BMW's autonomous iNEXT electric crossover is no ordinary vehicle. And to launch it, BMW is taking to the skies.
In a round-the-world sprint spanning Sept. 9-14, BMW will fly the iNEXT in a Boeing 777 Freighter to press events in Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing, before returning to Frankfurt.
The Lufthansa Cargo aircraft won't just ferry the flagship vehicle — it will double as a showroom, hosting dozens of journalists in each city.
"For us, it is really a new era of mobility that starts with this concept car," Ingo Wirth, project lead for BMW's Vision iNEXT World Flight, told Automotive News. "We thought we needed to do something differently."
BMW is turning the typical vehicle launch on its head. Automakers traditionally transport the automotive press from around the world to a single location for a product unveiling.
"We said, 'Why don't we turn it around 180 degrees?' " Wirth said. "All the media representatives can stay at home and we'll bring the car to them."
BMW began discussions with German carrier Lufthansa about a year ago.
"We are two premium mobility companies," Wirth said of the German airline. "We have cooperations on other levels anyway with them."