BMW’s design language seems to be moving in the right direction with the unveiling of the Vision Neue Klasse X Concept (a mouthful), which previews the first production Neue Klasse model. It’s the second concept that previews BMW’s new series of electric vehicles, and while it shares a lot of visual cues with the BMW Vision Neue Klasse sedan, it is also quite different.

The Design Story

We got the chance to talk to the design boss of BMW i Design, Kai Langer, who walked us around the Vision X Concept and pointed out some of the important elements that define this design study and all the production models it will inspire. Firstly, we asked Kai how close the concept is to the production model it previews, and he explained that someone from his mother’s generation would not be able to tell the difference.

Chrome Replaced With Light

This means there will be some changes, but they will be subtle and won’t affect how the vehicle is perceived. The front end is dominated by tall, thin, and vertically drawn kidney grilles (similar in style to those on the original Neue Klasse from the 1960s), which have illumination all around. BMW already has models in its production lineup with LED surrounds for the grilles, so we believe this design element will be present in the series model inspired by the Vision X Concept. BMW wants to replace chrome with light for its upcoming models, so this type of illuminated design detail may become even more common among the brand’s future models.

Bold and Dynamic Design

There are quite a few more lines on the Vision X Concept’s front end compared to the simpler and more subdued sedan study. This gives the crossover a more aggressive look, although when we ran this by Langer, he pointed out that BMW doesn’t want to refer to this design as “aggressive,” and that they prefer to call it “dynamic.”

The shape of the headlights does appear very similar to the sedan concept, and this should visually tie in the two models nicely and preserve a recognizable family face. This is yet another design leap for BMW, and the manufacturer will surely want its Neue Klasse models to look like they are part of the same design family.

From the side, the profile of the Vision X Concept looks more similar to the previous-generation X2 or the XM, with a more fastback-like rear end and a roofline that dips toward the rear. It also has some bold creases that follow the shape of the wheel wells, and they continue onto the doors, giving the car a very unique appearance compared to other BMWs. The manufacturer has only tried this on the iX, but it looks like it’s a design detail that will define its taller Neue Klasse models.

There is also a very bold and sharp crease running through the lower part of the doors, which serves to divide the car into two volumes when viewed from the side. This makes it look lower and sportier, and it’s a design element that Kai Lander says is a nod to the Zickle line that was present on older models, although to our eyes it’s quite different and doesn’t produce the same visual effect.

The Rear-End Is The Star

We really liked the rear end of the Vision X Concept, with its very wide tail lights and sharp design details. The bumper also looks quite bold and aggressive, and combined with the concept’s wide flanks, it gives the vehicle a very planted and sporty look.

Minimalistic and High-Tech Interior

BMW iDrive 10

We also had a chat about the concept’s interior, which is just as minimalist as what we saw in the sedan study but with bolder materials, design, and ambient lighting. The cozy-feeling seat upholstery, which looks a bit like knitted fabric, has a texture that, to us, looks a bit retro, but without looking old-fashioned—it’s like being in a retro-futuristic cinema hall.

The steering wheel, which has both a flat top and a flat bottom, is a bit quirky with its two vertical and two horizontal prongs. We can’t say how similar this is to the one in the production model, but it seems quite busy and overdesigned compared to the excellent minimalist interior that surrounds it.

Overall, the Vision X Concept from BMW previews a good-looking electric crossover. It feels new and fresh, yet it also does enough to preserve the traditional BMW DNA. We will see the Neue Klasse electric SUV that this concept previews debut first, sometime in 2025, and it will be followed not long after by the sedan body style.