We’ve known for a while the Neue Klasse platform arriving in 2025 would debut with a vehicle in the 3 Series segment, but BMW never specified the body style. In a statement released today for the Group’s H1 2022 results, chairman Oliver Zipse revealed the first NE-based models will be a sedan in the 3 Series segment and an SUV. He went on to mention the platform is projected to account for more than half of the company’s sales by the end of the decade.
How big of a deal is the upcoming architecture? Pretty big as “Neue Klasse defines what BMW Group stands for.” The German luxury brand goes on to say it’s going to be “fully geared towards sustainability and circular economy, using new technologies and production processes.” The Debrecen plant in Hungary will kick off production of a NE-based product in 2025, with Munich to follow a year later.
BMW i3 and iX3 on Neue Klasse
Presumably called i3 and iX3, the EV duo won’t spell the end of the gasoline- and diesel-fueled 3 Series and X3. Abandoning ICE would be too premature as BMW has said on numerous occasions not all markets around the world will have their infrastructures ready to go EV-only in the following years. To that end, the next-gen 3 Series is reportedly earmarked for a 2027 release and already has a codename – G50 for the sedan and G51 for the wagon.
By extension, the X3 should also live to see a new generation with conventional powertrains. BMW will therefore live up to its “Power of Choice” motto by giving customers the possibility to choose from a variety of drivetrains. It goes without saying the ICE-powered 3 Series and X3 will ride on an evolution of the CLAR platform whereas their purely electric counterparts will sit on the dedicated Neue Klasse.
As a final note, let’s keep in mind BMW continues to sell an i3 even though the quirky electric hatchback recently bowed out of production. The moniker has been repurposed for an electric long-wheelbase 3 Series Sedan built and sold in China. The iX3 is also only produced in the world’s most populous country, but unlike the i3, the electric crossover is exported.