BMW unveils its Neue Klasse concept at the 2023 Munich Motor Show, a mid-size 100% electric car which announces the design and technologies of the brand’s future productions. This is what the future electric 3 series, the hypothetical BMW i3, should look like.
With the Munich Motor Show (IAA 2023) opening its doors on September 5, 2023, BMW is playing at home. In his hometown. And alongside the BMW i7 Protection and iX5 Hydrogen, it is above all the future of the brand that presents itself to us with the Vision Neue Klasse concept.
If you follow the news from BMW or more generally from electric mobility, perhaps the name of this prototype already rings a bell. And this would be quite normal, because the Bavarian firm has already been talking about it for some time, but not so much in the form of a very specific model as one, as THE platform which will host many 100% electric models to come. .
If Neue Klasse therefore designates a sort of all-purpose kit which will be adapted to the brand’s future models, it is here personified by a hard concept which helps us to project ourselves into the promises of BMW which could be translated as follows: more autonomy, more efficiency and more technology.
A design of the future that evokes the past
Much more anchored in reality than the BMW i Vision Circular concept presented exactly two years ago, and which projected us into mobility as seen by BMW for 2040, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse takes on the features of a show car more recent, the i Vision Dee from CES in Las Vegas in early 2023. But as if it were closer to an industrial reality. However, it retains the word “Vision” in the name, which always establishes a certain distance with the arrival on the road.
To remain attached to the brand, the brand’s designer Adrian van Hooydonk gave this concept some markers very specific to BMW, such as the marked wheel arches, the rear window moved back or even the famous “shark nose” front end. Moreover, we could easily imagine the famous round headlights of the 1970s-1980s-1990s being integrated into this grille which decreases in size (phew!) compared to the latest productions to widen on the entire front.
The large side glass surfaces which bathe the cabin in natural light also refer to BMWs of the last century, as does the car’s three-box body.
BMWs easier to recycle
Still on the outside, the bodywork, which aspires to a simpler design than on current generations with entirely smooth surfaces, is adorned with a slightly yellow tint supposed to give it a friendly personality. A color that contrasts with the side skirts and black bumpers which visually lower the height of the car.
A black material that we also notice in the door openings and which reflects BMW’s desire to work with recycled materials. The latter improve circularity, while the simplified disassembly and the few materials used make it possible to optimize the recycling of the models which will be based on the Neue Klasse architecture.
Light signature and interaction
This Vision Neue Klasse concept also allows interactions with outside people via different lighting effects. A three-dimensional animation welcomes the driver who approaches the car. At the back, there are 3D printed and juxtaposed elements which give an effect of depth to the light signature.
Still on the outside, it is the E Ink technology in the lower part of the side windows which interacts with the driver by welcoming him. So many elements which only announce the technological explosion that we are facing internally. Because this Vision Neue Klasse takes into account the digital interior technologies already used on the latest concept, the i Vision Dee.
As for the interior, it promises to take the super impressive cinema screen of the BMW i7 to oblivion as we find ourselves here in the future. Thanks to the new generation BMW iDrive, this Vision Neue Klasse concept, and future production models, will have a panoramic head-up display across the entire width of the windshield (BMW Panoramic Vision). While the buttons will have almost completely disappeared from the cabin, a personal assistant will help the driver operate the car.
Sixth generation BMW eDrive
In the same vein as the use of recycled materials, BMW has taken care to make this Neue Klasse as environmentally responsible as possible. A process already started, we remember it on the BMW i3 whose production plant was powered by wind energy. Here the Vision Neue Klasse came out of the new factory in Debrecen which used no fossil fuels.
The Neue Klasse also promises to have been optimized in terms of weight as well as air and rolling resistance. Which also echoes the BMW i3 which, in its time (production stopped in 2022), used a carbon monocoque cell to reduce weight as much as possible, and particularly thin tires to limit friction and therefore optimize efficiency.
BMW introduces sixth-generation eDrive technology on this Vision Neue Klasse with new cylindrical battery cells, 20% more efficient than prismatic cells. The charging speed also promises to be 30% faster, and the autonomy 30% greater.
With more concrete figures, it is possible that future electric BMWs will take just 12 minutes to recharge, with an estimated range of around 800 km over the WLTP approval cycle.
Neue Klasse, when is it due?
As it stands, this BMW Vision Neue Klasse will never see the light of day. There may not even be a notchback sedan that looks like it for a while. But this concept makes us see further and these are the solutions, the car technologies which will arrive on future electric BMWs. Which will obviously be based on Neue Klasse architecture.
A little more patience since BMW will not put a model from the Neue Klasse platform on the road before 2025, with the equivalent of the 100% electric BMW 3 Series.