Situation Analysis: Can 2017 i Vision Dynamics Concept Save BMW?

Sometimes I just want to shake BMW like a British nanny.

What are you thinking, bad BMW baby!!!!?

The X7 Concept, Z4 Concept and 8 Series concepts are all fairly new design ideas for the IAA BMW stand in Frankfurt this year.  A new M5 and X3 are the production cars with some fresh excitement around them.  A new BMW i3S looks slightly less hideous from the front and will be quicker than the base model.  None of these models is the silver bullet BMW needs to get back to brand health.  And sales growth.

The X7’s design is shockingly unpleasant.  The giant new grille appears to be a core BMW design theme moving forward — and let’s hope it gets better looking over time.  If not, the hard downward trajectory of the brand’s sales is likely to accelerate.  What do we mean?  Well, 7 series is at about half its desired volume.  3 series is down 40 percent.  New 5 series — which drives amazingly well but is pricey — has only lifted sales about 10 percent versus year-ago.  That is piss poor for a brand that was once — fairly recently! — an unstoppable growth machine.

This BMW i Vision Dynamics is the main debut for BMW at IAA.  This previews the widely-rumored i5 or i6 model BMW hopes will rival the Tesla Model S.  [Seeing its size, perhaps i4 is more accurate].

Low roof, short hood, flat-pack battery and racy stance are pretty fresh executions on the EV theme.  This iVD concept promises a four second 0-60-mph sprint and a 124-mph-plus top end.

It is challenging to love this design but it does have merits and a fresh take on surfacing language, even versus the Z4 and X7 concepts.  A cleaner, sterner appearance than the goofy grin of the latest models.  Considering the incredibly poor sales performance of the i3 and i8, we hope BMW has improved its EV expertise.  i3 has undrivably strong regen braking that refuses to coast, while i8 is impossible to get in and out of.  Fundamental problems compounded by low EV adoption rates in general have made BMW’s “i” division into a hemorrhaging money pit.

BMW overall seems lost and overwhelmed by the looks of its 2017 IAA showstand.

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics