BMW - xActivity
BMW will present the new xActivity concept at the North American International Auto Show 2003 in Detroit - an impressive concept vehicle whose badging gives an apt description of what it has to offer.
This Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) serves as an example of how sporty driving dynamics, enormous versatility and the inimitable pleasure of driving an open-top vehicle can be combined into one. This all-wheel drive vehicle, a so-called "frame-structure convertible" represents a completely new synthesis of various "fun factors". Moreover, numerous cleverly thought-out details make the xActivity a versatile vehicle and an ideal companion for active people who participate in outdoor activities and need to transport their sports equipment with them.
This concept vehicle is a good example how BMW could execute a "Sports Activity Vehicle" (SAV) without compromise. The perfect combination of sporty, dynamic driving characteristics typical of BMW, a tremendously versatile range of uses and a unique and impressive design. With the xActivity BMW is hinting at what could be expected as the successful X family expands. The typical proportions and design elements of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles form the basis for the fresh and youthful appearance of the xActivity.
Moreover, its designers have made sure it possesses its very own individual qualities. From the characteristic design language with alternating concave and convex surfaces, to the unique interpretation of the double-kidney grille, twin headlights and Hofmeister rear quarter window treatment, right up to the new rear section, this vehicle shows that it is well equipped to match the appeal of the very successful X5.
The typical BMW proportions using a long wheelbase and short overhangs help give the xActivity its sporting, dynamic appearance. Strong bumpers and flared wheel arches reflect the robustness and power expected of an SAV. Probably the most striking feature of the xActivity is the roof concept. Utilizing a so-called frame-structure convertible it combines the airy lightness of a convertible with the strength of an SAV. Longitudinal members on both sides run from the A-pillars to the rear end, and between them the driver and passengers can get a dose of the sun and the wind enroute to their outdoor activities. There are no B- or C-pillars, giving the xActivity a particularly sporting character.
The concept vehicle underlines its high degree of functionality through surprising attention to detail. The unconventional loading system in particular does justice to the name "Sports Activity Vehicle". As soon as the tailgate is opened, an ingenious system partially ejects the cargo, for example two mountain bikes, from the loading area. This facilitates the unloading of the bikes, so you can continue the driving experience on two wheels. Inside the xActivity is also sporty and versatile, without compromising the BMW typical comfort and individuality. The interior design continues with the alternating concave and convex surface concept seen on the exterior, creating an interior with a very modern appearance inside the vehicle. The intentional use of light and shade reinforces the spacious interior. Exciting surface finishes give character to the individual sections. Arranged in modular fashion they produce a harmonious ambience, communicating both a sense of action as well as well being. Vertical accents, for instance on the door handles and the centre console, give the interior a generous and spacious appearance appropriate for an outdoor vehicle. Intelligently designed control elements such as single-button control of all air-conditioning functions simplify the operation from the cockpit. And, of course the vehicle features the "Command Position", BMW's high seating position, which is characteristic of its Sports Activity Vehicles. This ensures that the driver gets that very special SAV driving feeling and enjoys an excellent view of the surroundings.
State-of-the-art technologies underline the path-breaking character of this concept vehicle: In the interior, for example, through the application of so-called "smart materials", the seats themselves become control elements for seat adjustment, thereby blending unobtrusively into the interior. These newly developed pressure-sensitive materials are a designer's dreams come true, as they enable him to create a perfect synthesis of design and function.
The selection of materials and colours reflect the wide spectrum of uses for the xActivity: The exterior features refined, high-gloss surfaces combined with numerous matt-finished elements, which promise robustness and durability even in severe driving conditions. The body colour "Bronze Moss" changes between bronze, green and blue-grey, depending on the light, reflecting the xActivity's versatility. The materials chosen for the interior combine elegance with sportiness, but are ready to withstand any weather condition as needed. Natural cowhide has been combined with flexible, water-resistant materials and seat covers made of neoprene. In order to match the exterior, the colour scheme used inside the vehicle incorporates carefully selected beige, olive and grey colour tones, which also grant the interior a modern, avant-garde appearance.
The agility and dynamics promised by the design are of course amply supported by the technology incorporated in this 4.55 metre long vehicle. The widely acclaimed BMW 3.0-litre straight 6-cylinder engine delivering 170kW/231 bhp and a beefy torque of 300 Nm guaranties driving fun on all roads. Its spontaneous power begins at low engine speeds, meaning that the xActivity boasts superior performance even on steep grades. Due to the responsive, fast-revving engine the xActivity becomes an athletic performer when set loose on the open road. Power is transmitted by means of a manual gearbox to generously sized wheels with 245/45 tyres at the front, 275/40 tyres at the rear, each on 18´´ rims. The well-tuned suspension and a low centre of gravity ensure quick handling and a very high degree of agility in all driving situations. Even the most challenging of winding roads becomes a pleasure to tackle.
In addition to this, the xActivity's BMW all-wheel drive - like the X5 - has another very special feature: A special programme in the control electronics automatically ensures that each wheel is allowed the precise amount of slip needed to provide fast progress on loose surfaces. However, those not driving on such poor roads also benefit from this unique development. When, for example, deep snow forces some vehicles to a halt, the xActivity has much better traction and a higher probability of bringing its driver and passengers surely and safely to their destination.
