BMW Vision M NEXT concept revealed

New Vision M NEXT plug-in hybrid concept previews next-generation BMW i8 sports car

The BMW Vision M NEXT concept car has been unveiled in Munich, Germany, as the manufacturer sets out its electrified future by previewing the next generation of the i8 Coupe.

Featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a supercharged, four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, the Vision M NEXT produces 592bhp. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes three seconds and top speed is 186mph.

The size of the battery hasn’t been disclosed, although BMW says an electric-only range of 62 miles is possible; just eight miles shy of the figure needed to qualify for the £3,500 discount currently offered by the Government in the UK.

The concept car retains several of the i8’s key design features, including the ‘butterfly’ doors, floating C-pillars and distinctive profile.

However, the front end welcomes styling cues seen on more recent BMWs, with larger kidney grilles and a sharper, more angular look.

At the rear, various elements can be traced back to the 1980s BMW M1 supercar, with a slatted window covering the engine and BMW roundels placed inside the tail-light strips.

Rather than using LEDs, the headlights and tail-lights use laser-wire technology, which allow BMW’s designers to incorporate more intricate lighting designs.

The Vision M NEXT features 21-inch wheels at the front and 22-inchers at the back, with the larger rears designed to show off the car’s sporty profile.

Inside, the concept uses woven synthetic fibre and anodised titanium materials, with only the door pulls and steering wheel covered in leather.

A curved visor is mounted behind the slim steering wheel, displaying key information to drivers. Meanwhile, the windscreen is used as an augmented reality display, giving the impression that sat nav directions and hazard warning signs are being projected onto the road and surroundings.

The Vision M NEXT also features a gyroscopic cup holder, capable of keeping drinks stable even in sharp corners.

It’s not clear exactly when a production version of the Vision M NEXT concept will reach showrooms, although it’s likely to appear in the early part of the next decade.

BMW will begin introducing more electrified models from 2021, starting with the fully electric iNEXT SUV. It'll be followed by the BMW i4, an electric four-door coupe.