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BMW Concept CS Unveiled In Shanghai



24th April, 2007

BMW Concept CS

Mercedes-Benz has met with extraordinary success with its CLS-Class. This trend-setting success story from the long-time leader in prestige cars has seen BMW respond with the unveiling, in Shanghai, last Friday, of a concept car which our Editor believes will be the basis of a new production model sooner, rather than later.

The Concept CS is BMW's vision of a four-door car which combines the exclusivity of a luxury Gran Turismo with the thrill of a high-performance sports car. Indeed, the BMW Concept CS is a new definition of design culture. Concentrating on expressive design, materials of the highest quality and quality of finish, this unique concept car offers a new understanding of quality. And within its interior, the BMW Concept CS offers luxury, full of class and value.

Through its design, the BMW Concept CS underlines the skill of the BMW brand in developing sporting cars.

The BMW Concept CS demonstrates how a four-door sedan may be carried over into the luxury performance segment.

Exterior design

The BMW Concept CS bears out all the highlights of performance through the design of its body. The low-slung, dynamically stretched silhouette features a long bonnet and stylish lines. Through its presence and challenging dynamism, the BMW Concept CS offers unique design language with aesthetic features never seen before.

Design culture and dynamics of the highest standard

This unique model combines the qualities of a luxury saloon and a high-performance sports car in one. As a result, the BMW Concept CS adds a touch of sporting dynamism to the conventional culture of a saloon, offering the driver and passengers the complete dynamic potential of such unique power on four full-sized single seats.

While the conventional saloon focuses primarily on driving comfort, the BMW Concept CS sends out a clear message of active, dynamic motoring. A message which reaches all the car’s occupants, with the generous feeling of space in this four-door being supplemented by a sporting and low seating position enjoyed not only by the driver and front passenger, but also by the passengers at the rear on their own single seats. For this reason alone, the BMW Concept CS is, not least, the vision of a sports car for the ambitious driver offering the passengers the same experience of sporting performance and luxurious pleasure.

Individual style meets exclusive class

The driving experience offered by the BMW Concept CS is appropriately reflected by all the car’s interior features, the design of the interior and the various technical innovations interacting with one another. The ambience of the interior is just as unique as the character and body design of this one-off four-seater, offering all the occupants a brand-new experience of aesthetic style and design. And it almost goes without saying that within the car the occupants enjoy such unique exclusivity in particular style on four single seats.

The innovative design and finish of both the surfaces and controls is further accentuated by the use of top-quality materials and quality of finish. Unnecessary opulence is replaced by focused luxury.

Style and unique aesthetics of BMW

Measuring 5.10 metres in length, the BMW Concept CS is dominated by dynamically flowing lines. From the BMW kidney grille standing out powerfully to the front, the eyes of the beholder move back along the low-slung and sleek bonnet, subsequently meandering along the side-line and roof-line all the way to the deliberately short rear-end with its clear-cut air flow spoiler.

The dynamically stretched silhouette of the car boasts a wide range of features typical of the character of a sporting, avantgarde automobile. All of these features clearly bear testimony to excellent aerodynamics as well as a low centre of gravity helping to promote agility on the road. And at the same time the carefully modelled transitions between the body sections are a clear symbol of the car’s nimble character and performance.

Four doors with a unique, sporting and low body line

The sporting, low-slung silhouette of the car is further accentuated by body height of just 1.36 metres. A further important feature is the gentle taper of the roof-line at the rear serving again to smoothly stretch the proportions of the entire car.

The re-interpreted contour line, as seen from the side, serves to emphasise the technical concept of rear-wheel drive so crucial to dynamic performance on the road. Subdividing the silhouette of the car into various sections, the contour line stretches from the beginning of the A-pillar in a gentle, rising movement all the way up above the front door, gradually petering out beneath the rear side window. Then the contour line starts again in the lower section of the rear door, first running parallel to the wheel cut-out in a powerful arch. From there the rear contour line is continued as a straight line also rising slightly up to the rear end of the car.

