1981 BMW AVT Concept: A Blast From the Past Meets Future Technology
UPDATE: BMW has responded regarding the status of the AVT, and fortunately, there is positive news. After much speculation about the future of the AVT, it seems that BMW has finally provided some clarity on the matter. Despite initial worries about its discontinuation, it appears that the AVT will remain in production for the foreseeable future.Amidst widespread anticipation and concerns, BMW has at last offered some much-needed clarification on the future of the AVT. Though apprehension over its potential cessation lingered, it now appears that the AVT will continue to be manufactured for the foreseeable future.Sources close to the company report that the AVT’s sales have been steadily increasing in recent months, leading BMW to reconsider its initial plans to axe the model. This not only shows a strong demand for the AVT, but also reflects BMW’s commitment to providing customers with quality and desirable vehicles.According to insiders, the AVT has experienced a significant surge in sales over the past few months, prompting BMW to reassess its decision to discontinue the model. This not only serves as evidence of the AVT’s enduring popularity, but also highlights BMW’s dedication to offering top-notch and desirable options for consumers.In response to the positive reception of the AVT, BMW
According to a spokesperson, “I confirmed that we do still have the AVT in storage.” The AVT was last showcased in 1981 and has not been displayed anywhere else since then. The spokesperson clarified that it was only a clay model and therefore not suitable for any other events or activities.
Regrettably, BMW was unable to provide us with any current images showcasing the AVT’s appearance. Perhaps, it will resurface from the archives at some point in time.
The significance of vehicle aerodynamics remains crucial in today’s automotive industry. With the rise of electric vehicles accounting for a larger share of new cars released, automakers are placing a strong emphasis on creating highly streamlined designs to optimize their range. This pursuit has been a long-standing goal for companies, with continuous efforts towards decreasing drag coefficients for over several decades. In fact, BMW’s AVT concept was introduced as early as 1981, showcasing their commitment to achieving a more wind-resistant exterior design.
BMW’s Head of Design, Domagoj Dukec, recently delved into the brand’s archives and uncovered a collection of rarely seen images showcasing the AVT. In an Instagram post, Dukec refers to this car as “one of the most enigmatic concept cars in BMW’s history.” Apparently, the company created it with the intention of having a captivating piece to display at their new wind tunnel facility.
AVT is short for Aerodynamischer Versuchsträger, a term originating from German which translates to aerodynamic test vehicle. Essentially, it is a design model that does not have any drivetrain or interior components. Its main purpose is to serve as a three-dimensional structure used for wind tunnel testing.
The aesthetics showcase a sleek front end with a low and curved nose that seamlessly transitions into the windshield. Similar to BMW’s iconic kidney grilles, smaller versions adorn the tip of the vehicle. The hood appears seamless, thanks to the addition of pop-up headlights.
The purpose of covers is to hide and protect the front wheels, in order to ensure an aerodynamic side profile. The curvy lines on the sides guide the eye towards the wider rear fenders which are topped with fairings. The absence of an interior leaves some uncertainty about how the doors would function, but it is likely that they would have gullwing hinges.
The back of the vehicle showcases a Kammback tail design, with a downward slope that ends abruptly in a vertical cut. This specific style effectively minimizes drag, aligning with the primary goal of the AVT concept.
Dukec’s recent publication is intriguing as it showcases a combination of illustrations and pictures featuring the AVT. Remarkably, during its conversion from sketches to a physical model, the car underwent minimal alterations. However, the miniature openings on the lower front fascia and the NACA ducts placed in front of the rear fenders did not carry over into the final design.
The BMW’s form bears certain resemblances to the Volkswagen XL1. They possess features such as sleek design and fairings over the back wheels. If one aims to create a car that excels in aerodynamics, this is the ideal shape to achieve such a feat. However, unlike the AVT, the XL1 had a restricted production cycle that commenced in 2014.
Inquiring about the current status of the AVT, we contacted BMW for clarification. According to a representative from Motor1, they stated that “typically, after non-operational prototypes like this have been displayed at car shows, they are either placed in extended storage or disposed of.” We eagerly anticipate learning the outcome of the AVT and will provide any additional information in an updated version of this piece.
Source: domagoj.dukec via Instagram, via BMW Blog