BMW has promised to launch no fewer than six electric vehicles on the Neue Klasse platform until 2028. The identities of only two models have been officially announced thus far. An iX3-like crossover codenamed “NA5” is set to enter production in 2025 from the Debrecen plant in Hungary. A year later, an i3 sedan internally known as “NA0” will come alive from the Munich factory in Germany.
We’ve written about how BMW also intends to launch an i3 Touring (“NA1”) and an iX4 (“NA7”) but a new report from Automobilwoche alleges there will also be a smaller, compact model. The German publication focusing on the local automotive industry speculates the next-generation iX1 will transition to the Neue Klasse architecture. The current electric crossover shares its UKL2 hardware with the regular X1 equipped with gasoline, diesel, and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Codenamed “NB5,” the all-new iX1 is expected to be the last of the six initial models on the dedicated electric car platform. It likely means BMW intends to launch the model around 2027 or 2028. It’s a plausible timeline since the current iX1 will have been six years by then, which is typically the lifespan of a product nowadays in the automotive industry.
A true entry-level electric BMW to supersede the quirky i3 hatchback discontinued in 2022 will have to wait, though. It’s unlikely to arrive sooner than 2028, and it too is expected to ride on the Neue Klasse architecture. It is too soon to say whether this potential i1 will have a front-wheel-drive layout like the company’s smallest combustion engine cars, or it will get a rear-mounted motor to live up to the brand RWD ethos.
Automobilwoche reports BMW will be tweaking its naming strategy for the new wave of EVs. The sedan will apparently be sold in i320 and/or i330 flavors while the next-generation 3 Series Sedan (“G50”) with gasoline engines will be simply known as the 320 and 330. Erasing the “i” at the end of a car’s name is expected to come into effect as early as this year on the new 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, and X3. [Source: Automobilwoche (subscription required)]