BMW Group Basic has been showcasing long-hidden idea vehicles and prototypes on its YouTube channel. The most recent is the BMW ZBF 7er, a hand-built idea from 1996 that made a number of notable predictions of future BMW design and tech.
“ZBF” is a German acronym for “future BMW household,” Joji Nagashima, a legendary BMW designer who labored on the undertaking (in addition to the E39 5-Sequence and E36 3-Sequence), defined. It was a part of a gaggle of ideas, which additionally included 5-Sequence and 3-Sequence designs, he mentioned.
The outside hints on the E65-generation 7-Sequence, which launched in 2001, whereas the big vertical grille reveals that BMW was toying with such a form on a contemporary automobile lengthy earlier than as we speak’s 4-Sequence. The ZBF 7er was additionally a lot bigger than the up to date E38 7-Sequence, Nagashima mentioned, once more predicting the course BMW would go together with the successor E65 mannequin.
BMW ZBF 7er idea
The automobile rides on customized tires specifically manufactured by Dunlop, Nagashima mentioned, with hand-cut treads of his personal design. The most important tire dimension commercially out there on the time was 19 inches, and designers needed one thing bigger, he defined. The bodywork of this drivable idea is hand-made as properly. The physique panels are all hand-beaten aluminum, within the most interesting coachbuilding custom.
Whereas it was constructed utilizing methods from the previous, the ZBF 7er showcased future expertise, together with an early model of the now-ubiquitous iDrive rotary controller, and laptops for rear-seat passengers. The sedan additionally had cameras instead of exterior mirrors, one thing that has solely just lately entered manufacturing, and nonetheless is not out there in the US because of regulatory points.
BMW has fairly a number of attention-grabbing idea vehicles and prototypes in its assortment. It just lately revealed the ICE idea, an early crossover coupe design research, after 17 years, and it stored the E31 M8 prototype stashed away for a decade earlier than exhibiting the automobile publicly. We’re nonetheless ready for the E34 M5 wagon prototype powered by a McLaren F1 V-12 to see the sunshine of day.