The whole point of a concept car is that it’ll never end up on your driveway. It’s a pie-in-the-sky experiment that lets designers and engineers forget about constraints like cost or regulations, or any kind of limitation, really. And then there’s the BMW M Next. You might never have one in your driveway, but if you have a 3D printer, it could be on your desk in just a little bit.
Following the unveil of its Vision M Next concept car, BMW launched a new corner of its website that lets people “experience” the car in various ways. The most intriguing is through 3D printing: BMW has released a free STL file that lets people with 3D printers create their own small-scale version of the sharply styled coupe, although the automaker says that the only size limitation is “set by your printer,” so I guess you could build a full-scale model with enough patience.
BMW even gave a tip to go with the STL file. It suggests printing the body and the rims separately, which will “improve the outcome significantly.”
There are some other clever little bits on the same site. If you’re into staring at cars all the time, you can download wallpapers for phones, tablets and desktops. There’s also a sound file that plays the “boost sound” that comes from the car under acceleration. It was created with the help of Hans Zimmer — yes, that Hans Zimmer — although I will say that it doesn’t sound all that different than many other low-speed EV noises you hear nowadays. It’s just a bit more… Hans Zimmer, if that makes sense. If you have a really good printer, there’s also a poster-size file available for download on the website.
The BMW Vision M Next concept is the automaker’s idea of what a futuristic electrified sports car would encompass. The focus is on driving, rather than being driven, with some crazy interior styling and a potent plug-in hybrid powertrain. It’s not directly related to anything in the pipeline, as far as we know, but it does show that at least one corner of BMW isn’t all-in on autonomy.