The new BMW 7 Series launched earlier this month. While the exterior remains an evolution of the previous design, the interior is packed with high-tech options that demonstrate a possible future direction for automotive luxury.
- Remote-control parking offers drivers the option to maneuver into or out of forward-facing spaces from outside the vehicle, enabling easier parking in tight spaces. The technology demonstrates how car manufacturers can slowly introduce autonomous features while waiting for fully driverless cars to become acceptable in the eyes of consumers and the law.
- The ambient light package brings a softer edge by using integrated LED strips to offer subtle illuminations that outline sections of the car interior. Consumers can choose from six hues for a more personalised experience. There is also a welcome light that projects a pool of light onto the ground next to the car when the door is opened at night to guide entry or exit. For more on the use of transformative lighting effects, see our Spring/Summer 2016 Design Direction, Trace.
- The spacious rear seats of the vehicle are designed to replicate the luxury of first-class travel and recognise the importance of a high-end experience for all travellers. The Executive Lounge option features reclining massage seats, four-zone climate control, and flip-out, airline-style tables. These additions are likely to particularly appeal to markets where chauffeur culture remains a symbol of wealth and status – see our coverage of Auto Shanghai 2015 for more insight.
- Tapping into the movement towards holistic multisensory environments, customers can choose from eight aromas to create a custom fragrance for their car interior. The perfumes have been devised by BMW's new scent specialist and are reminiscent of raw materials such as wood, bringing the familiar fragrances of the outside in. Look to Materials Focus 2017: Sensation for similar examples of sensory design.
As highlighted in Luxury Changes Gear, part of our New-Era Luxury Macro Trend, technology and personalisation are key factors within the shifting high-end market auto market. For more recent insights and releases, see FT Future of the Car Summit and International CES: Automotive.