The roof-line likewise tapering out gently to the rear also provides a brand-new effect when looking at the car from the side, adding a touch never seen before on a saloon. The striking contour of the C-pillar, in turn, provides an additional visual highlight of attractive clarity, the transition of the C-pillar into the rear section of the car tapering out at a lower angle than the steeper rear window rising up from its base point. This provides a unique expression of classic notchback design highly individualised and varying according to your angle of vision. At the bottom, the C-pillar offers a new, enhanced interpretation of the reverse line sweeping to the front known by tradition as the “Hofmeister kick”. And last but not least, a gentle light-edge stands out above the side window precisely where the C-pillar merges into the roof-line.

Characteristic front-end design consistently enhanced

The front-end design of the BMW Concept CS is an example of the enhancement of BMW’s design language. Here the BMW kidney grille stands out as a powerful element typical of the BMW brand, giving the car its unique look and emphasising the flow of air into the engine. Indeed, the kidney grille is not only the central, but also the dominating element in the design of the entire front end.

Through its dimensions alone, as well as its position slightly inclined to the front, the kidney grille establishes a clear link to classic BMW sports cars. All further elements at the front end of the car are angled in the direction of travel and designed as a genuine sculpture around the kidney grille, with all directly adjacent surfaces being modelled in concave design.

Significant functional features add further meaning to this special look of the car, with the BMW kidney grille serving as the primary supply of air to the engine. The two recesses in the front side panels, in turn, help to cool the brakes on the car. And since a power unit befitting the dynamic character of such a sports saloon most probably requires an ample flow of cooling air, the need for an extra-large kidney grille is obvious at first sight.

Applying the philosophy that “form follows function”, the contours on the engine compartment typical of a BMW have developed into a sign of distinction born out of technical needs and requirements. On the BMW Concept CS, the powerdome as a further highlight in design extends over the power unit as a particularly large design feature.

The engine compartment lid is supported at either side by headlight units merging flush into the design of the car and resting flat on the side panels, extending far back into the front wings. The slender space thus left over above the extra-large wheel arches underlies the agility and, accordingly, the athletic performance of the car.

Innovative headlight technology

Within the dynamic, low-slung headlight units featured in the BMW Concept CS, innovative technology serves to generate a powerful and consistent light beam: Innovative LED reverse-projection lights bundle their light on a reflection area from where the beam is conveyed to the road ahead. This provides a homogenous area of illumination without the dazzling effect, since the oncoming motorist does not look directly at the projectors.

The short front overhang of the body provides yet another sign confirming the sporting concept of the car, showing the connoisseur clearly that the engine may be placed behind the front wheel suspension. Obviously, such arrangement of the engine serves once again to make the car agile and dynamic on the road.

The extra-large wheel arches offer space for big 21-inch wheels – again exceptional proportions alluding clearly to a high standard of steering precision and tracking stability. And the rear wheel arches are powerfully chiselled to perfection even more than the wheel arches at the front, with the car growing wider towards the rear end, again accentuating the transmission of power to the rear wheels.

Dynamic roof-line guiding your eyes – and the air flowing by

The sculptural design language of the BMW Concept CS in its body design allows interplay of concave and convex surfaces, reflecting and guiding the light on and around the car in exactly the right way. One example in this context is the exterior mirrors on the car blending with the side-view, the mirrors through their design alone repeating the overall look and lines of the car. The door handles are integrated into the flanks of the BMW Concept CS even more discreetly: Housed within a chrome-bar running to the rear at the height of the contour line, the door handles controlled by sensors move out only when really needed.

Yet another innovation in the design of this saloon is the centrepiece along the roof line of the BMW Concept CS slightly drawn in at the rear. This exceptional contour design visible only from behind but nevertheless unusually powerful in its look optimises the flow of air in and around the roof area. The aerodynamic touch established in this way underlines the overall sporting impression of the car and serves at the same time as yet another feature of sculptural design and perfection.

