by Bennett Oghifo
The first-ever all-electric BMW i4 can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in around 4 seconds, with a power output of up to 390kW/530HP.
This information popped up as the BMW i4 was revealed at the BMW Group Annual Conference, recently, according to a statement by the automaker.
The BMW i4 model line will be available in different versions covering ranges of up to 590km (WLTP) and up to 300 miles* (EPA), the statement said. “With its sporty looks, best in class driving dynamics and zero local emissions, the BMW i4 is a true BMW. It makes the heart of the BMW brand now beat fully electric,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales.
The BMW i4 is a fully electric 4 door Gran Coupé and will enter the market during the course of 2021, including a BMW M Performance model. Its refined balance of BMW typical sportiness, comfort and sustainable performance are unique in its segment.
Meanwhile, the automaker has introduced the all-new BMW iDrive. “What began 20 years ago with the introduction of a rotary dial and a digital display is now an all-encompassing, intelligent, multi-sensory experience tailored to the user at hand. “That is what the new BMW iDrive represents. It brings about another paradigm shift – this time to a natural dialogue between the user and their vehicle: more intuitive, personal and inspiring, but also engaging on an emotional level.”
The new generation of BMW iDrive takes the interaction between driver and vehicle into a digital future where many areas of life are getting increasingly smart. The new interpretation of BMW’s operating system equips the vehicle to actively engage in its relationship with those on board and, in so doing, serves as a digital, intelligent and proactive partner in any situation. A natural dialogue is created with the aim of precisely tailoring all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive to the driver’s needs and preferences as the situation demands.
Underpinning the unique user experience are the new BMW Operating System 8, a new generation of displays, controls and software, and extremely powerful connectivity and data processing. The new iDrive will be rolled out gradually across all vehicle classes, making its debut later this year in the BMW iX before also featuring in the BMW i4.
The ability of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to adjust to the driver’s individual needs and routines, as well as the situation at hand, makes it – more than ever – a central operating channel of human-machine interaction.
The operating system is designed with a clear focus on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and touch operation via the BMW Curved Display. And then there is “Great Entrance Moments”, which brings emotionality to the relationship between driver and vehicle even before the driver climbs on board. This new customer experience welcomes the driver and invites them into the vehicle with a thoroughly choreographed routine. During the journey, the new My Modes use an all-encompassing interplay of various functions to conjure special moments from a combination of vehicle characteristics and the interior ambience adapted to the situation at hand.
The new BMW iDrive constantly processes a large quantity of self-generated data, information available online and data imported from the BMW Group vehicle fleet to implement the driver’s wishes in a context-related way. Paving the way for even greater personalisation is the BMW ID. This system recognises repetitive situations, learns from them and provides suggestions on how functions can be activated accordingly. Remote Software Upgrade allows the new BMW iDrive to benefit from regular over-the-air improvements, integrate additional functions and stay up to date at all times.
Design approach and operating concept.
The BMW iX all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle was developed from the inside out. It’s the same story with the user experience for the new BMW iDrive. The wishes of those travelling in the iX underpin how the user experience is designed – in all its facets and for all the senses.
Advances made in the field of digital design are likewise reflected in the design of a user interface which not only fulfils its functional role but is also extremely clear, aesthetically pleasing and rich in detail. This artistic approach creates surprising moments, with graphic presentation on the displays precisely designed, down to the last pixel. The interaction between driver and vehicle becomes a unique experience in which the boundaries between the digital and analogue worlds melt away. The digital design’s use of form fits in neatly with the geometric structures of the analogue elements in the new BMW design language. A prime example is the use of clear, minimalist design in both the exterior and interior of the car, which is reprised by the pure, reduced design of the digital elements of BMW iDrive.
The most distinctive new addition to the physical components on board is the BMW Curved Display, which groups together the information display and control display. This curving screen offers a futuristic interpretation of the traditional driver orientation in the cockpit design of BMW models. The BMW Curved Display is angled clearly towards the driver to good ergonomic effect, making the intuitive touch control even more straightforward. In this new BMW Curved Display, the screen areas of the 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display merge together into a single unit.
The “Act, Locate and Inform” principle, which ensures information is distributed clearly and screen redundancy is avoided, takes the signature BMW driver orientation of the cockpit design to a new level. Pre-filtering ensures that only information relevant to the driving situation is presented to the driver – and always shown where they can absorb it as quickly and easily as possible.
Voice control and the touch function of the BMW Curved Display were prioritised as usage options in the development of the new BMW iDrive. The number of buttons and switches has been reduced by almost half. At the same time, control clusters for relevant and frequently used basic functions are retained where customers expect to find them. The control panels on the centre console and instrument panel have an all-new, strikingly clear and minimalist design. The familiar iDrive Controller is the central control element on the centre console. The Touch Controller, designed in an extremely smart glass-effect finish for the BMW iX, is encircled by a bezel painted in Gold Bronze.
The upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant performs the role of a digital character which can engage in natural dialogue with the driver and front passenger – similarly to a relationship between humans.
Graphical user interface.
The new generation of BMW iDrive brings a new design language for the newly developed BMW Operating System 8. Strong and eye-catching graphics, modern colours, futuristic textures and forms, bright light and the interplay of reflections create an impressive and immersive visual appearance. At the same time, the user interface has been optimised to present the right amount of information at all times in a simple and easy-to-understand way.
The information display in the driver’s central visual axis impresses both with its generously sized screen surface and its striking forms, dynamic light effects, strong depth of colour and modern colour worlds. All of the displays have an extremely high graphic resolution of 200 ppi.
The extensive individualisation options available for the screens in the display area behind the steering wheel can be selected extremely quickly and easily via the function keys on the steering wheel. The two-axis operating system enables user-friendly vertical list navigation with the rotating key, as well as toggling between menus by tilting horizontally. The driver can switch between three layout types and various different widgets according to personal preference or the driving situation at hand – by thumb control and in just a few operating steps. In the Drive layout, drivers can use a dynamically changing area in the centre of the information display to show individually selectable information. The Focus layout, meanwhile, has been designed for extremely dynamic driving situations. By contrast, the Gallery layout largely minimises the driving information view to clear as much space as possible for widget content. For example, information on the media source currently being accessed, the map display or the interventions and action prompts of the driver assistance systems are presented in even greater detail. Colour-coordinated, three-dimensional animations – imbued with extra dynamism by the use of light reflections – give each of the three layouts a distinctive character.
The clear structure and new arrangement logic employed for the widgets, which provide a flawless overview of the relevant information at all times, are an immediately eye-catching feature of the large, horizontally stretched control display. The widgets line up in an unbroken ribbon on the home screen. The content of the widgets is pared back to essential information and presented as a live image. Frequently used functions are shown in the widgets and can therefore be activated directly by touch. The driver is free to choose the widgets shown on the home screen and configure their order. At the same time, widgets can change depending on the context using seamless and fluid animations to show more or less information, as the situation demands.
The newly designed media player represents a particular aesthetic highlight. Taking the “reduced to the essentials” approach a step further still and adopting a simple arrangement, the clarity of its design has a magnetic appeal. An algorithm selects the cover colour scheme of the music track currently playing and reproduces it dynamically across the display area of the media player.