BMW Vision iNext To Be Shown Off Inside A Boeing Airplane


Will present in four cities during ’round-the-world flight

The BMW Vision iNext isn’t set to darken the doorways of garages until sometime in 2021. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s too soon to spare no expense and start the hype machine on what is expected to be an all-electric technology showcase for the German automaker. Starting September 9, it plans on sending its latest concept on a 5-day trip around the world in a specially prepared Boeing 777F cargo aircraft, stopping in four cities on three different continents.

At the stops, it will invite hordes of media types on board and treat them to a presentation meant to dazzle their guests and introduce them to what they are calling “BMW Group’s future.” Since they refer to it as an “exclusive closed room concept specially conceived and designed for the occasion,” we’re not sure how much will be shared immediately afterward with the general public.

Maybe we’re missing something, but it seems like a pretty extravagant way to get the media’s attention. It certainly does mark a change from the days when electric vehicle marketing was expected to be all about the environmental benefits of cleaner air and polar bears. Maybe that’s a good thing, but we’re still not convinced this is all just a bit over the top.

InsideEVs should be in attendance (but not drinking the Kool-aid, even if it comes in a fancy fluted glass with lots of bubbles), so perhaps we’ll have an account of the presentation first-hand if we’re not forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). A quick read through some of the details in the press release (below) tells us it’s going to be quite flashy will lots of trick lighting and an interesting video production. Our tastes tend to the more practical, however, so let’s just have a quick reminder of what we might expect from the actual road-going product.

As best we can tell, the iNext — if it continues to carry that moniker — will be crossover-shaped and boast a range of 435 miles. When the original iNext concept debuted in 2016, it was billed as autonomous. It will be interesting to see how close they get to that technological leap by 2021. There’s little doubt it will at least offer advanced semi-autonomous features, however. As for appearance, we only have this one teaser image so far, but we imagine there will be more soon.


Press release:

Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing – four destinations on three continents in five days: The BMW Group is teaming up with Lufthansa Cargo to present the BMW Vision iNEXT World Flight as part of an event unparalleled in its execution.

Munich. Frankfurt. Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing – four destinations on three continents in five days: The BMW Group is teaming up with Lufthansa Cargo to present the BMW Vision iNEXT World Flight as part of an event unparalleled in its execution.

More than 300 international media representatives will board on the most advanced and efficient cargo aircraft in its class – a Boeing 777F from the Lufthansa Cargo fleet – to experience for the first time the vision of future mobility embodied by the BMW Vision iNEXT, the latest Vision Vehicle from the BMW Group.

Lufthansa Cargo and the BMW Group team have worked together closely to turn this extraordinary vehicle and technology presentation from idea into reality. The assembled guests will be introduced to the pioneering vehicle and given a preview of the BMW Group’s future as part of an exclusive closed room concept specially conceived and designed for the occasion.

Preparations for the presentation event will involve laying more than 7.5 km of wiring, while 78,000 LEDs in 165 video LED modules and ten 13,000 ANSI lumen projectors will light up a show inside the Boeing aircraft that appeals to all the senses. More than 120 specialists in exhibition stand construction, as well as experts from Lufthansa Cargo and the BMW Group have played their part in making the project happen.

Around 30 tonnes of material will be used to construct a suitable platform on which to showcase the BMW Vision iNEXT. The challenge for the various engineers and specialists has involved not only staging a presentation the likes of which none of those present will have witnessed before, but also ensuring their creation would literally 
“take off”.

Timings will be tight, given the need to turn the entire set-up inside the 777F from presentation mode to flight mode and back quickly and securely.

The first guests are expected to arrive eight hours after the plane lands. And just four hours after the final presentation has been wrapped up at one venue, the Boeing will take off again for the next destination on its itinerary. This technical and logistical tour de force will underpin a vehicle and technology presentation that is genuinely unprecedented.

“Visionary products deserve visionary presentations. We are delighted to have made this extraordinary world premiere possible in cooperation with BMW,” said Peter Gerber, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG.

“iNEXT is our mobility proposition for the future, so it’s only logical that the BMW Vision iNEXT should be presented to a global audience in a fresh new style,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “The World Flight is a fitting way to get the ball rolling.”

