The BMW Neue Klasse: Everything You Need to Know
BMW's revolutionary next-generation vehicles are arriving very soon.
Quick German lesson time: Neue Klasse translates to "New Class" in English. BMW first used the term for its revolutionary sedans in the 1960s and 1970s, the cars that established the modern BMW brand; the beloved 2002 coupe, for example, was a shortened version.
Here in the 2020s, however, BMW is reviving the name "Neue Klasse" for its net-generation vehicle platform. Here's what we know about it so far.
BMW's current EVs use the hybrid Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform, which supports EVs, hybrids and combustion vehicles. The Neue Klasse platform will be EV-only.
CLAR offered BMW flexibility during a transition period; a hybrid platform lets you build all types of vehicles on the same line. Neue Klasse will let BMW produce better electric cars that aren't beholden to the design constraints of a combustion engine.
BMW has confirmed it will build its first Neue Klasse vehicle in 2025. The first two vehicles will be a compact sedan and a compact crossover, de facto electric versions of the 3 Series and the X3, BMW's best-selling car and SUV, respectively.
Per BMW Blog, the vehicles may be called the i3 and iX3 , respectively, and exist alongside new CLAR-based combustion models.
Not for a while. Mercedes and Lexus committed to going all-electric in major markets by 2030. Audi is doing so by 2033. BMW has committed to selling 50% EVs by 2030. But expect BMW to hedge with combustion vehicle availability, especially in emerging markets.
Probably, though they have not been announced yet. We should see similar changes to other manufacturers who have switched to dedicated EV platforms: longer wheelbases, lower centers of gravity and more spacious interiors. One report has BMW plotting a switch to new CATL cylindrical battery cells, which could cut battery costs by 30%.
BMW has kept them on EVs thus far. So, probably not.
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