At the world premiere of the BMW Vision Neue Klasse X in Lisbon in February, Kai Langer, BMW i Design Head, revealed that the Neue Klasse concept cars each introduce a distinct design language. The Vision Neue Klasse sedan will influence the design of future BMW sedans, while the Vision X crossover will inspire the design of upcoming SUVs.

Two Different Grille Styles

Last week, at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, BMW of North America showcased the Vision Neue Klasse X. Julia de Bono, head of BMW Designworks LA, reiterated that the different kidney grilles on the two concept cars serve to distinguish their design purposes. As you may remember, the Vision Neue Klasse sedan features a horizontal and digital grille that broadens the front-end appearance. In contrast, the Vision Neue Klasse X crossover honors the original Neue Klasse models with a smaller, vertical kidney grille.

At the time, Langer also told us that the decision to change the front fascia, opting for a vertical orientation of the kidneys for the X concept whereas the previous concept had a horizontal layout of the grille. The decision was taken not just to visually separate the two cars but also because the SUV has a taller front fascia for which the upright grille is more suitable. The BMW i Design boss explained the typical SUV buyer wants a vehicle with a front fascia that has more presence.

Additionally, some design elements from the Neue Klasse cars will eventually influence combustion-engine vehicles. However, certain styling features will remain unique to NCAR-based models due to their dedicated electric platform. This bespoke EV architecture generally offers designers more creative liberty. The absence of a transmission tunnel simplifies the design process, which is why dedicated EVs often feature longer wheelbases, shorter overhangs, and flat floors.

The Neue Klasse-based BMW iX3 (NA5) will go into series production in mid-2025 at the new Debrecen plant in Hungary. It will be joined a year later by the sedan. Production of the Neue Klasse is allegedly also going to Mexico at the San Luis Potosi plant starting in the second half of 2026.