The future is now and in the form of BMW i Vision DEE. What’s this, you wonder? What are all these words and letters put together? That, my friend, is the newest BMW color-changing car. If this is the first time you have heard about it – buckle up, and let’s learn all about it.
What Is the BMW Color Changing Car?
BMW is changing the face of the company with a new class – literally called “New Class.” You may be more familiar with this by the title NEUE KLASSE. This automotive revolution began back in the 1960s and 70s when they started making sedans that shaped the brand.
So, when we think of NEUE KLASSE, we imagine the classic BMW look and feel, which is where the company is one step ahead of all our imaginations. Their vision of NEUE KLASSE is being further developed by inventing the BMW i Vision DEE – a color-changing car.
This Isn’t the First Innovative Vehicle BMW Released
Because the company is looking into changing the future of car exteriors, the i Vision DEE isn’t the first revolutionary vehicle they came up with. The first one was the BMW iX Flow. Officially announced in December 2022, the car garnered praise for being a classic BMW model with the most innovative paint job on the market.
The iX Flow looks cool and sleek; it has everything you need to feel like a true BMW owner. It gets even cooler when its stunning white exterior suddenly turns black. That’s right, the iX Flow has the black-white-gray color changing concept.
The color change is so quick and smooth, you might believe you’re going insane. Still, that isn’t just a cool party trick – it has some benefits, which the engineers explained. Not sure if everyone was listening, though, being distracted by the pretty colors. Hopefully, they did, because BMW didn’t just do it to make heads turn.
DEE Is an Abbreviation for BMW’s Innovative Science
The BMW i Vision DEE, compared to the iX Flow, has multiple colors and various palettes available on its exterior. It also looks like a Blade Runner car, or however humans imagined the evolution of cars.
The name wasn’t just chosen at a random word generator. DEE is an abbreviation, and it stands for Digital Emotional Experience. Knowing this gives us a clearer picture of what BMW wants for its NEUE KLASSE.
Their engineers developed a fully intuitive system on the inside; the car functions on emotional intelligence. It can read a driver’s previous trips and develop suggestions based on that data; when the driver customizes their trip with the i Vision DEE, it’s like they have a personal assistant that also transports them everywhere.
A direct quote from BMW’s website says: “With the BMW i Vision Dee, the company is reinventing this relationship and bringing it into the digital age: A vehicle for all senses.” The car doesn’t just take you from point A to point B.
It also taps into the driver’s personality, making the car fully adapted to one’s needs and wants. BMW is already among the most popular import cars in the US, but it’s about to be a worldwide force with this sort of innovation.
How Does the BMW That Changes Color Work?
Well, the car itself works the same as any car – with the help of a good running engine. It must be said that DEE is an electric sports sedan – compared to the iX Flow, which was a crossover.
BMW wants its NEUE KLASSE to be fully electric, so all future releases will be in the same concept. And to think electric cars are somewhat a thing of the past now; despite this, many people still need to be able to afford them.
Regarding the color-changing aspect, DEE is coated in film; the colors aren’t produced by a bunch of fragile and strange displays. The technology used on the car’s exterior is called E Ink, and it’s the product of the US-based company of the same name.
The Science Behind E Ink Panels
E Ink is a US-based company behind numerous e-readers and smartwatches. They invented e-paper, digital displays that look exactly like paper. Think of Kindle – the most famous e-reading tool. The pages on a Kindle look realistic and paper-like; this is what E Ink brings to the table.
After developing the black and white book versions of digital paper, E Ink embarked on a journey to reveal their newest color paper edition – Prism 3. The Prism 3 paper offers an array of dynamic color combinations and patterns.
They joined forces with BMW to first coat the iX Flow in black, white, and gray film; after developing the Prism 3, they joined forces again, this time producing the charming i Vision DEE.
DEE is coated in 240 E Ink film panels and can create and change between as many as 32 colors. The patterns are also customizable; each segment is controlled individually. For it to be able to change colors, it requires electricity – but it’s energy efficient because it only spends energy during the change, not while it maintains a specific color.
The Australian Engineer Stella Clarke Is the Brain Behind the Operation
The first idea of wrapping an entire four-wheeler in color-changing E Ink film was entirely BMW’s, but Stella Clarke is the engineer who led a team of other engineers into this venture. They decided to fully embrace the stakes of E Ink paper and develop a car that’s, for lack of a better word, impressive.
According to Clarke, DEE is still just an R&D project. In her mind, the vehicle won’t be available for common use in the foreseeable future, but all its tech is no longer a vision of the future – it’s a fact.
Check out this interview with Stella Clarke and her explanation of BMW’s color-changing panel uses.
Does the Color Changing BMW Have Special Technical Specs?
