If you thought BMW's high-performance M division would slowly fade into history with the rise of electrification and autonomous driving, well, you're dead wrong. The company has just revealed its Vision M Next concept, a 600-horsepower mid-engine supercar meant to show off the M technology of the future.
As you can probably already tell, the Vision M Next takes inspiration from the BMW i8 and the legendary M1, incorporating a sleek mid-engine profile and butterfly doors. The black side skirts, which extend into the cabin, are unfinished, showing off their recycled-carbon-fiber construction. Out back, the engine cover is separated into three openings, while the rear houses a thin taillight design and an aggressive diffuser. The front and rear lights are powered by Laser Wire lighting technology, using illuminated glass fibers coated with phosphorous. The front wheels measure 21 inches in diameter, while the orange-accented rear wheels measure 22 inches.
The Vision M Next is powered by a hybrid system with two electric motors (one at each axle), combined with a turbocharged inline-four engine to create a total of 600 horsepower. The concept can be driven in pure EV mode in either rear- or all-wheel drive, or in hybrid all-wheel drive with the gasoline engine contributing power to the rear axle. BMW says the M Next can do 0-62 mph in three seconds flat, and hit a top speed of 186 mph. It can also drive up to 62 miles in pure electric mode.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Vision M Next is what BMW calls the "BOOST Pod," an active driver interface that encapsulates most of the interior, meant to provide the driver with the most in-depth experience possible. From BMW's press release:
[BOOST] unifies all control options and information on three visual tiers directly ahead of the driver. The first plane is formed by the horizontally arranged steering wheel featuring two small displays. The second plane is a Curved Glass Display, which is making its debut appearance and stretches around the steering wheel. The full-surface Augmented Reality Head-Up Display in the windscreen constitutes the third plane.
The interior is focused solely on the driver, with a cut-down steering wheel and a curved three-screen translucent gauge cluster. Bucket seats are split by a center console with two cup holders.
If a fast, high-performance two-seater is the future of BMW's M division, we're all for it.
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