Bavarian Motor Works or as we all know it, BMW, unveiled an awesome concept vehicle this week to celebrate 100 years in business. At the company's birthday celebrations the Vision Next 100, an autonomous, electric vehicle that boldly leaps forward into the future in its design, display and driving ambitions, proved that BMW means business for another 100 years to come.
Initially a manufacturer of airplane engines, the company started developing motorcycles in the early 1920s. Towards the end of that decade, when they bought the Eisenach car factory, production started on the automobiles we all know and love. Over the years, brand BMW has remained consistent in it's approach to cars and motorcycles, always with an emphasis on innovation and design, and a stubborn refusal to just be another carmaker. Who can forget that in the 1950s, BMW bought the rights to sell the Italian vehicle the Isetta, a little bubble shaped car with the door on the front. While it may be mocked by today’s standards, it was considered to be a car that would help shape the future. That didn’t happen (thankfully many would say) but BMW continued to pursue innovation and advance the design and technology of the automobile industry.
Committed to the production of electric and hybrid vehicle, BMW is making great strides with the iSeries. The i8, a hybrid sports car arrived in 2009 and a few years later the i3 a fully electric small car. Volume sales are still quite low, but BMW has indicated that it is serious about being part of an alternative energy future in bringing these models to market.
So what about the Vision Next 100 then? First of all, it's gorgeous, with smooth lines, striking bronze in colour, with a shape that cocoons the passengers and drivers and uses the windshield as an entertainment display if they don’t feel like driving. Secondly, it sends out a clear message that BMW plas to remain at the forefront of driver-centric automobile design for the forseeable future. While some may be skeptical that this car will ever go into production, it's good to remember that only a few decades ago ideas of self-parking cars, built-in satellite navigation systems and fully electric vehicles, seemed faraway notions. Most likely then, it's only a matter of time.
So Happy Birthday BMW, we’re looking forward to the next 100 and seeing your vision hit the streets.