To celebrate 100 years of building cars, BMW rolled out the BMW Vision Next 100 concept car at its big birthday bash in Munich. To be sure, it’s a beautiful looking car. I just can’t get over how much it reminds me of a dragon.
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The BMW Vision Next 100 is predictably autonomous, with a steering wheel that makes me think of a game controller that collapses into the dashboard when the car is driving itself. The sleek exterior sports a digital readout on the back to replace a traditional license plate, and the paint job (in a bronze hue) almost conceals the car’s windows in the correct light. The butterfly doors, similar to those on the BMW i8, even open and close by themselves.
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From there, the dragon attributes start to take over. Looking at the car, one of the first things a viewer will notice is that the tires are concealed from view by the exterior of the car. I’m not sure if this was done to suggest that in the future we won’t need traditional tires, or just so the car looked sleeker. Regardless, when the wheel turns it pulls at the body of the car, opening up stylized gaps in the metal that are reminiscent of scales on an animal. What takes “reptile” to “dragon” is the red light that shines through those scales. It’s reminiscent of fire being barely contained within the mythological creature before it unleashes a storm on an unsuspecting village.
The dashboard of the car is also covered in scales that seem to ripple and change to communicate to a driver. For instance, red ripples seem to follow road obstacles in the line of sight to highlight them to the driver and passengers. The effect is cool, but it does make the car look like a living creature instead of an engineering marvel.
All in all, the vehicle looks like a very stylized BMW i8 (already a futuristic car) if the i8 started breathing and thinking on its own. Not bad for a look into the automotive future.