Amid a dozen i3 and i8 innovations BMW is showing at CES this week is this M4 – dubbed the ‘Iconic Lights Concept.’
We can’t help but add quotes to that concept name, as it does seem a bit …. presumptuous to call a brand-new concept iconic.
Even with that bit of skepticism, the new tech shown is pretty cool. For LED aficionados, the new design certainly vaults the current M4 styling into the future quite effectively. A new high-powered laser lighting system is employed up front, with deep crystal lenses forming a larger and more expressive DRL shape. The lit halo shape is now a double layer of white light, while the blue-hued internal optics give the lenses new depth and visual interest.
A slim strip of LED atop the main lamps forms the turn signal indicator, while the four low-beams shine from the top half of all four light sections. The bottom half, where the high-beams live in the new BMW dynamic LED headlights on the road today, is supplemented by the laser in the outer section. This ultra-bright beam’s light is shaped and directed to avoid blinding other drivers. At the same time, the laser high-beam can light up the road for nearly 4X the distance of conventional xenon or LED lamps on current cars.
In back, OLED lighting makes a new and strong statement with deep layers of lit wafers inside the lamp. These ultra-thin pieces all light up and form a deep and enchanting light signature under braking. From the side, the individual elements make a very cool style statement by showing their cool internal sliced wafers of OLEDs.
This design of taillamp was one of our favorite details on the BMW Vision Future Luxury in Pebble Beach.
BMW Vision Future Luxury
BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights
BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights – bright ideas for more driving pleasure. BMW laser lighting and BMW Organic Light with OLED technology.
headlights, for increased safety in the dark. The camera-based BMW Selective Beam system, which is controlled by dynamic actuators, prevents oncoming or preceding vehicles being dazzled and allows the laser high beam to be left on at all times.
Extensive integration of the innovative laser lighting with other vehicle systems allows a variety of intelligent lighting functions to be implemented. Integration with the navigation system, for example, allows the proactive Adaptive Headlight control system to illuminate corners even before the steering wheel is turned. Laser lighting also adds a new dimension to the Night Vision system’s Dynamic Light Spot function. In pitch-dark conditions, people and animals can be detected from a distance of up to 100 metres, by infrared camera, and “spotlighted” by the laser-based Dynamic Light Spot.
This is a longer range than that of any other system. Also, if the vehicle detects reduced clear road width ahead, the laser headlights can be used to provide “narrow clearance” lighting. A laser projection function indicates the exact width of the vehicle in relation to the road to allow safe passage through the narrow space. BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights also showcases a further “visionary” system: “High Power Laser” diodes. This system projects driver information directly onto the road in front of the vehicle, allowing drivers to concentrate optimally on the traffic even in pitch darkness.
OLED rear light cluster with three-dimensional effect. Organic light-emitting diodes – OLEDs – are an innovative, efficient, sustainable light source that forms the basis for the BMW Organic Light system. OLEDs have a low power consumption, which helps to further reduce vehicle CO2 emissions. Another sustainable feature of this technology is the fact that no expensive rare earth metals are required in the production process. Unlike ordinary LEDs, which are a point light source, OLEDs produce light uniformly over their entire surface. The OLED elements are very thin, with a thickness of just 1.4 millimetres. Also, the individual modules can be activated separately, generating new possibilities for creating different lighting effects at the rear light clusters.
Different lighting effects in different driving modes. In the past, rigorous legal requirements regulating the brightness of vehicle lighting have limited the number of lighting functions that it was possible to implement with OLED technology. On the BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights model, BMW Organic Light is used in the tail lights and rear direction indicators. By activating the OLED segments individually, it is possible to create different rear lighting effects in different driving modes. Whereas normally the L-shape is wide and uniformly illuminated, in Sport mode a different-shaped light pattern can be used by activating only some of the OLED segments.
The rear light then appears as a narrow, focused and sharply defined “strip” of light.
New technologies create new design options. Lighting is an important design element in modern vehicles. From the front, all vehicles of the BMW core brand are instantly identifiable by the combination of their twin round headlights and the hallmark kidney grille. At night, the four glowing corona rings form a distinctive signature. The BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights model presents a new interpretation of the twin circular headlight theme. The headlights feature laser technology which is attractively highlighted by fine blue LED strips when the vehicle is on the move. Thanks to the new laser technology it was also possible to give the headlights a flat and sharply sculpted design.
The L-shaped rear light clusters are just as distinctive in terms of styling as the front lights. The “L” shape is a typical design hallmark that accentuates the width of the rear and gives the vehicle a striking and powerful look that always stands out from the crowd, whether at night or during the daytime. On current models, LED-powered light strips and other light elements emphasise the L-shape at night and make the brand identity more easily recognisable in the dark. BMW first presented a rear light cluster with OLED elements on the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept model, which made its world debut in Beijing in April 2014. BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights displays its own version of this design. Its M-style OLED rear light cluster marks a new evolution of the typical BMW L-shaped lighting design which, with the BMW 7 Series launch, was reinforced with a distinctive “glowing” effect. OLED technology makes it possible to create a new, more three-dimensional and at the same time very sharply defined appearance.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.