The Vision Neue Klasse is an important car for BMW – perhaps the most important concept yet. Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design, introduces it as “focusing on electrification, digitalization, and responsibility in terms of sustainability.” While that may call to mind images of the funky Vision Circular, we assure you this vehicle is considerably more palatable. Here’s a look at the design of the Vision Neue Klasse with the man responsible – Domagoj Dukec.
Grille Talk: The Front End of the Vision Neue Klasse
It’s impossible to talk about a new BMW without mentioning the grille. The Vision Neue Klasse is no exception. Much like the rest of the car, the front of the Neue Klasse bears a strong resemblance to the Vision Dee we saw earlier this year. “How can we reduce the parts, but make the BMW identity stronger?” muses Domagoj Dukec. In pursuit of sustainability and simplification, they’ve blended the kidney grille with the headlights. The effect is clean, refined, and perfectly inoffensive. The double headlight design pillar remains, too – even if they aren’t round. “It’s very BMW,” Dukec says.
New Digital Taillights
Like in the front, “We wanted to take away every unnecessary part,” Domagoj says. Fitting, then, that you’ll find two lighting elements in the back and very little else. The taillights integrate with the rear end, providing the look – and function – of a lightly flared trunk spoiler. One very interesting addition is a bumper along the back. The clean body lines contrast lightly with the addition of this aerodynamic diffuser. A BMW Roundel is etched right into the vehicle’s aluminum body, reducing waste.
Side Profile of the Vision Neue Klasse
From the side, the Neue Klasse sports a compact profile – despite “enormous space” inside, according to Domagoj Dukec. “Somehow, the 3 Series was always a little bit smaller than its competitors,” he says. “Because it should express lightness, express the joy of driving.” He points out the low beltline – certainly a hallmark of older BMW products. Another staple that returns is a continuous body line running the length of the vehicle. While larger than it was in the past, an immediately identifiable Hofmeister kink ends with the rear doors. Notorious concept car struggle points – like door handles and mirrors – will likely vary with each new Neue Klasse model.
A car is only as good as its wheels, and the Vision Neue Klasse sports great-looking ones. “Of course, aero efficiency plays a very important role, so it’s an aero-efficient wheel,” Domagoj starts. Dukec says these wheels echo the great BMW wheels of yesteryear, thanks to their BBS-inspired multi-spoke design.
Iconic, Cool, Alive
The sharp lines and soft elements of the Neue Klasse give it a unique look that Dukec hopes will be timeless. He credits this with the design team’s strategy of “iconic, cool, alive. Iconic is very much about the timelessness of the geometry. The graphics and materials – they make it cool. This combination of iconic and cool really make the BMW come alive,” he says.
BMW has loudly proclaimed that the Neue Klasse will change the brand forever. Based on what we see here in the Vision car, I’m not sure I agree. If anything, the brand has simply been distilled down to its legendary fundamentals, at least, stylistically. Here’s hoping the driving experience is, too. Remember – the Neue Klasse isn’t just one car. This is just one iteration of what we’ll see. How realistic is the Vision Neue Klasse compared to what we’ll see in 2025? “I think, very realistic,” smiles Domagoj.