BMW Vision Neue Klasse previews all-new design language for electric cars

Following in the footsteps of the i Vision Circular and i Vision Dee, BMW is introducing the i Vision Neue Klasse as a window into its not-too-distant electric future. Although it takes some design cues from the hatchback concept introduced in 2019, it’s basically a subtle evolution of the sedan we saw in January 2023 at CES. While many automakers have the tendency to overuse the term “all-new,” this concept fully lives up to the term since it previews a complete overhaul.

For starters, Vision Neue Klasse embodies a fresh design language that moves away from aggressive lines and edges in favor of smoother surfaces. It’s a minimalist take on car design by reducing complexity to give the all-electric sedan a cleaner look that has been “pared down to the essentials.” BMW argues that by doing so, it accentuates signature traits such as the Hofmeister kink and the kidney grille, which is now as wide as the front fascia.

Although electric cars (that don’t share a platform with ICE models) tend to have swoopy shapes, the VNK has a typical three-box sedan silhouette and a nearly flat roofline. Compared to the 3 Series on sale today, the front and rear overhangs are much shorter to maximize the length of the wheelbase. This was made possible by taking advantage of the improved packaging brought by a dedicated electric car platform.

In keeping with concept cars, it doesn’t have conventional door handles to give the profile a sleeker look. For the same reason, and with aerodynamic benefits, the side mirrors have been replaced with cameras for which legislation has already been approved in some countries. Another concept trait is the large wheel, but at 21 inches, perhaps it’s not that big seeing as how some BMWs can be fitted from the factory with 23-inch alloys.

The headlights and taillights take after those of the i Vision Dee and should enhance the body’s width since the intricate LEDs extend across the front and rear fascias. The expansive greenhouse with large side windows is complemented by an all-glass roof that we’re hoping will reach production since it gives the interior an airy feel.

Speaking of which, the cabin with its floating center console takes after the exterior in the sense that it too has been simplified. Conventional switchgear has made way for capacitive-touch buttons on the door cards and the steering wheel with its flat top and bottom. BMW even took out the driver’s display, although there’s now a head-up display as wide as the dashboard. The expansive HUD is known as the “Panoramic Vision” and is positioned at the bottom of the windshield.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse features minimalist interior with large touchscreen and HUD

Located front and center is the touchscreen of a next-generation iDrive featuring all-new software and improved user interface. One party trick is the ability to move content shown on the big display to the HUD by making hand gestures. By the way, BMW has already confirmed the Panoramic Vision will be available in 2025 with the first Neue Klasse-based EV.

According to Adrian van Hooydonk, the head of BMW Group Design, the design of the Vision Neue Klasse is “so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation.” The electric sedan comes painted in “Joyous Bright” with discreet yellow accents that have a correspondent on the inside for the seat upholstery and the upper side of the dashboard and door panels.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse to be powered by sixth-generation eDrive with 30% more range and charging speed

There’s not much in the way of technical specifications since BMW only refreshes our memory about the benefits promised for the sixth-generation eDrive. Switching from prismatic to round cells, the new batteries will boost range by 30% and charging speed by the same percentage. In addition, overall efficiency is projected to go up by 25% while energy density is going to increase by over 20%.

As previously announced, manufacturing costs for the high-voltage batteries earmarked for Neue Klasse could decrease by as much as 50%. The carbon footprint generated during the production process is estimated to decrease by 60%. BMW’s new round cells will have a standard diameter of 46 millimeters (1.81 inches) and two different heights: 95 mm (3.7 in) for cars such as this sedan and 120 mm (4.7 in) for SUVs.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse to be produced in Hungary from 2025

Leading the way for NE will be a sedan and a crossover in the 3 Series segment, scheduled to come out in 2025. BMW’s new Debrecen plant in Hungary will kick off the production of EVs on this bespoke platform. The luxury brand has already announced plans to assemble NE-based models in Munich, Spartanburg, San Luis Potosi, and Shenyang from the latter half of the decade.

Source: BMW