A radical new tech-focused future beckons for the BMW 3 Series, as previewed by the new i Vision Dee electric concept car, described by the German marque as the "next level of human-machine interaction".
Planned to reach production in 2025 as a successor to the recently introduced Chinese-market BMW i3 electric saloon, the UK-bound four-door saloon concept is based on BMW’s Neue Klasse platform – an all-new structure set to underpin a wide range of future internal-combustion-engined, plug-in hybrid and electric-powered BMW models. The bold new concept made its debut at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The i Vision Dee’s key features include a range of new digital functions, such as a head-up display unit capable of projecting information across the full width of the windscreen – something the firm has already confirmed for Neue Klasse-platform-based models due out around the middle of the decade. BMW says the move is aimed at taking the bond between the driver and the car beyond voice control and driver assistance systems and further into the digital and virtual world.
The concept – whose name is an acronym for the words ‘digital emotional experience’ – also previews a new monolithic exterior styling lineage that the German firm intends to introduce on upcoming production models.
“With the i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion,” said BMW CEO Oliver Zipse. “That is the future for automotive manufacturers – and also for BMW: the fusion of the virtual experience and genuine driving.”
The exterior styling, similar to that seen on BMW’s Circular concept car unveiled at the 2021 Munich motor show, previews a new-look enclosed front, with the traditional kidney grille replaced by two separate digital panels, each incorporating LED headlights as ‘phygital’ (physical-digital) icons.