The most outlandish concept car of 2023 may have arrived in the first week of the year.
BMW unveiled the stunning i Vision Dee at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Thursday. The sleek prototype is packed with futuristic features, like a color-changing exterior and a windshield-spanning head-up display (HUD), which might actually start popping up in the marque’s upcoming vehicles.
The Dee—which stands for Driver Emotional Experience—is unlike any ride in BMW’s current lineup, save for the digital kidney grilles. It has a cleaner and more streamlined design than any of its predecessors. It’s not a complete departure for the brand, though. As Car and Driver points out, eagle-eyed enthusiasts will see traces of the 2002 from the early 1970s in its shape. Despite its simplicity, there’s no denying that the EV will turn heads.
It’s hard to pick a standout feature of the concept, but the color-changing exterior is particularly cool. BMW first showcased this E Ink technology on the iX SUV at last year’s CES. For the unversed, it’s actually a body wrap embedded with electrophoretic microcapsules that can change hues at the push of a button. The innovative material has come a long way in a year, though: It could originally only display black, gray and white, but now it can output a broad spectrum of colors. BMW says the wrap on the i Vision Dee can shift between 32 colors instantaneously.
The wrap is also made up of 240 different E Ink panels covering everything from the kidney grilles to the windows. This will allow you to display different colors and patterns at the same time. You can even program the grilles to display facial expressions or the window to show your avatar when someone approaches the vehicle.
The ultra-minimalistic cabin is also home to its other potentially game-changing piece of technology: a giant HUD that covers its entire windshield. Premium cars have had HUDs that display info on the screen for years now, but BMW wants to take things to 11 by turning the entire windshield into an augmented-reality display filled with info about your vehicle, the road and your route. You’ll be able to choose what you see via touch controls integrated into the otherwise display-less dashboard.
It’s becoming increasingly common for concepts—including some from BMW—to go into production, but the marque has no plans to ever sell the i Vision Dee. Fortunately, some of its more intriguing features are expected to make it to market over the next decade, according to the automaker. The windshield-spanning HUD is expected to be available in 2025 when BMW’s next generation of EVs launches. There’s no timetable for E-Ink technology, but it’s too cool not to offer, right?
Click here for more photos of the BMW i Vision Dee concept.