Likely to be called the BMW i5 in production form, the iNext is shaping up to be a technological tour de force for the Bavarian marque. Even though it won’t be out until 2021, the Germans have already kicked off the teaser campaign by providing us with a first look inside the cabin where a giant display will dominate the dashboard.
Not just any display, but a curved one that will integrate both the instrument cluster and the infotainment system rather than having two separate units like in today’s premium cars. Fully digital, of course, the huge screen will be oriented towards the driver and made from high-quality materials according to Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. In the press release attached below, he goes on to mention the single-section curved display is “virtually freely suspended on the instrument panel,” so it will give the illusion that it’s floating on the dashboard.
Interestingly, BMW mentions that from the passenger’s angle of view, the display won’t show even the slightest connection to the instrument panel. Taking inspiration from the latest consumer tech available, the generous screen will rely on thin magnesium brackets to hold it in place and will boast non-reflecting glass. To enable a sleek look from all angles, the screen won’t have a bulky hood for shading purposes.
BMW is not the first automaker to implement an extra-wide display as the upcoming Honda E electric city car will also have a giant screen almost as wide as the dashboard. However, the cutesy EV from Japan (pictured above) is going to boast several individual screens rather than the cohesive one-piece setup of the iNext / i5.
Set to be manufactured in Germany at BMW’s Dingolfing factory, the electric SUV will take advantage of the company’s fifth-generation electric drive system for long-range EVs. In the case of the iNext, range will exceed 373 miles based on the WLTP cycle. To live up to its “technology flagship” status, the zero-emissions SUV will support level 3 autonomous driving.
The iNext in the news:
Gallery: BMW i5 iNEXT spy photos
Distinctive, high-quality and homogeneous: the Curved Display in the BMW iNEXT.
Single-piece display unit for presentation of information geared perfectly towards the driver offering ergonomically optimised, intuitive control.
Munich. The driver-oriented arrangement of display and control elements has been one of the hallmark features of BMW model interiors for decades. The next generation of fully digital display will be seen in the BMW iNEXT, which is due to be produced as the premium automobile manufacturer’s technology flagship from 2021 onwards. In the new Curved Display featured in the BMW iNEXT, information and control display areas are merged to create a single unit that is curved towards the driver. This integrated unit geared towards the driver optimises the visualisation of information and facilitates intuitive touch control.
The traditional driver orientation of cockpit design was recently optimised further with the current BMW Live Cockpit Professional. Here, the clear structure and uniform presentation of extensively customisable content on the fully digital instrument panel and Control Display ensure the driver always has the right information at the right time. The next step on from this now follows with the Curved Display in the BMW iNEXT. It features a curvature that is geared towards the driver. The single-section display surface creates a particularly harmonious effect, lending additional visual emphasis to the ergonomically optimised controls.
“The curved, single-section display is the central control element and represents the modern interpretation of driver orientation. It occupies a dominant central position in a highly iconic display structure that provides a highly distinctive display experience,” explains Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. “The Curved Display is set in high-quality materials and is virtually freely suspended on the instrument panel. This makes it a key element in terms of the modern, luxurious and generous sense of space in the BMW iNEXT.”
The Curved Display is positioned in such a way that vehicle occupants cannot see its connection to the instrument panel. This means it conveys a particularly striking sense of lightness. The distinctive, high-quality design of the Curved Display draws its inspiration from modern consumer electronics technology, with the curved display element itself being held in place by an extremely slim magnesium bracket. The sophisticated display technology with non-reflecting glass also does without a hood for shading purposes, thereby giving the cockpit area a particularly tidy and uncongested look.
“The Curved Display in the BMW iNEXT takes us to the next level of driver-oriented controls,” says Robert Irlinger, Head of BMW i. “The new display unit enables intuitive, natural and ergonomically perfect use of the touch function.”
As such, the shape and arrangement of the Curved Display represents a ground-breaking interpretation of the driver orientation that is characteristic of BMW. At the same time, the Control Display area remains clearly visible and accessible to the front passenger, too. Depending on the situation and individual preferences, individual display content items can be shifted back and forth between the Control Display area in the driver’s direct field of vision and the area that can be used by the front passenger.