The BMW xActivity Concept Vehicle - In Detail.
Introducing the xActivity on the occasion of the North American International Auto Show 2003 in Detroit, BMW will present to the public an impressive concept vehicle, whose badging gives an apt description of what it has to offer: The Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) is a perfect combination of sporty driving dynamics, enormous versatility and the inimitable pleasure of driving an open-top vehicle. As a so-called "frame-structure convertible" the all-wheel drive vehicle offers an unprecedented combination of various characteristics designed for ultimate driving pleasure. In addition to this, numerous clever details make the xActivity a versatile vehicle and a perfect companion for active people and their sports equipment for all kinds of outdoor activities.
The xActivity BMW suggests where BMW is heading as far as the expansion of the X family is concerned. The typical proportions and design elements of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles contribute to the xActivity's active and fresh look. At the same time designers gave the vehicle a unique, unmistakable style. From the characteristic design language with alternating concave/convex surfaces, the twin-kidney grille's to the unique interpretation of the twin headlights and the Hofmeister rear quarter window treatment to the newly designed stern, it is clear that this vehicle matches the appeal of the successful series-production X5 in every respect.
The exterior: A perfect play of dynamics and ruggedness.
From the outside, the most striking feature of the xActivity is its unusual roof construction. As a so-called "frame-structure convertible" the vehicle perfectly combines the excitement of a convertible and the robust looks of an SAV. Longitudinal members on both sides connect the A-pillars with the rear end. The space in-between is open so that the passengers are able to enjoy the sun and the wind, letting them enjoy for the forthcoming outdoor activities. There are no B- and C-pillars which emphasizes the xActivity's particularly sporting character. Strong bumpers and flared wheel arches further accentuate the xActivity's robust and agile appearance, as one would expect from an SAV. The proportions so typical of BMW, like the long wheelbase and the short overhangs; give the xActivity a dynamic and athletic appearance.
The dynamic and open appearance is further accentuated by the striking side panels. The waistline rises from the headlight clusters towards the rear end with convex and concave surfaces below conveying a strong dynamic impression. Whenever these concave/convex surfaces meet they create striking longitudinal edges on the side panels giving the impression of strong and broad shoulders. With these styling cues the designers integrated all the details that make up a Sports Activity Vehicle: Sporting dynamics on the one hand and a robust, muscular appearance on the other. These two qualities are emphasized by further details like, for example, the hood's characteristic longitudinal profile or the bumpers' design: Impressive power when it is needed and a sporty stance borne out through the massive air intakes at the front.
Viewed from the rear, the observer will also notice the unique character of the xActivity. Distinctive horizontal lines give the vehicle an agile appearance from behind and contribute to the muscular stern. The L-shaped taillights so typical of BMW have been reinterpreted. Under the clear red glass one sees the taillights in LED design and the reflectors which give the xActivity its technologically futuristic appearance.Aesthetic design down to the smallest detail.
The front design with the new twin-kidney grille clearly shows that so much agility and strength does not necessarily have to come at the expense of aesthetics and elegance, qualities that are so typical of BMW. Paying attention to details the designers took up the challenge of taking this fundamental BMW symbol and adapting it to the character of the xActivity. The kidney grills are robust but at the same time very elegant thanks to the sculptured shapes. On further inspection the observer will notice that the philosophy of individuality accompanied by strength was carried out to the smallest detail on each individual slat where high-gloss and matt surfaces in dark Titan look meet. The headlights covered by clear glass give a clue to the technological perfection concealed underneath the xActivity's dynamic skin. The characteristic rings in front of the bi-Xenon headlights in all their technological refinement seem to float and give the vehicle a mysterious look at night.
The interior: Tension, dynamics and versatility. The concept vehicle's high degree of functionality is borne out by surprising details. The unconventional loading system in particular does great credit to the name "Sports Activity Vehicle". As soon as you open the tailgate - the cargo, two mountain bikes for example, is partially ejected by a cleverly devised system, enabling the passengers to easily remove their sports equipment and to continue the driving experience on two wheels. Further practical details are the two integrated backpacks. These are a perfect match in terms of design, colour and material, are well integrated into the cargo area's side panels and are easy to remove.
Also the interior design of the xActivity is sporting and versatile without foregoing the benefits of comfort and individuality. The play of concave and convex surfaces on the outside is continued in the interior and contributes to the modern ambience. Individual shapes are clearly separated from each other by distinctive curves and edges. The taut surfaces give the individual elements an air of poise and a distinctive character. Vertical accents, for example on the door handles and the centre console, contribute to the interior's outdoor-specific spacious and open appearance. The intentional use of light and shade conveys the impression that individual components are weightless and at the same time gives the load-bearing elements the appropriate strength. For example, this design language has been carried through to common details such as the gearshift lever. In keeping with the design language of the vehicle as a whole, the asymmetric gearshift lever knob seems as if it were floating. The interior elements are arranged as modules, creating a harmonious atmosphere that invites activity and relaxed well-being alike. Operating controls are intelligently combined, for example the single-button control for all climate functions, and provide for a well-structured cockpit. The most important thing for the SAV-typical driving experience is, however, the "command position", BMW's high seating position, which is a characteristic of its Sports Activity Vehicles and provides that very special driving experience and gives the driver and passengers an excellent view of the vehicle and its surroundings.
