The BMW Vision Neue Klasse is more than just an EV concept; it represents a new era for the brand, emphasizing its commitment to EVs with a dedicated architecture. The concept takes its name from the 1960s Neue Klasse, which served as the blueprint for BMW’s sporty, driver-centric vehicles for decades. With the Vision Neue Klasse, BMW is offering a glimpse of what its upcoming vehicles will look and perform like.
The future lineup of BMW EVs will be built on the Neue Klasse platform, with six new models slated for release between 2025 and 2027. The Vision Neue Klasse previews the first of these—a compact electric sedan with a footprint similar to the current 3-Series, set to enter production in two years.
While BMW’s iconic double kidney grilles have grown larger, many design elements reminiscent of older BMWs have endured. The front end features 3D animated grilles that activate when the driver approaches the car. The headlights, though evolving from the familiar circular/squircle graphics, retain their double elements. The “sharknose” snout, reminiscent of traditional BMW styling from the ’70s and ’80s, is a prominent return.
Notably, the vehicle sports a lower beltline and larger glass areas, enhancing visibility and usability. The traditional “Hofmeister Kink” completes the beltline, while E Ink elements on the side windows contribute to the exterior’s welcome sequence. Muscular wheel arches house 21-inch aerodynamic wheels, and the concept is painted in a vibrant color called “Joyous Bright.” At the rear, 3D-printed taillights add depth with their multi-level design.
Inside the Vision Neue Klasse, there are three striking absences: buttons, chrome, and leather. The use of cowhide has been reduced to minimize the car’s carbon footprint, and chrome has been minimized for a more contemporary look. Leather is replaced by bright cord fabric on the seats, while the front seats mount to the floor via a single bracket, creating extra space for rear passengers.
Interaction with the car centers around the BMW Panoramic Vision and the Central Display. The steering wheel, which features the only buttons in the interior, aids navigation of the central iDrive display. The conventional iDrive controller has been retired.
The Panoramic Vision takes infotainment to the next level by projecting information across the windshield at the ideal height for the driver. In driving situations, the BMW 3D Head-Up Display provides information such as assisted driving or traffic guidance.
BMW’s Vision Neue Klasse is not merely a conceptual showcase; it offers valuable insights into the design and powertrain direction of future BMW vehicles. The company’s sixth-generation eDrive technology is central to this direction, promising a 30% increase in range and faster charging. With round battery cells boasting 20% higher energy density than their predecessors, BMW aims to deliver improved performance and efficiency while maintaining its renowned driving pleasure.
Production of the first Neue Klasse EV is scheduled to begin in 2025 in Debrecen, Hungary. This EV’s production process will minimize the use of fossil fuels, relying on low CO2 footprint materials and an eco-friendly design for recycling at the end of its lifecycle.
So, has BMW hit the mark with this “near-production-ready” concept, or are they off the mark? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.