The fact that the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept headed to Beijing this Spring instead of to the concurrent New York show says quite a bit about its market-makers.
This machine needs to be successful in China. Period.
As the biggest growth opportunity, China represents perhaps the only non-American and non-German (domestic) volume market for ultra-luxury sedans in the coming decade.
But while the Chinese limo shopper has whole-heartedly adopted the Audi brand, BMW and Mercedes-Benz find themselves playing second fiddle.
At the same time, the VFL concept needs to revive the unpopular current 7 series in the US market. This 7 series has been a consummate flop — and is perhaps BMW’s biggest single mis-fire in the last few years when redesigning a core nameplate.
So, is it successful in these missions, while also forging new market room above the current 760Li? Will this design be a hit with those who have yawned at the current 750?
Karim Habib, Head of BMW Automobile Design for the BMW Group, presented the VFL to a private group in his own words, illuminating the design objectives and the unique design solutions this concept embodies. Overall, Habib will lure you into the design from functional, emotional and consumer perspectives. A real charmer, his design vision and talent is clearly a huge asset to the BMW Group.
But stepping back from the official presentations, would this VFL deliver the goods on its own? In isolation and on crowded highways of the globe?
Yes and no.