BMW’s ‘Neue Klasse’ concept hints at new 3-Series sized i3

Tom Barnard

2 Sep 2023

Take a look at the future of BMW. The company has revealed its ‘Vision Neue Klasse’ concept which showcases the design elements that will define all new BMWs from 2025 onwards. Eventually, six new BMW models will be based on the hardware showcased in the concept.

It’s not just the look which is new – the car also has innovative electric powertrain tech which promises 30% more range, 30% faster charging and 25% more efficiency. Based on the figures achieved by current models, that could mean 500 miles between charges. The car also promises to build on BMW’s Green Hero award-winning production strategy as it will eventually be built in a new plant without using any fossil fuels.

The outside of the car features a very modern interpretation of some classic BMW features. The steeply forward-slanting “shark nose” front-end has two ‘kidney’ grilles spread horizontally across the entire width of the car, and now incorporate the headlamps. The distinctive ‘Hofmeister’ kink of the rearmost side window has also been reintroduced.Even the 21-inch aerodynamic wheels pay tribute to the classic cross-spoke design inspired by BMW’s motorsport history.

The concept drops very heavy hints about the new, all-electric 3-Series

Inside, the next generation of BMW iDrive is said to merge the real and virtual worlds. Unlike most of BMW’s current EVs, the Neue Klasse’s is designed to be fully electric and doesn’t share its underpinnings with combustion-engined versions. This opens up new possibilities for the interior design. “The design of the Neue Klasse is typically BMW and so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.

Analogue operating controls have been reduced to a minimum, and most functions are controlled through the Central Display and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel. There is also a high-tech new interface called BMW Panoramic Vision, which will be available for the first time in the Neue Klasse. Information is projected at the ideal height into the driver's line of sight and, for the first time, across the entire width of the windscreen.

The rear features elements taken from historical BMWs too

Both the driver and front passenger are able to interact with information displayed on the screen, and move content shown on the Central Display to the BMW Panoramic Vision with a simple gesture. 

In addition to highly efficient electric motors, advances in the BMW eDrive technology include newly-developed round battery cells, with more than 20 percent higher energy density than that of the prismatic cells previously used.

The sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology will improve the charging speed for Neue Klasse models by up to 30 percent, in addition to boosting their range by up to 30 percent. As a result of all these measures, overall vehicle efficiency will increase by up to 25 percent. The Vision Neue Klasse is set to become the new, all-electric 3-Series in 2025 and will morph into an SUV to replace the X3 and iX3 later that year. The style and technology will then be used on smaller models such as the 1-Series and iX1.

The windscreen becomes a giant interactive infotainment display

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