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BMW reveals stunning M concept. Image by BMW.

BMW reveals stunning M concept
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What's this all about?

Today, the BMW Group opened the doors to its inaugural #NextGen event in Germany, basically its own motor show for products across all its brands. It's set to become an annual thing and it'll be open to the public, too. For its debut, BMW is giving several significant new models their first airing, including the BMW 3 Series Touring, M8 and 8 Series Gran Coupe. However, we suspect they'll all be ignored after visitors clap their eyes on this, the BMW Vision M Next concept.

It's eye-catching...

Indeed it is, and though the retina-searing 'Thrilling Orange' detailing draws the eye, the overall profile of the Vision M Next is quite minimal. There's a hint of the current BMW i8 in the side glass and more than a subtle nod to the iconic BMW M1 in the rear louvres - not to mention a little BMW roundel on each side of the back of the car. Without the orange paint, the concept might appear almost production ready, though it does serve to emphasise the aerodynamic measures implemented fore and aft. It contrasts sharply with the black recycled carbon fibre lower section, which gives the back of the car in particular a moody appearance.

Lovin' the lights!

They're sharp, aren't they? BMW says it has developed a new technique involving coating glass fibres in phosphorous, which is really light and thin, while allowing very 'precise' shapes. It's called Laser Wire and it's used front and back on the concept.

How do you get in?

Ah, you've spotted the lack of door handles. Instead, there's a camera using facial recognition tech to identify the driver, who just touches the gullwing door at the right place for it to swing open. Inside, the cabin is best described as 'minimalist', but that doesn't mean it's lacking in even more technology. Check out the curved instrument screen in front of the miniscule steering wheel, for example, or the fact that the windscreen acts as one big augmented reality head-up display. And then there's the gyroscopic cupholder.

You're taking the piss?

Nope, and other than the driver-centric interior, that's the first hint that the Vision M Next concept is indeed a car that is designed to be driven. Quickly. BMW gave us only scant details on its mechanicals, but enough to grab your interest. It appears to have the same mid-engined plug-in hybrid layout as the BMW i8, which means an electric motor for the front axle and a petrol engine at the back. This time around it's a four-cylinder turbo (the i8's engine is a three-cylinder unit) and as BMW says there's all-wheel-drive in purely electric mode, we take it that there's a second electric motor in the transmission. It can also be put into purely rear-wheel-drive mode (thank you BMW M). Maximum power is 600hp, 0-62mph takes only three seconds and the car can top out at 186mph. Oh, and it can go about 60 miles in purely electric mode if the battery pack is fully charged up.

When can I buy one?

We can only hope that something like this concept replaces the BMW i8, but it's just as likely, sadly, that it is merely a way for us all to get used to the idea of a BMW M car with electricity running through its veins...

Shane O' Donoghue - 25 Jun 2019

2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.

2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. Image by BMW.

www.bmw.co.uk    - BMW road tests
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- Vision M Next images

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