The use of state-of-the-art technology underlines the revolutionary character of the concept vehicle. Through the use of so-called "smart materials" the seats and surfaces have themselves become operational controls, so that seat adjustment controls are no longer visible. These innovative pressure-sensitive materials make designer's dreams come true and provide the perfect combination of form and function.
Aesthetics and versatility also when it comes to materials and colours.The material and colour design reflects the xActivity's broad spectrum of usage: The exterior features classic high-gloss surfaces combined with matt -finished elements which promise robustness and durability even under hard conditions. The exterior paint Bronze-Moss shimmers bronze, green or blue-grey depending on the incidence of light and the angle from which you observe the vehicle, hence expressing the xActivity's versatility. Matching the exterior, the interior colours also create a modern, avant-garde ambience through carefully selected beige, olive, brown and grey colour tones. Colours and tones are designed to underline the distinctive character of the interior elements and create a fresh, modern atmosphere. In the interior, materials have been selected which combine aesthetics and sportiness and withstand, if necessary, all kinds of weather. The dashboard and the armrests are finished in natural cowhide, which has a unique texture.
The trimmed edges internally left visible, contrast with the light leather colour called "Reed", accentuating the sporting touch of this high-quality material. Modern, elastic materials in "Earth Brown" colour are used on the dashboard, the interior from the belt line downwards and the luggage compartment, which underline the recreational character of the xActivity. The surfaces have been treated for weather and water resistance and are pleasant to the touch. Components subject to wear and tear such as the seats have been provided with robust neoprene and neoprene mesh. The seat shoulders come in "Smoke-Grey", whilst the actual seating area made of neoprene mesh shows in a most sporting manner its texture in "Aloe" and "Smoke-Grey".
xActivity - an "SAV" in its purest form. Without any compromises the concept vehicle shows concisely what we at BMW mean by a "Sports Activity Vehicle": The perfect combination of dynamic and sporting driving characteristics, a striking design and numerous possibilities of usage. This does not only apply to the SAV's off-road capabilities but also to the many other uses made possible by numerous functional detail solutions, expanding for the possibilities for aficionados of an active lifestyle. And the best thing about it is that passengers do not have to wait to enjoy dynamics and sportiness until they have parked their vehicle at the beach or at the starting point of the mountain bike trail. Thanks to the unparalleled driving dynamics typical of BMW they can already indulge in sports and fun while driving there.
To achieve these characteristics the same SAV approach was used for the xActivity as for the X5, which still enjoys undiminished popularity amongst customers. This concept puts special emphasis on agility and superior handling, two BMW-specific features. The BMW SAV concept is specifically directed towards the customers' needs and wishes. Therefore when designing the body and the suspension, designers placed top priority that the xActivity drives as smoothly and dynamically as one expects of a BMW. In contrast to many other SUVs, the BMW SAVs are based on the concept of a unitized body design with an independent suspension instead of a ladder-type frame or rigid axles. Rather than using a mechanical differential lock, the intelligent electronic ADB-X differential lock was developed, substantially saving weight. Through this technology, disadvantages could be eliminated in terms of handling agility, fuel economy and safety without foregoing the benefits of the off-road capability. Thus the xActivity enables the driver to drive also on dirt roads in a most dynamic, comfortable and economical way.
The technology: Agile and safe in all situations. It goes without saying that the technology inside the 4.55 metre long vehicle fully lives up to its design in terms of agility and dynamics. With a maximum output of 170 kW/231 bhp and a beefy torque of 300 Nm the BMW 3.0-litre straight-6-power unit, which is famous for its agility, provides for driving pleasure on all sorts of roads. In the lower speed range power is developed spontaneously and enables the xActivity to perform supremely also on steep uphill stretches. Thanks to the spontaneously responding, fast-revving power unit the xActivity is also a dynamic athlete on the open road. Power is conveyed via a manual transmission to the adequately sized 18-inch wheels featuring 245/45 tyres at the front and 275/40 tyres at the rear respectively. The well-balanced suspension and a low centre of gravity provide for superior handling and a high degree of agility under all conditions, making also driving on winding roads an enjoyable experience.
With the electronic Hill Descent Control (HDC) it is also no problem to master steeply sloping roads safely and in a controlled manner. And the BMW all-wheel drive on the xActivity, like on the X5, has even more to offer, for instance a feature which is unusual at first glance: A special programme of the control electronics automatically ensures that the traction control allows each wheel on dirt or sand the optimum slip for proceeding quickly. Those who do not drive on bad roads also profit from this innovative development. If, say, there is a lot of snow, which halts quite a few vehicles, the xActivity has much better traction and a higher probability of bringing its passengers surely and safely to their destination.
Engine & performance:
Power: 231 hp
Torque: 300 Nm
Front: 245/45 R18
Rear: 275/40 R18
Length: 4550 mm