Early manifestations of many ideas in the Vision Next 100 are already on the road in the BMW i3. Its electric drive gives acceptably lively performance for urban or motorway driving, and a range of about 100 miles (for the basic, pure-EV version rather than the version with a range-extender combustion engine, which is able to travel further before needing recharging or refuelling).
The i3’s passenger cell and external body panels are mostly carbon fibre, made using lower-cost methods developed by BMW itself. The body offers saloon-car interior space in compact overall dimensions, and it’s shaped for extremely low aerodynamic drag.
The lounge-like interior abandons BMW’s familiar driver-focus, for a more sociable, relaxed feel. Critical to the i3’s usability are its online functions.
The navigation system will seek out recharging points when the battery runs low – and check online to ensure they’re unoccupied. Alternatively, if your destination lies beyond your range, it’ll direct you to a car park near a station or bus stop, and look up timetables to finish your journey. It transfers those instructions to your phone, so you can move seamlessly onward.