Luxury-oriented BMW concept unveiled at Beijing motor show, with styling and tech pointing to the new 7-series
19 April 2014

The BMW Vision Future Luxury concept has been revealed at the Beijing motor show. The new concept's key exterior styling elements, contemporary interior design touches, lightweight carbonfibre construction and innovative lighting systems will likely be incorporated on next year’s sixth-generation 7-series

The new saloon is described as a showcase for future BMW models. But while initial speculation suggested the Vision Future Luxury pointed at a possible 9-series flagship model to be installed at the top of the German car maker’s line-up, BMW officials have confirmed the new concept was created more specifically as a pointer to the next 7-series, which is due to head into UK showrooms late next year.   

“The BMW Vision Future Luxury is the messenger of our philosophy of modern luxury,” says Karim Habib, head of BMW design, adding: “It takes our thinking a stage further.”  

The exterior styling of BMW’s latest concept car shows hints of the Gran Lusso Coupé that was wheeled out at last year’s Ville d’Este concourse in Italy, but in keeping with the up-market positioning of the 7-series its overall appearance is much more formal.

An oversized kidney grille, heavily structured facia and slim line headlamps dominate a bold front end, while a more elegant looking rear is distinguished by a heavily angled rear window, comparatively short boot lid, and uncharacteristically shaped tail lamps.

The conceptual nature of the Vision Future Luxury’s exterior is further reflected in the flanks, which receive BMW’s latest air breather aperture behind the front wheel arches, a prominent shoulder and traditional Hofmeister kick within the trailing edge of the rear side windows.

The sides of the BMW concept are supported by a carbonfibre inner structure in a move that allows the front seats to form part of the load bearing structure. This latter treatment is thought to hint to an innovative construction process that will see the new 7-series receive lightweight carbonfibre body sides similar to that used by its i-brand models as part of an effort to provide the new luxury class saloon with a significant reduction in kerb weight.

Our Verdict

BMW 7 Series

Technology-laden BMW 7 Series looks better than its predecessors, but is ultimately disappointing

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Pillarless doors are used front and rear. But while the front doors boast conventional front hinges, BMW’s design team has endowed the Vision Future Luxury with rear-hinged coach-style doors up back to ease entry to the rear, which accommodates two deeply countoured individual seats.

As with the exterior, the four-seat interior is highly conceptual in nature. However, BMW says the displays, with their three dimensional graphics, basic architecture, including flowing centre console and materials, among which is a combination of brush aluminium and wood, will be reflected on future models, including the new 7-series.

Also hinted to on the new concept is touchscreen operation, a further developed head-up display unit with real-time information and a new iDrive controller.    

Among the lighting technology BMW is hinting will appear on the next 7-series with the Vision Future Luxury are state-of-the-art laser headlamps and OLED (organic light emitting diode) tail lamps – the former of which are set to appear first on the German car maker’s upcoming i8.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Join the debate


20 April 2014
Even uglier than the last Seven!!!

21 April 2014
This reminds me of the current XJ (best looking saloon car out there in my opinion - and I'm not a Jag fan) at the rear - that is a very good thing. With a bit of a toning down of the grille, this looks like it could be a really worthy successor aesthetically to the current 7 Series which is a stunningly handsome machine.
pathfinder wrote:

This is absolutely brilliant work. Really hope some of this look filters through to the production version.

I agree.

20 April 2014
Two mouths and two sets of teeth! Hopefully someone in management will remember/realise that we anthropomorphise our car's ' faces ' and that splitting the grille bars like that really does make them look like teeth. Perhaps now is a good time to remind the ivory tower designers that the Radiator Grille is not something that is supposed to come apart; it represents the radiator coming apart and the car overheating till something blows up - or maybe it's a subtle reminder that they still haven't fixed their waterpump problem, and that a split radiator lies in the car's near future?

20 April 2014
I like the look of it, but it could be a car you'd see on the road today. Maybe thats the point; BMW is just previewing the next 7 Series and doesn't need or want a true concept car at this time.

21 April 2014
beautiful. looks like the 7 will be the first mainstream bmw (aside from the i's) to move away from bangles flame surfacing to hooydonks / Majdandzics layering of planes.

21 April 2014
Its a shame the slimline lighting units won't make production. With modern lighting technology we don't need the ugly, oversized, glitzy light units that some manufacturers (such as Mercedes) insist on fitting to their new models.

21 April 2014
Even when you remove all the extra vents and strakes on the sides and rear that are showcar embellishments this thing is ugly. The rear 3/4 takes its inspiration from the 2000 7-series that prompted the powers-that-be to rethink the whole Bangle direction. The subsequent toning down brought a better-looking 5 and 3 without either being generic looking. This is unremittingly garish with the rear looking like an upside down 1995 Granada and a front that makes one fell like they are a line of cocaine at a Miami beach party. Did BMW hire the same people who made the Bentley EXP concept and thought that was good looking?

21 April 2014
This is absolutely brilliant work. Really hope some of this look filters through to the production version. Then BMW will have a keen rival for the clever though pretty hideous S-class. I'm afraid I don't understand much of what Moparman has written, especially the bit about the front. Can anyone be bothered to explain?

21 April 2014
I think moparman took a little something. its a pretty incoherent ramble. i think he means scoops / intakes instead of strakes, and I also think he also means the e65 7 series which was launched in 2001. i cant make out the granada or cocaine references at all. the bentley exp uses a totally different design language to this bmw, and was developed by different designers / teams, so I dont understand that reference either.

the scoops / intakes and the split nose make a lot of sense to me; they are a natural by product of layered and folded surfaces intersecting and overlapping each other.

i think moparman objects because this language isnt familiar, and he / she doesnt know quite what to make of it. its quite a normal human reaction to instantly reject the unfamiliar.

I think this new direction is something people will "get" over time, much like flame surfacing.

9 August 2014
The headlights are simply way too slim. From the front this 7 Concept looks like a caricature. However, the sideview is excellent....even better than the current 6 Gran Coupé. The rear is passable but it strikes me that BMW is overdoing the slimness of the taillights. The message of chic to be sleek can still be conveyed without it looking like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. This is essentially what is wrong with the headlights. Simply overthin. You may as well put slits there! One has to chuckle. What's wrong with BMW? Is it too much to ask for a good looking car?

Velocity is poetry in motion. Steve Johnson.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week