BMW Group will start a new journey in 2025. A brand new car architecture will join the existing Cluster Architecture (CLAR) and Untere Klasse (UKL) platforms at BMW. It’s widely known as Neue Klasse, but internally, everyone knows it by the codename NCAR. For at least 5 years, the three platforms will carry on their shoulders a wide range of BMW and MINI vehicles. Yet, in the distant future, NCAR will most likely preside over the entire portfolio of cars. Initially, the working name was NCA (New Cluster Architecture), but eventually, NCAR prevailed.

How is NCAR Different?

The foundation of future electric BMWs lies in the New Cluster Architecture (NCAR), dedicated exclusively to electric propulsion. The NCAR integrates three key pillars: electrification, digital integration, and sustainable practices. This will represent BMW’s most sophisticated platforms to date, despite their preference for not calling it a “platform”. It will offer a range of attractive features, including advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving technologies, along with a strong focus on sustainability and digitalization.

BMW will also differentiate their NCAR products from the rest with a new naming convention which will always start with “N”, unless it’s a BMW M product (which then begins with “Z”). “NAx” will be used for rear-wheel-drive-based models such as the i3, i4, iX3, and iX4 models. The “NBx” is going to underpin lesser models with front-wheel drive: i1, i2, iX1. The upper class is likely to start with “NDx” – i7, iX7, and an 8 Series .

Neue Klasse-based MINIs will be known internally by their “NEx” codenames. It’s too early to know whether ALPINA is going to use this platform but logic tells us it’s likely a matter of when rather than if. Naturally, upcoming models might feature novel naming conventions, especially if they fall outside the typical range of products. Currently, it remains uncertain whether Rolls-Royce will integrate the Neue Klasse architecture into their products or continue to develop their unique platforms.

New Battery Technology

The Neue Klasse will feature a completely new electric drive and battery generation, along with a redefined IT and software architecture, aiming for a new level of sustainability across the vehicle’s entire lifecycle. It will also bring live a new factory, this time in Eastern Europe – Debrecen, Hungary. One of the first models to be introduced under the Neue Klasse platform is the 2025 BMW iX3. This model, a next-generation all-electric SUV, is designed with a focus on electric vehicle technology, and will not support combustion engines or hybrids.

Six other NCAR variants will follow within 24 months, and many more after that. In the next few weeks, BMW will open the books a bit more for us, and we should learn, and even see the design of future NCAR products.