Little by little, more pieces are falling into place about the hugely promising Neue Klasse platform. Debuting in 2025 on a 3 Series-sized EV, the bespoke electric car architecture will be inaugurated at the newly erected Debrecen factory in Hungary before production will commence in 2026 in Munich. To rely on sustainably sourced steel more than ever, the underpinnings will also focus on recyclability.
We’ve been promised “bold and meaningful” designs from the new wave of EVs, which will also include fully fledged M cars. Neue Klasse will usher in the BMW Group’s sixth-generation eDrive, complete with support for solid-state batteries later on. Meanwhile, a new report from Automotive News Europe states NE will help the German automaker cut battery costs by almost a third.
According to ANE, an electric vehicle riding on the NE platform will use round cells instead of cylindrical ones as it’s currently the case. The publication cites “people familiar with the plans” stating a 30% drop in costs related to batteries. These round cells will be made by one of the company’s existing partners, so it can only be one of the following: Samsung SDI, CATL, Eve Energy, or Northvolt.
Interestingly, insiders claim BMW’s round cells will have at least a 10% higher energy density compared to what Tesla is using. That will obviously result in a higher driving range, but nothing is official at this point and things could change considering Neue Klasse is not due for another three years or so.
Although the first NE-based is expected to take the shape of a 3 Series Sedan, an electric 3er already exists in the company’s portfolio. Earlier this year, BMW introduced the i3 eDrive35L as a purely electric adaptation of the long-wheelbase 3 Series Sedan. The CLAR-based electric saloon is going to be built in China starting later this year.
Much like iX3 also built in China, the i3 Sedan comes only in rear-wheel-drive guise with an electric motor mounted at the back where it makes 282 hp (210 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). It’s the first 3 Series ever to get air suspension and sits 44 mm (1.73 inches) lower compared to a conventionally powered model.
BMW has no plans to sell the i3 outside of China once production of the namesake hatchback will come to an end in July.
Source: Automotive News Europe