged Tesla's pricepoint and its ability to meet production deadlines and expectations. It finally seems like BMW officials have more data to counter against other EVs.  

Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design sums up the creative approach: “BMW i exists to generate creative, pioneering ideas which transform the way we think about mobility. The BMW Vision iNEXT marks another next big step on that journey of transformation, showing how more intelligent vehicles can make our lives easier and more beautiful.”

BMW Shows off Unique, Breakthrough Crossover Concept Car
Source: BMW

Thus far, the company has annnounced it could boast a range of 435 miles. It will also be autonomous, starting at a Level 3 semi autonomous status. That system will use 33 sensors and LIDAR.

The interior of the iNEXT is spacious, featuring a sleek futuristic design. That futuristic look even extends to the car mirrors -- or lack of car mirrors. The car uses cameras built into the edge of the car instead. 

BMW Shows off Unique, Breakthrough Crossover Concept Car
Source: BMW

However, in terms of both design and specs, a number of people commented how the iNEXT doesn't seem nearly as revolutionary as BMW positioned it to be. Several car enthusiasts online reported their frustration with a 'lackluster' car reveal that didn't quite fit the expansive (and expensive) reveal event.

BMW partnering with Lufthansa Cargo

The automaker is also partnering with Lufthansa Cargo to showcase more of the iNEXT vision. BMW even created a unique media event to talk about the partnership. Over 300 members of the media will board a Boeing 777F from Lufthansa Cargo fleet and experience the BMW Vision iNEXT -- the plane embodiment of what the company wants their i program to become.

Lufthansa Cargo and the BMW Group team have worked together closely to turn this technology presentation from just an idea into a reality. The media guests experienced both the cargo plane's redesign as well as get access to seeing the concept car.

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According to the companies, over 120 specialists in exhibition stand construction from Lufthansa Cargo and the BMW Group have played their part in making the project happen.

“Visionary products deserve visionary presentations. We are delighted to have made this extraordinary world premiere possible in cooperation with BMW,” said Peter Gerber, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG.

“iNEXT is our mobility proposition for the future, so it’s only logical that the BMW Vision iNEXT should be presented to a global audience in a fresh new style,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “The World Flight is a fitting way to get the ball rolling.”

Via: BMW