- BMW has unveiled its Imaginative and prescient Neue Klasse idea automotive on the IAA Mobility auto present in its hometown of Munich, Germany.
- The retro-future idea automotive previews an upcoming electrical sports activities sedan that we count on to see morph right into a 3-series as early because the 2026 mannequin 12 months.
- Its styling pays homage to the enduring BMW Neue Klasse, which itself marked a key transformative interval for the corporate when it launched in 1962.
The unique Neue Klasse saved BMW’s bacon again within the Nineteen Sixties, and it additionally advanced into the famed 2002, which was so good that it led Automotive and Driver’sDavid E. Davis Jr. to proclaim it “Considered one of fashionable civilization’s all-time finest methods to get someplace sitting down.” Right this moment, the model is way stronger then it was again then, however this imaginative and prescient for its electrified future marks the beginning of a equally transformative interval for the corporate—therefore the revival of the Neue Klasse identify.
The idea automotive proven right here—maybe we should always name it the Neue Neue Klasse?—is electrical and showcases future tech in a retro-modern wrapper. Not solely can we count on that the Imaginative and prescient Neue Klasse idea previews a future 3-series sedan, the subsequent technology of which is anticipated to debut in 2025 as a 2026 mannequin, however we additionally see it as a brand new design language for the whole BMW model.
The forward-slanted nostril and exaggerated kidney-shaped fake grilles are probably the most dramatic components of the Neue Klasse idea’s entrance finish, and its homage to the 2002 is unmistakable. Nevertheless it’s no easy rehashing of that Nineteen Sixties basic, because the idea automotive incorporates a digital grille with lights that lightly pulse as if the automotive is respiration.
Slender roof pillars and enormous home windows make the small automotive’s greenhouse look a lot bigger, and its easy profile is nearly devoid of character strains. The result’s a flat look, with a single crease low on the doorways that serves to attract a connection to the entrance and rear wheels.
Talking of home windows, a skinny strip of e-Ink show—like what you’d see on an eReader pill—stretches throughout the underside of the 2 facet home windows. It lights up as you strategy the automotive and serves as a touch-sensitive door deal with. The automotive’s taillamps characteristic 3-D-printed components organized in a cascading design that create a way of depth whereas vibrant purple LEDs illuminate them from behind.
A set of 21-inch wheels was fastidiously designed for max aerodynamics with out trying like they’re, and a pair of rear-facing cameras on skinny stalks stand in for conventional exterior mirrors—a characteristic we count on will not make the soar to manufacturing.
Stepping contained in the Neue Klasse idea reveals a futuristic, digital-centric design. A big black panel that runs the width of the dashboard alongside the bottom of the windshield illuminates with BMW’s next-generation iDrive interface. Referred to as Panoramic Imaginative and prescient, the black panel really serves as a projection display for the infotainment system, and it seems fairly slick.
A trapezoidal heart show remains to be inside attain of the driving force’s proper hand, however key data might be moved as much as the panoramic display for simpler viewing whereas on the go. As if this wasn’t sufficient shows, the Neue Klasse idea additionally affords a head-up show. Though this method looks like it might be particular to the idea automotive, BMW says consumers can count on to see this characteristic within the manufacturing model.
A quartet of midcentury-modern bucket seats provides the inside a classic contact, and BMW has chosen yellow corduroy upholstery, which supplies the in any other case white inside some heat. A floating heart console divides the cabin, and the multi-function steering wheel options not solely a flat backside but in addition a flat high and sides, making a type of sq. look.
Subsequent-Gen EV Platform
The Neue Klasse serves because the debut of BMW’s next-generation EV platform, which is alleged to be an 800-volt system and makes use of a brand new battery design with 20 % greater power density. Mixed with enhancements in aerodynamics, higher-efficiency electrical motors, and higher thermal administration, BMW says, the vary might be elevated by as much as 30 % in contrast with the corporate’s present EV drivetrain.
Whereas it will likely be primarily produced in Hungary, BMW is alleged to be exploring break up manufacturing volumes with its plant in the USA to higher reap the benefits of federal EV incentives right here. Moreover, a brand new battery manufacturing unit is deliberate in South Carolina. The corporate additionally says its manufacturing amenities will not use any fossil fuels however will deal with utilizing a larger quantity of recycled supplies within the course of.
Whether or not or not the revived Neue Klasse will quickly turn into the brand new finest approach to get someplace sitting down stays to be seen, however we’re trying ahead to discovering out.
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Managing Editor, Purchaser’s Information
Drew Dorian is a lifelong automotive fanatic who has additionally held all kinds of consumer-focused positions all through his profession, starting from monetary counselor to auto salesperson. He has dreamed of turning into a Automotive and Driver editor since he was 11 years outdated—a dream that was realized when he joined the workers in April 2016. He’s a born-and-raised Michigander and discovered to drive on a 1988 Pontiac Grand Am. His automotive pursuits run the gamut from convertibles and camper vans to sports activities automobiles and luxurious SUVs.