The BMW i Vision Circular is a study that looks ahead to a compact vehicle for the year 2040 that is focused squarely on sustainability and luxury.
It embodies the BMW Group’s ambitious plan to become the world’s most sustainable manufacturer in the individual premium mobility space. It has been designed according to circular economy principles.
Indeed, circularity has been factored into the design, development and manufacturing process from the outset. This design vision looks ahead to a compact vehicle for the year 2040 that is focused squarely on sustainability and luxury.
DESIGNED WITH CIRCULARITY IN MIND
The four-seater is fully electrically powered and offers a generous amount of interior space within its around four-metre-long footprint. The overriding aim in the design of the BMW i Vision Circular was to create a visionary vehicle that is optimized for closed materials cycles and has the goal of achieving 100% use of recycled materials / 100% recyclability.
In the future, materials from a previous product life cycle should be used alongside bio-based, certified raw materials. At the same time, this focus on the use of secondary materials signifies a new approach to modern design; after all, sustainability and high-quality aesthetics are not mutually exclusive. The focus on reduction and the integration of multiple functions within a single component are also creating new pathways in design.
Circularity begins by thinking about things differently. For the BMW i Vision Circular this meant scrutinising processes and manufacturing technologies and rethinking them with a view to achieving closed materials cycles. At the same time, we gave the materials used a distinctive, aesthetically pleasing appearance.
We have rigorously reduced the number of component parts, material groups and surface finishes in the BMW i Vision Circular. Smart digital control panels reduce both complexity and the use of material, while digital surface treatments enable a reduction in the number of hardware variants in the design. In specific terms, this can be seen in the omission of materials such as leather and chrome and the absence of an exterior paint finish.
One way of extending a product’s useful life is to use digitality to create new experiences. The display options via digital display surfaces in the exterior and interior of a car allow users to constantly bring something new to the vehi-cle’s appearance. The use of detachable connections makes it far simpler for users to replace individual materials and component parts, allowing them to keep updating the vehicle.
When it comes to the materials used, the focus with the BMW i Vision Circular is on recycled materials (“secondary first” principle) which can be disassembled quickly and easily at the end of the product life cycle. Avoiding bonded connections or composite materials significantly increases the chances of the materials at hand being reused and ideally finding their way back into our own product cycle.
The exterior design of the BMW i Vision Circular embodies an engaging, sustainability-focused aesthetic. Its clear mono-volume design is made up of just a small number of parts, with the array of different materials used reduced to a minimum. For example, the brand logo on the front end is engraved and the vehicle badge is laser-etched to avoid using extra add-on parts.
Inside, the BMW i Vision Circular seeks to create a luxurious ambience, employing materials and production processes that are indicative of a responsible approach to the environment and its resources. These materials are then connected together using smart new joining techniques (‘joyful fusion’) to ensure optimum suitability for dismantling at a later stage.
Reducing the number of components while also grouping functions together creates a kind of ‘phygital experience’. This newly coined term refers to turning digitality into a haptic experience. The interior’s classical instrument panel now makes way for a standout element, both visually and geometrically speaking: the sculptural instrument panel is turned into a next-generation phygital user interface.