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Sunday, January 29, 2023

BMW i Vision Circular Revealed: A Recyclable City Car

BMW is rolling out a number of vehicles at this year’s IAA Motor Show in Munich. Some cars we’ve already seen – like the electric iX SUV and the i4 sedan – as well as a new concept in the iX5 Hydrogen. But alongside those production EVs and hydrogen prototypes, the BMW i Vision Circular Concept will also take center stage in Munich, and it’s pretty darn cute.

The BMW i Vision Circular concept is a four-seat compact EV imagined for the year 2040. It focuses on sustainability and luxury, with a design that uses 100 percent recyclable materials – that even includes the battery pack. BMW says by creating a battery using materials from the “recycling loop,” that said battery achieves a much higher energy density without draining valuable resources.

Design-wise, the i Vision Circular concept takes a unique approach to BMW’s current language. The brand’s signature kidney grilles remain, with the headlights embedded within the grille fixtures at each corner, and unique LED accents elsewhere in the grille. The windshield and roof create a single piece of glass that extends the length of the vehicle. The wheels match the headlight and grille design with slim spokes, and the rear end adopts a similar style with a single LED light bar.

The interior uses a mishmash of unique materials and employs what BMW calls “new joining techniques.” The 3D printing on the dash, for example, reduces the use of glue and creates a unique one-piece design with embedded crystal materials. And rather than a traditional touchscreen on the center of the dash, the information is located above the instrument panel at the bottom of the windshield.

The four lounge seats in the cabin are special as well. BMW created these lavender-colored buckets created using recycled plastic, and all four of them are held within a light-gold aluminum frame. Even the steering wheel was 3D-printed using a special wood powder.

The BMW i Vision Circular concept won’t make it to production – at least not anytime soon, maybe in the year 2040 we’ll see something similar. But expect BMW to utilize some of these unique recycling techniques on its future models.

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