BMW DEBUTS THE FIRST-EVER ELECTRIC VEHICLE DESIGNED, DEVELOPED AND MANUFACTURED ON THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY AT IAA 2021
‘The car will always have a future as it embodies individual mobility, but we all know it needs to become completely sustainability,’ states domagoj dukec, head of BMW design, exclusively to designboom ahead of the world premier of the BMW i vision circular at IAA 2021. ‘our focus on sustainability shows the topic is vital to our industry; sustainability is not an option. the vision car creates a highly emotional, aesthetic concept of how a luxury product can credibly be 100% sustainable.’
Imagined for the year 2040, the BMW i vision circular is a compact, all-electric vehicle that fuses sustainability and luxury. the principles of circular economy guides the design, made using 100% recycled materials and being powered by an equally as recyclable electric battery. this circularity even extends from the design of the 4 meter-long, four seater car to its development and manufacturing process.
DOMAGOJ DUKEC, HEAD OF BMW DESIGN, EXCLUSIVELY SPEAKS WITH DESIGNBOOM
‘The three principles of the circular economy – RE:DUCE, RE:USE and RE:CYCLE – have made everyone at BMW RE:THINK. this is because a sustainable car cannot just be to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. it also needs to rethink construction, manufacturing processes and look at our suppliers as well as customers’ desires,’ clarifies domagoj dukec, head of BMW design, to designboom.
These pillars of a sustainable philosophy – RE:DUCE, RE:USE, RE:CYCLE and RE:THINK – introduces a totally new, engaging aesthetic for the BMW i vision circular. RE:DUCE does more with less, RE:USE extends longevity, RE:CYCLE aids disassembly of materials, and RE:THINK provokes provokes alternatives, scrutinizing processes and manufacturing technologies. the car shows how high levels of sustainability pushes luxury to new levels.
Introducing new proportions for the automotive brand, the vision car defines a clean mono-volume that is unbroken from front to rear. its rising roofline and forward-inclined cowel panel adds dynamism to the silhouette. below the tailgate at the rear, a sculpted surface furthers this impressions with a striking horizontal movement. the body is left without a paint finish, made from light-gold anodized secondary aluminum instead. this calmer appearance interplays with the more animated, rich bluish purple color at the rear, realized from heat-treated steel.
‘BMW must be iconic, cool and alive. this is the way to extend a car’s life cycle. the exterior aims to be timeless so that it can be considered fresh for over a decade. to do this, we needed to balance minimalism with expressiveness. this is all about organic, round proportions without styling lines that can go out of fashion relatively quickly,’ adds the designer.
‘To start, the front reimagines a timeless feature of BMW – the kidney grille. it does more with less. LED technology enables the headlamps to be integrated into the digitalized grille. this reduces materials whilst increasing functionality as its digital animation can create nice welcome scenarios for users too. the chrome frame, physical bars and any other bling has been removed, saving material and manufacturing. the same philosophy is apparent all around the design of the car,’ continues domagoj.
Extending across the entire width of the car, the digital design of the reinterpreted ‘double icon’ kidney grille and headlights offers geometric variation. this new, artistic twist of graphics recurs with the hofmeister kink around the rear windows that are framed by a slim digital display/control surface, and both display surfaces and light functions are invisibly integrated into the dark glass tailgate. RE:DUCE, RE:USE and RE:CYCLE are further apparent across the exterior: the aerodynamically optimized black bumper is manufactured from recycled plastic with a sophisticated marble appearance; and the slightly transparent tires are made from certified, sustainably cultivated natural rubber. colored recycled rubber particles are added to the tyre compound for strengthening, but also create a pleasing terrazzo effect.