There are very few cars in the world that are anywhere near as opulent and appealing as a new Rolls-Royce. The brand represents the most advanced and exquisite luxuries on the market, placing their name firmly at the top of many “must-have” lists. With entry-level models starting at around $250,000 however, they are still often a splurge even among HNWIs. Which is why it could be that BMW is looking to step into the gap between themselves and the ultra-luxe automaker.
Why You Should Expect a 9-Series
Until recently, BMW fans didn’t expect the brand to offer a car in the ultra-luxury market. As the parent company of Rolls-Royce, it seems clear that the two marques would or should not compete in the same space. However, there is clearly demand for something that is a little nicer than a 7-series, but not quite as exclusive as a Rolls.
In the past few years, BMW has shown off concept cars unlike anything we’ve seen before. The fact that these cars are concepts aside, they feature styling and features that seem a little rich for the 7-series regardless. And with Aston Martin replacing the Rapide with the RapidE and the new Mercedes Maybach S600 hitting the streets, it would make sense that BMW was to roll this concept into a production vehicle.
What’s New With the 9-Series
Rumors have flown for years now that BMW is basing the new 9-series on the Gran Lusso Coupe. Assuming that is the case, the first thing you notice about BMW’s prototype exterior is the sharp, defined lines. Head and tail lights are incredibly minimalist, acting as more of an accent than an eye-catching feature. The car was carefully designed in such a way that your eye wants to take the whole thing in, without drawing attention to any specific component.
But the main update to the platform was the technology used. The front of the car showed off what BMW calls the “Connected Drive” service. Many parts of the car are affixed with LED displays. This shows the driver information about the destination, how the car is running and provides an interface to interact with automation systems. Thanks to companies like Tesla, we’re no strangers to self-driving cars. But what BMW proposes is a system that bridges the gap between the car’s computer and yourself.
Although we are still going off a prototype, it would make sense that many of these features make their way into the final 9-series. There is so much focus on self-driving cars that do all the work for you. But many consumers buy cars for the driving experience they offer. With this in mind, we expect the 9-Series to be a car that does everything it can to enhance your driving experience, without taking anything away from you.
Not the First
BMW’s model numbering system has been pretty consistent over the years. For the most part, the 7-series has always been the range-topping model. Despite this numbering convention, this wouldn’t be the first time BMW has dabbled with exclusivity before. Their L7 Personal Luxury Limousine was a custom built-to-order vehicle offered in the mid-90s, offering the same kinds of luxuries found in exclusive cars. Although it’s been a while since BMW has been a competitor in this market, the automotive industry has changed. By combining luxurious design with experience-enhancing technology, it’s very clear that the 9-Series is going to be the car that we all want.
Author: Karthik Krishnan
Photos Credit: BMW