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BMW reveals Vision iNext autonomous electric crossover

by Justin King

A production version of the futuristic concept will make its way to showrooms by 2021.

BMW has revealed the Vision iNext, a concept flagship crossover that features an electric drivetrain and full autonomous capabilities.

The iNext matches the size and proportions of BMW's current crossovers. Styling has been extensively reworked based on the i Vision Dynamics concept, however, with an upright double-kidney faux grille and blue accents.

The spacious interior is accessed via two opposing doors on each side, with no B-pillar obstructing the view. Only a few lines help define the space, which boasts a mix of cloth and wood textures.

The Vision iNext has two simplified operation modes: 'Boost' for human-piloted driving, and 'Ease' for autonomous operation. Engaging the latter causes the steering wheel to retract slightly and the cockpit displays to switch from driving-related content to an 'Exploration Mode' that allows occupants to check out suggested places and events in the surrounding area.

BMW has showcased several features known as Shy Tech -- "integrated out of sight yet always available." An intelligent personal assistant serves as an interface to BMW Connected services. Intelligent Materials turns cloth and wood panels into virtual control surfaces, while Intelligent Beam projects visuals rather than relying solely on traditional displays.

The Vision iNext will be toned down for production by 2021.