BMW Concept CS

Sculptural design for truly unique style

Given all these features, the BMW Concept CS is a modern counterpart to the conventional notchback design of a “regular” four-door. Indeed, never before on a saloon have the individual body sections merged so smoothly into one another, providing a low-slung and stretched appearance. And this impression of all-round perfection with harmony of looks from every angle is enhanced when admiring the transitions modelled with extreme care and diligence, providing additional light effects, for example, around the C-pillar. Features of this standard alone confirm BMW’s philosophy to express supreme design culture through precision and style in every respect.

The much lower flow of the C-pillars compared with the position of the rear window again serves to emphasis the flowing transitions from one body section to the next. Seen from the side, the entire car has the lightness of a coupé – but then all you have to do is change your perspective only slightly in order to perceive and appreciate all the style of a classic four-door. Given the short body overhang at the rear, the size of the separate luggage compartment is hard to appreciate to begin with. Instead, the rear end is dominated by other design features emphasising both the wide track and the aerodynamically optimised rear look of the car.

Moving up at the rear, we see that the two tailpipe rings are integrated in the rear air dam. In its night design, in turn, the BMW Concept CS is characterised by slender rear lights emitting a homogeneous, low-slung and therefore strikingly lighting effect.

With its design language absolutely authentic and convincing to the last detail, the BMW Concept CS offers all the thrill of a new design culture. The impact of this four-door, in turn, results not only from individual highlights, but also from the overall look of the car accentuating its complete character. The car’s dynamic potential is expressed both by its proportions and lines symbolising both power and a dynamic, forward-moving urge. And last but not least, the BMW Concept CS boasts sophisticated elegance through the great care and diligence applied in turning innovative design culture into reality.

The interior: an outstanding driving experience on all four seats

The interior of the BMW Concept CS also offers dynamism of a completely new standard borne out by the combination of elegance and refinement. In designing the interior, the innovative technique of layering the individual surfaces and components provides an unprecedented combination of function and stylish reduction to the essential. The appropriate use of joints and seams, together with layered surfaces, provides new options in the arrangement of functional elements for both ventilation and illumination. And at the same time the layering concept offers new possibilities to clearly express the class and value of the materials used as well as the precise design of the car’s interior through contrasting colours and the structure of different materials.

Featuring height-adjustable collar elements directly integrated in the seats, the four full-sized seats meet all the needs of personalised entertainment and communication, thus raising the experience of quality within the interior to an unprecedented standard. More than ever before, this highlights the sheer value of the materials used, the love for all details, and quality of finish now enhanced to perfection.

Interaction of innovative design and exclusive materials, together with the use of a highly expressive colour scheme, gives the interior of the BMW Concept CS a unique touch of luxury based not on simple opulence, but rather on quality.

The design of the interior clearly reveals the outstanding driving experience in a unique ambience. A brand-new concept for subdividing the cockpit into various sections, as well as standards in the choice of materials and in the quality of finish, provide a flair of exclusivity and individual style. And added to this there is a clear pledge to sportiness expressed both by the arrangement and finish of the four single seats and the design of the controls and instruments.

An invitation to active motoring

The driver-oriented cockpit shows the motorist that he or she is in control of everything happening at the wheel. Just like the arrangement of all controls and instruments, the design and layout of the cockpit is an invitation to active motoring. A clear example of this philosophy is the short distance between the steering wheel and the shift lever, while in their design the seats combine a touch of lightness with the elegance of the finest leather. The low-slung seating position and the clear structure of the instruments likewise evoke the wish to really experience and savour the dynamic potential of this unique car.

Lots of space, lots of support: sports seats also at the rear

The BMW Concept CS presents the vision of an automobile proudly offering all its qualities to the driver. The unique thrill of driving the car is obviously borne out most by taking your position at the wheel, while the driving pleasure offered in the process is shared out among all the occupants: Just like the front-seat passenger, the passengers on the single seats at the rear will also appreciate the sporting and active driving experience offered by the BMW Concept CS. This is ensured by the contours of the rear seats with their perfect side support tailored to the contours and design of the front sports seats. And thanks to the single seat concept, elbow freedom on the rear seats is just as good as on the front passenger’s seat.

