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Van Hooydonk says that “[designers’] job as I see it is to have more ideas than the company can build,” a comment that could apply equally to specific details as well as the car as a whole.

Just Enough Heritage

The Vision M Next nods to BMW’s supercar past with the three-piece glass louvres. I found the lower rear diffusers to be far too blocky and aggressive, but then again this is a concept car, and the rest of the rear design makes up for it.

Also, take another look at our gallery of BMW photos to see the other detail fans may appreciate: the 3D-effect taillights that feature BMW roundels from the M1 and Turbo.

Good Point, Adrian

Whether the Vision M Next previews an i8-successor that’s already in the works or is simply meant to attract future-looking enthusiasts to the brand, van Hooydonk suggests the concept may have already done its job.

“Here, our job was to make people dream,” he says about the concept. Oh, one of his favorite angles of the car? It’s the rear three-quarter view. From that angle, you can see the M1-inspired rear, plus the reinvented Hofmeister kink incorporated into the sculpted side panels.

So, What About Tesla?

Van Hooydonk didn’t explicitly reference the industry-shifting electric-car brand, but he did defend the Vision M Next’s plug-in powertrain as one logical path to the future of the sports car. One leading idea at the #NEXTGen event was the way autonomous and sports-car driving can live in the same electrified world. As the automotive industry figures out which powertrain technologies will emerge on top in the face of tightening regulations, BMW arguably has more flexibility than Tesla, which makes the best-selling luxury car in the U.S. (the Model 3). BMW can produce a one-off 5-Series-based EV with acceleration in the same league as the Tesla Model S P100D while also preparing a successor to its plug-in hybrid sports car. Even though most automakers remain years behind Tesla in popularizing electrification, this powertrain flexibility could be an advantage in the short term, before EVs continue to add range like the Model S just did.

As for the Vision M Next, it’s easy to appreciate its design in person. Although there are a couple things this humble author and not-designer might change, the design represents BMW’s desire to make an electrified vehicle seem sexy, a goal I can definitely stand behind.

Photo Gallery

27 Photos in this Gallery

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