What will cars be like in the far future? It’s a question BMW has tried to answer this weekend with the announcement of their strictly one-off M4 design study, the company’s vision of a performance coupe for an age enigmatically described as ‘early 2014’.
‘It may be hard for people to think that far ahead,’ admits BMW’s boss of concept cars, Bosov Connseptcarz. ‘I mean, we’re talking about an era at least four, maybe even five months away. But what we have tried to do with the M4 design study is think that far ahead and, crazy though it sounds, try to imagine what a car would look like if it was launched in the hypothetical future of January next year.’
The M4 design study is fitted with many features that BMW’s crystal ball gazers believe will be relevant in a period they sometimes refer to as ‘about 20 weeks away’. These include a ventilation system that can blow highly chilled air into the cabin, a radio that can also connect to a personal wireless telephone and an advanced driver display system which boasts two circular readouts which BMW refers to as the ‘tach-o-meter’ and the ‘speed-o-meter’.
The M4 design study also boasts a high tech approach to rearward vision, in this case bravely dispensing with the typical concept car rear view cameras and replacing them with a pair of small, carefully shaped mirrors which are mounted in special housings situated on the outside of the car.
Finally, a highly futuristic concept wouldn’t be complete without a novel way of getting inside and the M4 is no exception, boasting a clever hinging system at the leading edge of both front doors which allows them to swing outwards in an arc, thereby permitting access to the interior.
Will any of these features one day make it on to cars we can buy? BMW’s Bosov Connseptcarz refuses to be drawn on the matter; ‘Who knows? Will there even be cars in that time period?’ he says enigmatically. ‘Well, we sincerely hope so, especially since it’s only about 120 days away.’