Sex Car, Take Two: BMW's Autonomous Future Is Apparently Powered by Steam

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Volkswagen made waves and offended Corey’s sensibilities when it released an ad, a while back, that used sex to sell its line of family-friendly vehicles. Not implicit, come-hither-looks-from-passing-girls kinda sex, but full-on, here’s-people-doing-it kinda sex. Seemed a little rude.

Well, the Germans are at it again.

This time, it’s BMW and an online ad that uses raw, steamy passion and a concept-car-turned-bordello to sell its vision of an electric, autonomous future. A future that, until now, has boasted very little sex appeal. Like, zero sex appeal.

With its spot for the Vision iNext concept vehicle, BMW is explicitly saying that time spent driving could be put to better use by turning your vehicle — possibly borrowed, or worse yet, owned by a ride-hailing company — into a no-tell motel. Magic Fingers not included.

One hopes that BMW has a supply of stain-resistant seat fabric at the ready.

In this rolling display of debauchery and lewdness, we see a fashionable, European-looking couple making like they’re in a bathroom at a drug-infused rave (or perhaps a back-alley on Bourbon Street) as streetlights flit across windows. The lights of a police car come into view, but the occupants of the Crown Vic instead motor past the iNext, completely unaware of the carnal escapades occurring within.

“A space where everything can be done with ease,” reads BMW’s tweet.

A space where everything can be done with ease.

The BMW Vision iNEXT.

— BMW i (@BMWi) September 23, 2019

Weirdly, it’s quite clear that this unbelted and uninhibited couple is not actually inside a vehicle, but BMW wants us to believe they are. There’s not much to be seen in the exterior shots of the vehicle, minus the vehicle itself. And what an odd-looking vehicle it is, but that’s neither here nor there.

Bimmer bills the iNext as a vehicle that responds to the whims of its driver. Its steering wheel stands ready to serve those who aren’t getting any, but the wheel and all other dashboard trappings fade to the background when the occupant wishes to go driver-free.

“People, their emotions and wants, are at the forefront of all BMW Group thinking about the mobility of the future,” the automaker stated when debuting the iNext.

“Apart from the steering wheel and displays in the driver’s area, there are no other screens or controls to be seen in the BMW Vision iNEXT. In order to preserve the comfortable character of the rear compartment, and therefore keep the people on board at centre stage, the intelligent technology is integrated out of sight. Only when it is required by the driver or passengers does the technology become visible and operable. With the focus of attention on people, technology deliberately fades into the background and only becomes visible and operable, when the driver or passengers want it to be.”

Obviously, materials and marketing associated with the iNext focus on all the things a driver could be doing in that people-focused passenger space — responding to emails, preparing spreadsheets, making babies. Stuff like that. One imagines that this couple’s autonomous iNext is perfectly able to follow programmed instructions as to its destination, be that locale a place of residence, a pharmacy, or a confessional booth.

While the racy ad undoubtedly injects some heat into an automotive realm that boasts the same level of titillation as watching your elderly neighbors shower in a FEMA tent, it also gives credence to predictions that self-driving vehicles will become bedrooms on wheels. Is this what you want to see in the car next to you during your commute? Truthful answers only, please.

[Image: BMW/Twitter]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Sep 23, 2019

    Does BMW have bathroom on board? If not - I pass. But I am too old for that "joy" anyway. Germans for some reason are obsessed with sex not in the good way so I am not surprised how they imagine future joy. Probably complex of inferiority or too much of common sense and complete lack of passion make them want to be like Italians in their dreams..

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Sep 24, 2019

    My recent BMW X5 ownership experience had elements of sex - I got f***ed that's for sure.

    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Sep 24, 2019

      There are some things that money can't buy. Some things* money will only rent. * at least until Democrats legalize slavery again

  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.
  • 3-On-The-Tree True that’s the worst beat down in history.
  • Jalop1991 Tesla has made getting repairs a real headache for some owners, as the automaker hasn’t allowed them to get work done at third-party shops. That policy has led owners to seek  class-action status against the company,So, move next to the airport then complain about the noise.Got it.
  • Jalop1991 One of the most interesting parts of this situation is that Stellantis, and by extension, the Chrysler Group, is increasingly considered a foreign companyNational Lampoon, May 1981.
  • ChristianWimmer This W126 example looks very nicely maintained and very clean inside and out. Definitely owned with love and respect. I can see Bill from Curious Cars selling this thing! My father drove a second hand bare bones facelifted 1985 Mercedes 300SE W126 back in the day until the early 2000s which eventually got passed down to me. The previous owner had only paid extra for a sunroof and automatic transmission. It had black cloth seats, no A/C, manual windows, no cruise control and those ugly plastic hubcaps which were so common on 1980s Mercedes’. I drove the 300SE for about seven years and enjoyed the comfort and pretty low running costs: reliable and also relatively fuel efficient. If you drove it normally you could get it to sip 9 L / 100 km. Motor oil consumption was pretty high as it got older needing a top up with 1 L of oil every 1,500-2,000 km, but this was apparently normal on the 3.0 inline-6. A comfortable long-distance cruiser and it even “handled” pretty nicely when you attempted to drive it in a 50% sporty manner on some backroads. After the free-for-all parking lot it usually parked on got demolished and parking such a huge barge became a problem, I ended up selling it to a local classic car club which still own it to this day and display it at classic car shows. Great memories of that car. 420SE/SEL and the 560SE/SEL are nice but the thirsty motors are something of a turn off.