The creative vision behind the BMW Concept i4

first_imgTrending in Canada The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever RELATED TAGSBMWSedanElectric CarsElectric VehiclesNew VehiclesInstagram advertisement See More Videos BMW Concept i4 hints at next year’s production sedan Postmedia Driving received a sneak peek of the Concept i4 earlier this year at BMW Designworks studio in Southern California, with none other than the head of i brand design Kai Langer on hand to explain the design philosophy behind the vehicle. He began by acknowledging the challenge of satisfying those aforementioned traditionalists’ tastes while forging ahead into zero-emission territory.“We have a huge amount of customers and fans, and they are hard, they watch closely to what we are doing,” Langer said. “So with i brand we have the possibility to be what I call ‘brave progressive.’”That concept seems to jibe with both the i3 and i8 designs, but how does it translate to the Concept i4?“This is our idea of how we bring in our core customers to the progressive, new mobility world of our vision of a grand coupe,” explained Langer. “The grand coupe is really the core heritage of what BMW is, but we see the need for the future that we have to provide sustainable mobility.“That is the reason for this car; why we did it.”In other words, this is the i brand interpretation of a classic, “old-world’ proportion BMW sport sedan, and one that when turned into a production car — slated for the next year or so — will be a volume proposition, unlike the first two models for the young sub-brand. To that end, the Concept i4 is built on BMW’s existing Flex platform, which is used on a number of current gas-powered models. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The BMW i Vision Dynamics, pictured here at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, served as a design influence for the Concept i4.Getty Images Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Andrew McCredie PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” So what exactly was the direction of i brand, given that these two models were at either end of the design spectrum?That vision became a little more in focus with the recent unveiling of the Concept i4, a four-door GT that those aforementioned traditionalists can get behind (though with quibbles with the kidney grille and logo treatment, but we’ll get to that in a moment). Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Langer and his design team’s interpretation of an all-electric performance sports sedan’s rear end includes elements that mimic exhaust ports.BMW Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The cockpit of the Concept i4 includes a large curved display screen.BMW Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Progressive BMW i brand takes on BMW heritage icons include the new designs of the logo and the kidney grille.BMW Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The Concept i4’s interior mimics its exterior, according to Langer, in that it is a study in “efficiency, cleanness and boldness.”BMW Trending Videos We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. “We have very cleverly integrated the electric drivetrain into a car that can also use a combustion engine,” Langer noted, adding, “We’ve treated this car, from a design perspective, the typical i way. So, it is not over-complex. It is clean, it is bold, it is focused but it is not brutal.”Langer said he and his team knew there would be critics of the Concept i4’s design, and all but admitted the new interpretation of the BMW logo and the iconic kidney grille would raise hackles. And they have, as a quick peruse of a BMW forum or gearhead website reveals.We have to risk things. Without questioning things we won’t be progressive.BMW i brand design head Kai LangerHowever, the head of design comes well armed in his team’s defense.“Back in the day the kidney grille was a functional part to get air into the engine,” he said. “(On the Concept i4) it is a functional part for all the high-tech sensors to be stored, so again, we are drawing on the heritage of the kidney grille with a new i brand interpretation.“It’s hard to be compared to designs that are so established for ages, but we believe we can while still stay close to the heritage.”As to the new logo—which lies flat on the surface and has a transparent outer ring— Langer reverts back to the sub-brand’s “brave progressive” philosophy.“It is a reduced logo to the minimum with see-through rings that generates a more visual integration into the product,” he said. “We have to risk things. Without questioning things we won’t be progressive, and the new logo compliments the idea of the car itself.” An idea is based on a very simple concept: a design for the future with a nod to the past. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Head of BMW i design Kai Langer with the Concept i4, the latest all-electric vision from the automaker that will provide the template for a production vehicle soon.  BMW Think of it as Rolex making a digital watch. That’s one way to look at BMW’s i brand, a think-outside-the-box offshoot focused on imagining the storied automaker’s new journey along the electric and autonomous highways. For Bavarian Motor Works traditionalists, the very idea of tinkering with its century old heritage is indeed akin to the storied Swiss watchmaker producing a Submariner with no hands, dial or bezel. Simply put: heresy.Those Bimmer-philes’ greatest fears seemed to manifest themselves with the release of the i brand’s first model in 2013, the odd-looking-by-any-measure i3. This five-door “abomination” was from the same design minds that gave us the sublime Z8 and the magnificent M5?RELATED COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Here’s what’s in store for BMW’s electrified futureThat confusion was only compounded the following year with the release of the i8, a design that screamed supercar, from its scissor doors to its low-slung stance, and one that could have easily worn a traditional BMW badge if not for it’s battery-aided drivetrain. ‹ Previous Next ›last_img

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