BMW reveals recycled concept car, the i Vision Circular

BMW has shared what it envisages the future of urban mobility to look like, unveiling a new premium four-seat electric concept car, the i Vision Circular.

Revealed at the Munich Motor Show, the bold concept adopts an entirely new design language for the German brand, with both radical dimensions and styling details.

The focus for the vehicle was to create a carbon-neutral EV through the application of ‘circular economy’ principles, with the design brief of “rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle.”

The i Vision Circular was produced using 100 per cent recycled materials, all of which can be subsequently recycled again. This includes a solid-state battery, which BMW says has a higher energy density than today’s lithium-ion packs and reduces the use of valuable resources.

The body is made from secondary aluminium and to further reduce the use of materials is unpainted. Instead, it is anodised for a light-gold finish, which contracts the heat-treated steel surface at the rear. The tyres are made from sustainably cultivated natural rubber.

“We gave thorough consideration to circularity from the outset during the design process for the BMW I Vision Circular,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design.

“As a result, the Vision Vehicle is packed with innovative ideas for combining sustainability with a new, inspirational aesthetic – we call this approach ‘circular design’.”

The interior of the vehicle aims to blend luxurious design with sustainable production processes and materials.

A panoramic glass roof helps to increase the amount of light inside, while the four seats are designed to resemble home furnishings more than traditional car seats. They have an aluminium frame with recycled plastic upholstery.

The instrument display is a new interpretation, what BMW terms a ‘phygital’ (a blend of physical and digital) experience. The 3D-printed, V-shaped panel extends out of the cabin. It has a “crystal body with nerve-like structures running through it and an enthralling lighting effect”. Finally, it is finished with naturally treated wood elements.

The instruments themselves have been relocated from behind the steering wheel onto a head-up display at the bottom of the windscreen. The driver is given the ability to move the elements about to suit their preference, via interactive pads mounted on the 3D-printed steering wheel.

While BMW insists that there are no production plans for the concept, it’s likely that some of the design details and ‘circular economy’ principles will be transferred to the brand’s future EVs.

BMW is planning to launch 12 new EVs globally by 2023, before the radically different Neue Klasse generation of EVs arrives in 2025.

Source: BMW | The BMW I Vision Circular

7 September 2021

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