This year’s been somewhat slow for BMW, in terms of big debuts. The 2015 New York Auto Show was a bit uneventful for the Bavarian brand, and there wasn’t anything new, aside from the ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe. Fortunately for us BMW faithful, next year will be an exciting one, indeed.
According to Ian Robertson, Head of BMW’s Sales and Marketing, next year will be an important one for the future of the brand. Multiple concept vehicles will be shown throughout the course of 2016 which will shine a light on what the future of BMW will hold and could potentially set the stage for the next century of BMW automobiles. That may sound drastic and maybe even a bit farfetched, but with coming technologies still in development and shared platforms (such as the CLAR), the cars being developed as we speak will lead the charge into the future.
New BMW 7 Series
Next year will highlight numerous products that will look forward for BMW. The new G11/12 7 Series is a big one, as its ultra-lightweight CLAR platform is very expandable and car underpin high-performance and luxury cars for a long time. It’s one built with extensive uses of aluminum, high-tensile steel and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP). This will create an incredibly light and rigid platform in which to build upon. Being that the current 7 Series platform underpins the current F10 5 Series and Rolls Royce Ghost, while being a relatively old platform, the new G11/12 CLAR platform should be able to be used in many more applications moving forward.
Next Gen 5 Series
The current F10 5 Series is getting a bit long in the tooth and starting to look dull in comparison to the newer entries in the segment. However, the next-gen G30 5 Series will be a massive leap forward. The G30 will sit upon the CLAR platform, which is the beginning of the future platform sharing, and will be able to share different front axles with different cars, depending on engines. For example, while using four-cylinder engines, the G30 5er will use the front axle from the next-gen 3 Series, which will give it a sportier, more nimble front-end. If it’s equipped with a six or eight-cylinder engine, the 5 Series will use the 7 Series’ front axle, give it a more luxurious feel. Combine all of that innovation with the fact that the G30 will feature BMW’s next-gen eDrive system, the possibility of inductive charging, autonomous driving tech and gesture-based iDrive functions, and the G30 5 Series will be the forefront of technology in the segment.
The new “baby-M”
Another biggie for the Bavarians is going to be the upcoming BMW M2. BMW is constantly making trying to link the 2 Series to the original 2002 of the ‘60s. While the 2 Series will never be as light or as pure, it doesn’t have to because the spirit is there. The 2 Series is to today’s sports cars as the 2002 was to the sports cars of its time, a light, rear-drive sports car for people who value driving above most other things. The 2002 also shocked the world and changed the way we saw the sport sedan. If BMW is right, the upcoming M2 could very well do the same. With its turbocharged I6 engine, lightweight chassis, rear-wheel drive and 7-Speed DCT, the M2 might change the game forever, in its segment.
We expect to see at least 2-3 concepts in 2016 from BMW and others from MINI and Rolls Royce. BMW M has already announced a special car to feature the OLED technology; the i sub-division is likely to have a concept car unveiled as well, potentially a high-end i8S; MINI will also show their vision for the future, while Rolls Royce will most likely unveil their first SUV. The expectations are that BMW will also show a new supercar that will not only revive the sporty image of the brand, but it will also set the stage for the future.
So while 2015 may have been a slow year for BMW, 2016 is shaping up to be one of promise and foreshadowing. 2016 may very well look to the bright future of BMW and in turn the auto industry as a whole. If that’s the case, years from now we won’t look at 2015 as a dull year, but rather a calm before the ever so pleasant storm.
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