BMW has unveiled its new Vision M Next concept, part of its M performance arm.
The concept hybrid sports car is part of a future vision in which drivers will be able to choose whether they drive, or the car drives them.
A driver-focused vision
As part of M's electric future, BMW claims that state-of-the-art adaptive assistance will be able to vastly improve a driver's skills behind the wheel.
Through its Vision cars, BMW has set out plans for a future in which it continues to be a big player. Sustainable, autonomous cars will become the focus of the famous car manufacturer.
This new concept comes after BMW's earlier Vision iNext, another concept that aimed to set out how life inside an autonomous car will be different from current models.
The concepts are designed to spark debate and discussion about the future of the automotive industry.
Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group's Design Director, told Forbes that the new M Next concept provides a glimpse into the future of sports cars.
The car, he says, “demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging.”
The concept also outlines the future of BMW's 'Ease' and 'Boost' modes.
'Ease' has the vehicle take over and drive autonomously, while 'Boost' is an assisted driving experience that has the driver take control.
'Boost' is aimed at drivers who want the convenience and safety that autonomous cars will bring, while still being able to enjoy the thrill of getting behind the wheel of a sports car.
While the M Next project is only conceptual at this point, the team behind it visualize powering the car with an existing hybrid PHEV drive, which has an electric motor at the front and rear axle.
This would allow pure-electric rear-wheel drive and electric all-wheel drive, while a four-cylinder petrol engine would also send power directly to the rear wheels.
BMW estimate that their concept car would have a maximum output of 600 horsepower providing 62 mph acceleration in 3 seconds and an electric range of 62 miles.
BMW's future vision sees the company providing a more sustainable, safer driving experience, while still allowing speedsters to get their thrills on the road.