Key Highlights:
  • BMW aims to have electric vehicles (EVs) makeup around 50% of its global sales before 2030.
  • The first EV from the Neue Klasse portfolio is scheduled to enter production in 2025.
  • Production of Neue Klasse models will begin in Hungary, followed by locations in Germany, China, and Mexico.

BMW Unveils Neue Klasse Electric Concept: A Game-Changer for EVs

In its pursuit of having electric vehicles (EVs) account for nearly half of its global sales by 2030, BMW has introduced the groundbreaking Neue Klasse concept. This revolutionary concept marks a departure from BMW’s previous EV offerings, emphasizing minimalistic design, a futuristic interior, and an entirely new powertrain. While the showcased Neue Klasse concept won’t go into production, it serves as a preview of the upcoming electric sedan, set to enter production in 2025 and comparable in size to the BMW 3 Series.

Design Innovation

Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s design chief, affirms that the Neue Klasse concept maintains BMW’s essence in design. The concept follows BMW’s iconic proportions with a “two-and-a-half-box” design, short overhangs, and stylish 21-inch wheels in flared wheel arches.

The exterior features a reimagined twin-headlight layout and a kidney grille with a light signature, with the aim of replacing chrome elements entirely with light modules in future models. The concept’s body structure, described as “almost monolithic,” draws inspiration from the classic 3 Series range with its low-slung profile, long wheelbase, frameless doors, slim pillars, and a full-width LED tail-light. Black finish adorns the bumpers and side skirts, while the 21-inch aero-focused wheels pay homage to iconic BMW race cars.

Revolutionary Interior

The introduction of the next-gen iDrive in-car system is set to revolutionize the driving experience in the Neue Klasse models. Departing from the traditional rotary iDrive controller, the system fully integrates into a central touchscreen, eliminating most physical controls. This central touchscreen will work in tandem with the ‘Panoramic Vision’ head-up display, projecting information across the entire windshield. Drivers can conveniently interact with the central display by swiping on a touchpad integrated into the steering wheel, situated on the right spoke.

Next-Gen Battery Technology

One of the significant advancements in the Neue Klasse models is the adoption of new battery cells. Unlike the prismatic cells used in previous BMW EVs, Neue Klasse models will feature cylindrical cells in 4695- and 46120-formats. These cells, while maintaining nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) chemistry, boast higher nickel content and reduced cobalt content, resulting in a 20% increase in energy density. This upgrade translates to a remarkable 30% boost in the overall range of the Neue Klasse models, with long-range variants expected to achieve close to 1,000 kilometres (WLTP cycle). Additionally, these EVs will offer 30% quicker charging times.

Global Production Plans

BMW’s ambitious Neue Klasse lineup is set to include six models by 2027, encompassing both sedan and SUV body styles. Production will commence in Hungary, followed by facilities in Germany, China, and Mexico. This strategic move positions BMW at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.

In an intriguing parallel, Mercedes-Benz is also preparing to unveil its Concept CLA sedan on September 3, aligning with the simultaneous debut of electric sedan concepts from both brands at the Munich Motor Show. BMW’s Neue Klasse concept represents a pivotal step forward in the electrification of the automotive industry, promising a new era of EVs that blend iconic design with cutting-edge technology and exceptional range.

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