BMW hasn’t been shy about its upcoming Neue Klasse (New Class) architecture. It’s bringing back an old name for its new chassis (which I personally very much enjoy) but it’s also doing the old name justice by truly making it all-new. During a recent roundtable meeting at the 2023 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), BMW’s head of development, Frank Weber, said that the Neue Klasse will share nothing from previous generations.
That might sound a bit obvious but it’s actually more radical of an idea than you might think. When automakers develop new chassis, most stuff is new. But there are some things that are carryover, like certain software bits, computers, and various other bits and bobs that you don’t really ever see. However, that’s not the case with Neue Klasse.
“Electric architecture, propulsion systems, battery cells, [the way we make] high voltage battery systems, electric machines; there is not a single component that we take from the generation before.” said Weber.
That’s good news and important for the Neue Klasse, both technically and historically. When BMW first launched the original Neue Klasse series of cars in the 1960s, it was a revolutionary step for the brand. It ushered in all new cars that were nothing like BMW’s previous generations of cars, hence the “New Class” name. Those original Neue Klasse cars, such as the 1600 and 2002, helped usher in a new era of BMW and made the brand famous on a global scale.
So now that BMW is coming out with a new New Class, it needs to truly be all-new and not just some warmed over existing architecture. The Neue Klasse architecture is going to set BMW up for the future, much in the same way the original Neue Klasse did, so making sure that there aren’t any carryover parts is important. Now we just need it to be good.