The centre console flows back smoothly all the way to the rear, serving as a comfortable armrest and at the same time offering additional storage space. In all, therefore, the passengers sitting at the rear enjoy an ambience standing out clearly from the style of a “regular” four-door model.

Cultivating the flow of joints and seams: layering the interior design

The combination of features previously regarded as incompatible within the BMW Concept CS represents a departure from conventional standards. Indeed, the BMW Concept CS opens up a new era in many areas, the combination of sporting performance and stylish elegance also coming out clearly in the design of the interior.

The BMW Concept CS is therefore no more and no less than a new milestone in refined interior design, applying an innovative layering technique developed by BMW to provide unprecedented interplay of the various interior elements. Instead of large surfaces and connections with their transitions nearly always characterised by a change in materials and colours, the layering technique stratifies the various surfaces flowing into one another, with clearly defined seams taking on a functional role, for example in the arrangement of light sources and venting nozzles. The result is a very refined effect of light and shade making a significant contribution to the exclusive overall look and impression of the interior.

Contrary to the design of the body incorporating flowing lines, generous surfaces and harmonious interplay of concave and convex elements in order to capitalise above all on light effects, the layering concept applied within the interior mainly uses shade effects and changes in structure. Wherever individual surfaces in the structure of the cockpit do not meet on the same level, we find separate zones kept away from the direct flow of light – and precisely these zones provide the right space for the inconspicuous arrangement of various functions. The recesses and superimposed surfaces provided in this way offer appropriate space for ambient illumination as well as the arrangement of air vents. Dazzle-free interior lighting and discreet shade effects upgrade the entire flair of the interior and povide a kind of light, hovering effect.

This layering philosophy is continued in the design of the instruments themselves, the displays in the instrument cluster presenting various functions and items of information on different optical levels. This again provides the impression of superimposed surfaces serving, first, to clearly structure the information offered and, second, to generate an impression of three-dimensionality.

Colour design rich in contrasts, high-quality materials

BMW have also designed unmistakable highlights through the choice of materials and colours: Powerful colour contrasts generate an ambience full of vitality appropriately reflecting the driving experience on the four seats of the BMW Concept CS. High-quality, refined leather in sophisticated brown forms a contrast to surfaces in elegant off-white. Finished in matt tan, this brown leather is to be admired not only on the seats, but also on the instrument panel, the upper doorsills and the outer edges of the roof lining. Around the armrests and in the door panels themselves, this change in colours accentuates the dynamic lines of the interior highlighted by the particular design and shape of individual elements. And finally, the leather trim on the dashboard continues in a slender band extending into the door linings.

As a further innovative highlight, the roof lining in the BMW Concept CS is accentuated not only through a contrasting colour scheme, but also by finishing the outer flanks of the roof lining likewise in leather. Ambient light bands stretching out along the entire length between the windscreen and rear window, finally, add yet a further touch of luxury inside the car.

Reflecting the particular style of the exterior, the structure of the interior surfaces shows care and diligence in the transitions from one section to another. As an example, the leather trim on the centre console and the door entry area extends far down into the footwells.

The dashboard also uses a newly developed metal structure literally “embracing” the various surface elements. This material is attractive in its structure as well as its cool colour and feeling surrounds the circular instruments in the cockpit, together with the other features and elements.

Yet another supreme innovation is the use of high-tech ceramics for the controls and instruments. And as a symbol of solidity and value, the BMW iDrive Controller is also made of a special ceramic material.

Unparalleled and typical of BMW: the BMW Concept CS

The unique flair pampering both the driver and passengers within the BMW Concept CS is an equally clear expression of a new culture in body design. Both outside and inside, the BMW Concept CS conveys the same message, telling the world that the experience of driving a saloon may come in an entirely new rendition. So in presenting this concept car, BMW is not only entering a new segment of the market which it has never occupied before, but it is also endeavouring to expand the segment.

As such, BMW is demonstrating, once again, it's passion to follow Mercedes-Benz into as many market segments as it possibly can!

Other BMW content: here.

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