We seem to be existing in the age of the vintage. Every aspect of our culture, at least from an aesthetic viewpoint, is a sort of re-hashing or revival of some trend or movement of the past. This goes for music, clothing, furniture, and, of course, cars. Dodge is a fine example of this idea. The most recent Dodge models have more in common with the cars they were producing 45 years ago than they do with cars they were producing 5 years ago.
While we here at Vroom are usually supportive of progress over nostalgia, I simply am not able to bring myself to condemn this movement. What we were designing as a world culture 10 years ago, or even just 5 years ago, possessed a unifying theme of disposability and hyper short term (myopic) utilitarianism. Who would prefer a mini mall over the Empire State Building? Or, more appropriately, who would prefer a 2000 Ford Taurus over a 1964 Chevy Nova? No one. Thus when we are faced with the option, the choice between a bleak plastic disposability and the class and positivity of a vintage view, we usually take the latter. But some forward thinking automotive design outfits, like those at BMW, do not force us to make this choice.
BMW unveiled the ground breaking i3 concept car (pictured above) this past September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, proving to the world that futuristic, realistic, near production reality concept cars were very much on the plate of priorities for the design team at Bavarian Motor Works. The i3’s exterior is truly extraordinary, hearkening to a time when concept vehicles, or any type of conceptual technology really, were designed with the intent to stir something within the observer, to excite the consumer over a notion of something positive and great being put out into the world. These aesthetics do not point to the past in any way only because they have no need of the insights and breakthroughs of past generations when they are exploring and discovering the new possibilities all on their own.
One of several conceptual brands under BMW’s new “Project i”, the i3, set to go into production in 2013, will be the brand’s first zero emissions vehicle, thanks to it’s full electric power-train. It will also be world’s first production model vehicle to be manufactured from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, is a very strong and light fiber reinforced polymer, which with its very high strength to weight ratio would vastly improve any vehicle’s energy consumption.
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts can view and test drive any current production model BMW at any Phoenix Valley BMW dealer. Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show to learn about the most recent concepts and innovations from BMW, as well as the rest of the auto industry, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.