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In conjunction with its centennial celebrations, BMW has unveiled its vision of the technologies it thinks will power the brand for the next 100 years – dubbed, imaginatively, the BMW Vision Next 100.

The four-door sports sedan (yes, even 100 years in the future, some things will apparently still stay the same) is the first of a series of Vision concepts designed by the BMW Group. The MINI and Rolls-Royce versions will be revealed in London on June 16, while the BMW Motorrad concept motorcycle will be shown in Los Angeles on October 11.

The Vision Next 100 looks like no other BMW sedan before it, with a one-box profile that is at odds with the company’s traditional long-bonnet proportions. The bronze, almost pebble-like body features a taller, full-height version of the company’s kidney grille, along with four streaks for headlights, signature L-shaped tail lights and a C-pillar Hofmeister kink to remind others that this is still, somewhat, a BMW.

The design of the car is dominated by a triangular motif that BMW terms Alive Geometry, which consists of 800 panels inside and out that move and transform at will. On the outside, the scales around the wheel arches open up to wrap around the large inset wheels, as they swivel when the steering is turned. This design allows the Vision Next 100 to achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.18.

BMW says the concept has “compact” dimensions – that’s quite a stretch, considering that at 4.9 metres long, it’s about the same length as a 5 Series. Still, it’s claimed that Vision Next 100 has as much interior space as a “luxury BMW sedan” (7 Series, perhaps?), so the unique proportions probably do save some space compared to a traditional sedan design.

Swing open the suicide butterfly doors and you’ll find a minimalist cabin, like most futuristic concepts. Here, there are two modes of vehicle operation – Boost, which provides manual driving augmented with a number of assist features, and Ease, which takes over the driving of the car autonomously.

In Boost mode, the Alive Geometry panels inside the car – inspired by the coordinated movement of a flock of birds – highlight the ideal driving line and warn of oncoming vehicles and other hazards, a kind of intuitive feedback which BMW claims has a more physical and immediate impact than verbal or visual instructions. The driver’s seat also changes position, and the centre console is angled more towards the driver.

Adding to that, the contact analogue BMW Head-Up Display uses the entire windscreen to show information such as the ideal driving line, steering point and speed, and also displays things like crossing vehicles in poor weather or when visibility is obstructed.

All this is performed through the Companion artificial intelligence system, which continuously learns about the driver and adapts to offer them the right support and visual guidance. This is visualised through a gemstone-like sculpture at the base of the windscreen, which retracts in Boost mode for minimal distraction, and lights up in Ease mode to indicate autonomous driving. The Companion also displays a green light gradient in front of the car to show pedestrians that it is safe to cross.

The interior mood in Ease mode is considerably different – the steering wheel and centre console stow away, and the seats move towards the doors to allow occupants to sit at a slight angle, making it easier for them to face each other. The HUD also becomes an infotainment display that also shows personalised content.

Sustainability is an important part of the Vision Next 100 – the car is made from carbon fibre and plastic, with components such as the side panels constructed from residues of regular carbon fibre production. The interior also uses high-quality textiles and mono-materials in place of traditional wood and leather.