This is all fine and dandy – it’s not a car for off-road driving or something you’d likely buy in the used car section, but what does DEE offer regarding technical specifications? As much as I’d love to say more than just – it’s electric, I don’t think I can.
The car has four wheels and seats, and it drives when you start it – the basic functions are still there. As far as other attributes go, here’s what we know:
- The exterior design is based on the classic BMW three-box sedan,
- It has the traditional BMW kidney grille,
- There are two circular headlights in the front,
- The interior has toned down colors and is minimal, gray in color,
- All the analog components inside have been replaced with phygital icons – or essentially, digital icons with an immersive experience, like VR and AR,
- The car can wink at you – it was programmed with nine different facial expressions,
- According to BMW, “the steering wheel, pedals, and gear selector are the only physical controls.”
What’s the Interior Like?
With little information available online, it’s easy to think this vehicle is nothing more than a surface-level wonder. Yet, its color-changing panels seem to be the least interesting part of it.
The interior looks like something out of a movie. It’s sleek, primarily in a soft grey with neon-ish green/yellow accents, such as those on the wheel and the Mixed Reality Slider. The Mixed Reality Slider is a minimal, touchscreen aspect on the dashboard.
When you turn on the car, the slider displays five dots connected by a line; these are five display options ranging from essential aspects like showing speed, mileage, and other driving-related information, to AR projection and full VR immersion.
If this seems hard to believe, watch BMW’s official DEE introduction in this short but detailed video. It shows all the interior secrets and some other accessories that make the vehicle interesting (to say the least).
Who Will Buy a Car That Changes Colors – Potential Audience Analysis
This car looks and seems cool as heck, right? Well, if you prefer regular old sedans, it might not. In that case, you’ll likely be happier checking out BMW’s classic models that don’t wink at you or read your Instagram DMs. That’s fair and understandable.
But, for people who like Tesla, this BMW may be like a dream come true. This is a vehicle for people who see technological advancements as the only way forward – techies, in short. That could be true in many ways, but it’s also far from what we currently have.
Everyone thought electric cars would make such a boom on the market that every driver will soon have one, but that didn’t take class into account. You have to understand that, no matter how wonderful some new tech is, when it’s still in development or sold in small numbers, it’s expensive.
I don’t expect any of my friends going head over heels for DEE and willingly spend everything they have on a car that can talk to them. It seems this techie idea of the future is still reserved for Knight Rider fans rather than on the mind of a Millennial or Gen Z car owner.
There’s No Denying, This Car Is Cool, but Is It Sustainable?
The E Ink panels pose another question – how is this idea sustainable? That’s the best part of the whole thing. For example, the iX Flow was released with its impressive black and white palette as a vehicle that doesn’t just change appearances – but something that actually saves energy.
Although the panels require electricity to work, once the color changes, they no longer use the power source. That means the expenditure is minimal since the car’s color changes within milliseconds.
Say you’re driving in scorching heat, but you don’t want to use the AC to prevent engine waste. In that case, changing the car’s color to white will deflect sunlight much more successfully, keeping the interior cool.
You know how they say “don’t wear black in summer“? If you ever have, then you understand why that is.
The same goes for this car concept. In winter, you can turn your car black to attract more sunlight and keep yourself and the vehicle warm, like you’re both in photosynthesis. This is arguably the coolest and most badass thing about color-changing cars.
That’s All Great, but What Is the BMW Color Changing Car Price?
What is the color changing car by BMW price? I know that question is on everyone’s mind, but the cost wasn’t published. This is primarily due to the fact it’s still an in-house project. DEE may wait a while before becoming an official part of the BMW roster, but NEUE KLASSE is ready to welcome it into the ranks.
Interestingly, Stella Clarke mentioned that she understands people’s cost expectations are high, but they may be surprised by the price. She was essentially implying it won’t cost a fortune. Just a small fortune, perhaps.
How believable is it that the car’s price will be reasonable? We’ll see by the pace of the development. They may test this several times more to see what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully, they’ll also see AR isn’t useful in cities with the worst drivers.
If You’ve Always Dreamed Of Having a BMW Car That Changes Color – Well, You’re Very Lucky
BMW came out with two car models that change colors whenever you want. Whether we as a customer base like it or not, we have to give them credit – the car is fully functional and interesting to look at.
I’m still deciding which side I’m on. I’m skeptical, as many are, but also excited about technology that boosts safe and sensible driving. Nothing’s better than a good driver, but many drivers are not good. Having assistance to park, avoid accidents, and follow street signs remains some of the best the tech industry has brought to the automotive industry.
Considering color changes are also charged a lot, having a car that can be yellow one day and pink the next is also exciting. The novelty will never wear out, and you’ll always find ways to make it interesting.
We’ll learn more about i Vision DEE when BMW decides to launch it together with NEUE KLASSE.