BMW’s next-generation EVs will get a windshield-spanning head-up display.
Called BMW Panoramic Vision, the elaborate display was unveiled Wednesday during the automaker’s annual business conference. It’s scheduled to go into production with the Neue Klasse (German for “new class”) family of EVs launching in 2025.
In what BMW claims is an industry first, the Panoramic Vision display will allow both the driver and passenger to see information, unlike current head-up displays that only show information in the driver’s field of view. In a press release, the automaker pitched this as part of a “driver-centric” approach because it allows information not relevant to the driver to be shown to the front-seat passenger instead, while allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
Photos show speed and gear information ahead of the driver, with entertainment information in the middle of the windshield and time on the passenger side. More information will almost certainly be available in the system.
“We are taking our proven ‘eyes on the road, hands on the wheel’ slogan to a new level,” BMW development boss Frank Weber said in a statement.
The Panoramic Vision display also features a dark-coated area at the lower edge of the windshield for higher contrast, creating sharper images that will remain visible in different lighting conditions, according to BMW.
The Neue Klasse EVs are named after a family of models from the 1960s that effectively saved BMW and set the template for the next few decades of the automaker’s development. Where the original Neue Klasse models are remembered for simple design and excellent handling, BMW has indicated that this generation will also focus on digital tech, as shown in the i Vision Dee concept unveiled at the 2023 CES in Las Vegas.
Unlike current BMW EVs, which are mostly based on architectures shared with internal-combustion models, the Neue Klasse EVs will be based on a new platform designed from the outset for electric powertrains. They will also debut BMW’s sixth-generation motor and battery technology, including new cylindrical battery cells (as opposed to the current prismatic cells), which along with other improvements are expected to result in a 30% range improvement over BMW’s current tech.
The first Neue Klasse model will be a sedan in the 3-Series segment, to be followed by an SUV. That first model will be built at a plant under construction in Debrecen, Hungary, starting in 2025. Neue Klasse EVs will also be built at an existing plant in Munich, Germany, starting in 2026, and in North America in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in 2027. The latter move is likely aimed at getting EVs to qualify for new U.S. federal tax-credit rules.
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