A Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777 freighter bearing the name “Hello Germany” was chartered by car maker BMW for transporting their next generation flagship VISION iNEXT around the world in a five-day journey taking off from Munich to New York, San Francisco, Beijing and Frankfurt. At each of the stops, the pioneering car was presented to handpicked media people.
Some introductory remarks by BMW managers and a short movie, then the lights illuminating the main deck of the Lufthansa Triple Seven freighter were dimmed, leaving observers in the shade.
Spotlights on and there it stood: BMW’s latest visionary car – the VISION iNEXT.
By shape, the vehicle looks like a smart-designed but somehow ordinary car. It also – no big surprise – performs like a car. However, “the iNEXT converts into a living room, an office or an oasis of calm depending on the needs of its passengers,” explains Bernhard Ederer, leading member of BMW’s Innovation and Design team, the vehicle’s multiple functions.
A statement, supported by Harald Krueger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG: The electrically powered VISION iNEXT “represents a new era of sheer driving pleasure,” he said. “It underlines the leading role Germany plays in the future of mobility.” The highly automated and self-driving car emits zero greenhouse gases and is fully connected. It combines a multitude of technical innovations and amenities in the interior making driving a pleasure, applauded the BMW managers admiringly during the presentation, showing their pride.
New travel experience
In fact, self-driving technology and ever-expanding connectivity enable a whole new range of experiences and options of shaping a journey. Driven by the aim to lift mobility to the next level and create an environmentally friendly car, the BMW engineers in close cooperation with designers, media experts and IT specialists have shaped an iconic vehicle that enhances quality of life and makes traveling more relaxing. Even enervating jams, common on German Autobahns due to heavy traffic, open up new fields of activity for drivers and passengers, like video conferences, emailing, play computer games or relax and listen to selected music, to name a few.
Comments Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design: “Our BMW VISION iNEXT exists to generate creative, pioneering ideas which transform the way we think about mobility. It’s another big step on the journey of transforming mobility, showing how much easier intelligent vehicles can make our lives.”
How much aficionados will have to pay for the car he did not reveal.
But before the car is seen on the road, this will not happen before 2021, it took to the air on board the Lufthansa Cargo operated Boeing 777F “D-ALFE” in an around-the-world-trip to be showcased at events in the USA and China. All ground activities at the airports served were cared for by logistics player DB Schenker.
Particularly for this mission, the cues from the interior design created for the vehicle presentation were taped on the aircraft’s fuselage. They will stay there for some months, making the “Hello Germany” a flying ambassador for BMW’s iNEXT.
Commented Peter Gerber, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG: “Visionary products deserve visionary presentations. We are delighted to have made this extraordinary world premiere possible in cooperation with BMW.”
Asked how much the carmaker paid for chartering the freighter and converting its main deck into a showroom, LH Cargo’s Head of Communications Jacqueline Casini said: “Nice try, but it’s our policy not to speak about prices.”