The aircraft’s exterior makeover takes its cues from the interior design created for the vehicle presentation. And this will be the livery adorning Lufthansa Cargo’s Boeing 777F when it takes off from Munich Airport on 9 September on its round-the-world flight. After calling in at New York, San Francisco and Beijing, the aircraft is due to touch down again in its home base Frankfurt on 14 September.

Source: BMW

Categories: BMW, Videos


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57 Comments on "BMW Vision iNext To Be Shown Off Inside A Boeing Airplane"

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Hopefully, the iNext lives up to its hype. BMW is sparing no expense to present it.

Unfortunately, flying a prototype electric vehicle around the world in a fossil fuel aircraft might not go over well with some. I am curious to see what they are planning though. Great time to buy electric cars.

I suppose that’s the only way to get the car around the world quickly. There are no electric planes capable of doing this yet.

I mean, at this point, I’d settle for a video conference.
Instantly around the world, doing all the cities at once. No airplane needed. No 30 tons of gear to set up and knock down, etc.

Some people believe only in tangible reality, video conference will not do.

People like me only believe when the cars are in customer’s garages.

Ah yes, this is known as the “garage tangibility” in the automotive circles.

I don’t mind, but recall Toyota receiving similar flak with the Prius when they were flying some early cars to CA for celebrities 😉

Yeah, in the bigger picture, it’s not really a big deal. It’s just the optics.

Since the marketing isn’t all about the environment, and it’s BMW, I don’t think many will raise a fuss.

This is marginally better than Audi’s advertising where their offering $6000 of their Quattro vehicles “before the ice melts”.

Can’t be any worse than flying a G650ER to attend a video game event.

If it’s a real ‘i’ model, with a carbon fiber body, it would have a significant weight advantage to Tesla. And should be a very attractive car.
If so, the Market will be supply limited for all EV manufacturers: Tesla, Jag and BMW.

The BMW i8, not much in pictures is Amazing in person.
But, it needs a more rapid improvement in battery range.

Model 3 is better.

How so, have you seen specs and style of iNext?

He implies that it is a self-evident truth, Model 3 is better.

Right now….yes….obviously. When it will go on sale, it remains to be seen which is best.

wait 3 more years or drive very soon !!

What if I want a crossover? Then it’s probably not going to be better is it.

What will BMW do to present the actual iNext production car? Sail it around the world in a specially equipped cargo vessel?
They are setting pretty high standards for unveiling their new vehicles.

Actually producing it and selling it would be nice.

Producing and selling it might disappoint the people who saw the amazing reveal and developed too high expectations.

As many people waiting for the $35k model 3 have found.

This is awesome, go BMW…

I am very interested to see what this is. The iX3 and EQC seem too german styled for me (not enough design risk, too passé). I like the styling on the IPace a lot. Tesla I am a bit mixed, although I don’t mind it. It least feels a little refreshing to me with their boldness of eliminating the fake nose grill and going austere for the interior (when the trend from the other makes is generally the opposite). It is actually what I like so much about my i3, the interior is refreshing (other than that raw fiberplastic).

More choices is always better… Every person has different desires…. Needs, and Wants…

Domenick, you are on a roll today…

“A quick read through some of the details in the press release (below) tells us it’s going to be quite flashy will lots of trick lighting and an interesting video production. Our tastes tend to the more practical, however, so let’s just have a quick reminder of what we might expect from the actual road-going product.”

I do not remember you writing a line like this about a Tesla reveal, where men scream like teenage girls, lighting and sound system going crazy, special effects, etc… and always after sun down so you cannot really see the quality and details of the product in natural lighting Hmm… Yeah, practical….

“InsideEVs should be in attendance (but not drinking the Kool-aid…” I guess any Kool-aid that’s not Tesla flavored is undrinkable. I really enjoy the news on InsideEVs website, but they are VERY biased to Tesla.

We are very definitely not Tesla biased. We cover it more since there’s more news. But, we surely don’t cover only the positive and we regularly get called out by Tesla fans and the automaker when we cover the bad. We also cover the positives of many other companies. Read my I-Pace review.

None of us own Tesla stock, none of us own Tesla vehicles, and we definitely don’t put Tesla on a pedestal. This is not to say that we won’t publish the fact that it’s a leader in the space, the most covered in the news (good or bad), and often the most newsworthy. However, that’s not our fault. It’s just the truth of the matter.

Outside of arguably disproportionate coverage of Tesla stories and allowing EVANNEX to run articles here, I don’t think InsideEVs is all that biased. The comments and votes could be biased but that’s outside their control.

