BMW will inaugurate the Neue Klasse platform in 2025 with the second-generation iX3. Codenamed “NA5,” the electric crossover is initially bound to go on sale in Europe, with the rest of the world to follow next spring. Series production at the Debrecen plant in Hungary is allegedly scheduled to start in July 2025. Plans are already in motion for a separate iX3 derivative for the Chinese market where it will be built.
Known internally as the “NA8,” the more spacious iX3 is going to have a longer wheelbase to better cater to Chinese customers that value rear legroom. In the People’s Republic, BMW already sells stretched versions of the X1 and X5 alongside the elongated 3 Series and 5 Series sedans. In addition, China also gets a long-wheelbase, CLAR-based i3 electric sedan as well as the long-wheelbase iX1 and i5.
The future Chinese iX3 is likely going to be more than just the global model with longer rear doors in terms of design. Recently opened, the BMW Designworks Shanghai Studio will work on Neue Klasse EVs specifically for the local market. The two electric SUVs are likely going to be mostly the same underneath the skin to lower costs and achieve economies of scale.
The global iX3 is expected to come in 40, 40 xDrive, 50 xDrive, M60 xDrive flavors, all of which will use BMW’s much-hyped Gen6 battery. The round cells are going to increase charging speed and range by 30% while energy density is going up by 20%. In the meantime, the CLAR-based iX3 with its Gen5 prismatic batteries is sticking around, continuing to be built exclusively in China for local and some international markets.
To have a bigger control in China, BMW increased its share in the local joint venture with Brilliance to 75% in early 2022. The partnership has been extended to 2040 and annual production will grow in the coming years at the Shenyang factory and the new plant inaugurated last year in the Tiexi district.