BMW will begin a major transformation in 2025. The Bavarians are on target to launch a brand new, electric-focused platform. Dubbed “Neue Klasse” or NK, the electric architecture will represent a major shift at BMW who until now has been mostly betting on flexible and adaptable platforms.
Along with the new strategy, BMW will also launch a new series of electric models and first of them is rumored to be a brand-new generation, electric-first 3 Series. The codenames are also changing, according to a report by Autocar, and the beloved 3 Series will be built on the NK1 chassis. And while the NK1 3 Series is rumored to be all-electric, fans of combustion engines will also get a choice. There is allegedly a parallel development of 3 Series models with conventional drivetrains.
The architecture currently under development for the Neue Klasse should be at least as flexible as the current CLAR cluster architecture and therefore be able to serve as the basic framework for almost all electric cars in the next few years. In addition to pure battery-electric drives, this can also include vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells and plug-in hybrids with internal combustion engines, as BMW boss Oliver Zipse confirmed a few months ago. According to Development Director Frank Weber, the Neue Klasse can cover all vehicle sizes, from a sedan to an X7.
The CLAR platform will continue to be used in the electric sedans up to 2025. In addition to the i4 that has already been introduced, we will soon see the BMW i5 and BMW i7. Of course, there is a major engineering delta in the development of the two platforms: NK and CLAR.
While the internal combustion engine is the focus of CLAR and the architecture has been enabled to be usable for electric cars , the game is played the other way around in the Neue Klasse. This architecture is developed primarily for electric cars, which is also suitable for internal combustion engines .
The Autocar report only mentions the NK1 3 Series for 2025, but our own sources say that the next-generation BMW X3 will arrive around the same time, and based on a similar strategy. It remains to be seen which model makes it to the market first, but it’s fair to assume that the two are the strongest candidates to launch first on the NK platform. And that’s mostly due to the development cycle which calls for a new model of the two around 2025.