Thank you. We don’t attempt to have disproportionate coverage. It’s just reality. Our Tesla coverage is about 40 percent of the total site coverage simply by default, not by choice. To be honest, we actually have to work harder to keep it at or below 40 percent. If we just mirrored EV coverage overall, it would be 80-90 percent. That’s not who we are, so we strive to cover a wide variety of news and topics, unlike most of our rivals. We run an EVANNEX story a day (sometimes not) as a free story that is extra in addition to our normal coverage of some 16-30 stories. We have a large group of readers that follow those stories and they generate a significant amount of traffic, so it is what it is. We make sure that the author is obvious and that there is a disclaimer so that people don’t have to read them if they choose not to. We appreciate your support.

Thanks, David.

I’ve never covered a Tesla reveal. Here, I was trying to think of our readership at IEVs. They are a pretty down to earth bunch and care more about road-going product than a concept reveal in an airplane that only those invited can witness.

Tesla does throw big events, but they are broadcast to the wider world and are close to the finished product. If BMW did a similar thing, I like to think I could evaluate it objectively and hopefully the people in attendance would be as excited as those at Tesla events. I’m looking forward to seeing the production iX3 and hope I like it at least as much as the i3, which I like a lot.

Hope you get to go for a ride in the iNext concept.

I’m up for a ride in anything electric.

Be careful with generalizations, I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy a ride in an electric chair.

Yes, that’s very clear from the 2020 Roadster comments in the comment section here! :p

Would an employee of Tesla be welcome to attend and ask questions? The BMW Board of Directors must have fully blessed this expensive effort. Go BMW.

Seems Elon’s push for mobility has born fruit. 2018 seems to be the year the all the major European players are all-in on electric mobility.

A product reveal is always more show then go… but when test drives come, they should welcome Tesla owners and employees. Jaguar has been letting quite a few Tesla owners drive the I-Pace will pretty descent results.

Don’t know ’bout all in , probably more like dipping the toes and being dragged screaming & kicking.

Major advertisement for a product out in 2021?
I fully support as much EV competition as possible but building hype so hard on a product 4 years or so out seems transparent that the company is feeling measurable pressure with their customer base actively exploring other brands. Not only that but unveiling it in an fossil fuel burning airplane…I mean this not only makes BMW seem worried about customer migration in the mean time, but seems a bit out of touch with the real reasons people are even buying EV’s and risk the brand seeming fake and really only entering the market out of competition pressure instead of more utilitarian reasons.

When was the Model 3 hyped? 2 years out from mass production. 2021 isn’t as far off as you think (it is maybe 3 years).

This car will see low rate production in 2020, and mass production in early 2021, the factory is already being built

How many iNext miles/km’s would be needed to offset these flights??

4 Germans on the way to release best EVs of all time, they will soon play ping pong with Tesla

Best EVs of all time? You must have missed a comment by Döggy, Model 3 is better.

It’s going to be a looooong time before electric BMWs make up the carbon output of this stunt. Clearly they’re not trying to sell this car to anyone interested in the environment.

Relax, Lufthansa will cancel a few other flights and the balance of carbon output will stay the same.
This is only a 5-leg flight.

How do you think the show off Model 3 got to the UK, Australia and China?

Tesla transported it on a sailboat powered only by wind?

Submarine mode!

Maybe a BFR

What would the carbon footprint of shipping it by boat and truck all over the place be? The new 777F is pretty efficient as airliners go.

After being in early, but then totally dropping the ball a couple of years ago, BMW now seems to be feeling the heat from others that went ahead… Good!

I can’t figure this out: on one hand, BMW says they want to go with a half-arsed “shared” combustion/EV platform for everything; on the other hand, they keep hyping this mysterious thing, that seems to be some sort of unique design… So which will it be? Can’t they decide? Will it be both?

Its the design dilemma to go along with the dilemma that superior EVs are going to compete with their inferior LICE crap for the laggard, legacy LICE companies.

How environment friendly…

BMW seems to be more invested in EVs than its German rivals. I’m saving up I’ll probably get their i4 when it gets released. I hope their efficiency and range is out of this world, not forgetting super fast charging. Can’t wait for the unveiling of this concept.

My impression lately has been that they are actually the least invested at this point of the three German makers…