How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousS

Let me just say as someone who has designed a concept car, I love the BMW i8 Concept. When its predecessor debuted in 2009 as the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept, it was striking — a refreshing reminder that eco-friendly and forward-thinking don't have to mean ugly and awkward.

Now, as we're one step closer to production in 2014, BMW gives us the latest iteration of its plug-in hybrid super car concept: the i8 Concept (as well as its drop-top brother featured above — the BMW i8 Concept Roadster — that I saw in person at BMW's Born Electric Tour stop here in New York City). And with each iteration, I'm increasingly excited. This latest version isn't merely striking — it's absolutely stunning.

Literally.

The i8 Concept is the type of car that will stop you in your tracks at an auto show while you lose grasp over time and space, fumbling over whatever you were about to say, people bumping into you from behind. Up until now, the design of electric cars from major manufacturers have been egg-shaped eye sores, featuring design so desperate to prove it's "futuristic" that they simply forgot how to be attractive or inspiring.

It was easy to do that four years ago with the Vision EfficientDynamics concept. That was purely conceptual — a flight of fancy. But now, BMW is one step closer to bringing this car to life as a production model that feels truly exciting — a spectacular mix of technologically-advanced with warm and inviting.

The exterior features beautifully-designed organic, sculptural forms that flow across the entire body with enough hard lines and details to assert this as an aggressive sports car. Most notable is how the rear wings extend off the body of the car in perfect integration with the floating tail lights, again aligning form with function in a completely balanced way.

Inside, the cabin is designed with the driver in mind. The warm leather seating and accents throughout are a welcome contrast to the hard materials and cool colors of the car's exterior. The instrument panel and 3D graphics are situated to ensure the driver has all relevant information and can be quick to respond to any driving changes. The cabin itself is actually bisected by the battery, which runs lengthwise down the interior of the vehicle, further putting the driver in focused control.

"Hybrid" no longer equates to boring, and BMW's certainly showing it with their design language. This is the ultimate culmination of nature and technology in a car, reviving passion and excitement with an eye towards the future.


Head here to get a peek into the future.

Mallory McMorrow won the Mazda Design Challenge with a concept for the 2018 Mazda3 at the 2007 LA Auto Show. After spending time at Mazda, Mallory managed the style guide for Hot Wheels and Team Hot Wheels for Mattel's more than 2,000 global licensees.
Photo by Andrew Link.

How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousS

Head here to see all the BMW i models.


Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.
How the BMW i8 Concept Makes Green Look GorgeousSHead here to see all the BMW i models.
Photo by Andrew Link.

Head here to see all the BMW i models.