Driving the future

By Nicole Saunders

Driving the future
BMW and MINI place the driver firmly at the heart of their innovative collection of electric vehicles, combining style, world-leading state-of-the-art technology and sustainability.

In a changing world in which electric vehicles are often touted as the wave of the future, deciding on the steering wheel you want to get behind next can take time.

The ability to choose a vehicle that not only caters to your unique needs and desires but also delivers pure driving pleasure is crucial to the decision-making process. So even as BMW and MINI innovate and push boundaries, the driver is always at the heart of what they do.

Where the future of mobility is concerned, no single solution is the answer – nor is a one-size-fits-all approach to drivers. The BMW and MINI ranges now offer more choice than ever before with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid electric and electric models available.

When the BMW iX3 EV Sports Activity Vehicle arrives in New Zealand in 2021, it will quickly carve out a new horizon for practicality, sustainability and utility in motoring.

Likewise, MINI’s recently released Countryman PHEV has quickly redefined the plug-in hybrid space within New Zealand. And with another 25 electrified models already in the pipeline for BMW, the future of driving has never been brighter.

“BMW is consistently moving towards customers’ expectations around modern luxury design,” says BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director Karol Abrasowicz-Madej. “With the new model portfolio we are confident to satisfy brand-loyal customers or a younger audience, stretching in New Zealand from North to Southland.”

best of both worlds

Luxury meets sustainability in BMW’s recently revealed Concept i4, which successfully merges the best of both worlds.

“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero-emission.”

The game-changing BMW Concept i4 gazes into the future, unveiling a new era – an electrified future – that is just around the corner.

With the i4 slated to begin production in 2021, the launch of BMW’s first all-electric model in the premium mid-size class marks a bold new phase in the company’s history. The i4 will boast an 80-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery and a range of up to 600km.

The Concept i4’s dynamic design melds modernity and elegant sporty touches with the roominess and functionality you would expect from their four-door Gran Coupé, all while generating zero local emissions. Clean lines and an arresting new silhouette give it unparalleled aesthetic appeal.

The joy and emotion that comes from the sound of driving isn’t about to go anywhere, even when you’re behind the wheel of one of BMW’s future EVs. Although electric vehicles are predominantly silent, BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale has teamed up with legendary composer Hans Zimmer to bring the Concept i4 – and many of BMW’s future EVs – to life through sound.

“Renzo and I were inspired to bring together the past and future of BMW with the sound for the BMW Concept i4,” says Zimmer. “We hope the sound we created is classic yet surprising and has a feeling of lightness that is fitting for the BMW brand.”

Acoustic accompaniments to door opening and starting the car are a few of the features, as well as the thrill of the expertly composed Sport mode.

the go-kart feeling

In August, you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of the highly anticipated first MINI Cooper electric hatch, the all-new MINI Cooper SE. It’s a futuristic interpretation of Sir Alec Issigonis’ philosophy brought to life when he first designed the MINI back in 1959.

Staying true to the brand, style and substance come together in a head-turning car created with the demands and needs of its environment and current-day driver in mind.

The MINI Cooper SE.

You won’t find a petrol or diesel engine under the bonnet; instead, you’ll find the MINI Cooper SE’s 135kW/184hp electric motor. Built with the urban environment in mind, the Cooper SE’s innovative driving dynamics system harnesses MINI’s distinct and energetic agility – the ‘go-kart feeling’.

Although fans of the brand will be delighted by many familiar and iconic design features characteristic of the much-loved MINI 3-Door Hatch, the MINI Cooper SE is a new chapter in the brand’s story.

The hexagonal grill remains, but it is closed because the electric motor requires little air for cooling. It also has an embossed signature MINI Electric logo and yellow trim as a point of difference. It’s a vehicle that brings together style, the cherished MINI design and attitude with sustainability.

Charging the MINI Cooper SE.

On The road ahead

If you’ve ever wondered what the future holds for motoring and electrified sports vehicles, BMW has taken the guesswork out of it, unveiling the BMW Vision M NEXT.  Innovative technologies are at the heart of the prototype.

“The BMW Vision M NEXT demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can make the experience of driving purer and more emotionally engaging,” says van Hooydonk. The Vision M NEXT also brings to life two future concepts – ‘EASE’ and ‘BOOST’ – that could change driving as we know it.

EASE allows the driver and the occupants of the vehicle to enjoy all the experiences of a journey while handing the wheel over to the vehicle. The vehicle is transformed into a secure living space in which passengers can interact and enjoy in-car entertainment.

The prototype Vision M NEXT.

The BOOST Pod concept puts the power in the driver’s hands for the ultimate driving experience. “The entire interior is focused on the BOOST Pod. The geometry has a deliberately low-key feel so that the driver can concentrate fully on the driving experience,” says Domagoj Dukec, BMW’s Head of Design.

The unique interface between the driver and vehicle brings together the vehicle’s control options and information, in distinct visual tiers, in the driver’s field of view. The BMW Vision M NEXT pays homage to its roots with design features reminiscent of the iconic M models that have come before. 

Inside the BMW Vision M NEXT.

• To discover the BMW and MINI ranges, visit bmw.co.nz and mini.co.nz


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