New BMW Neue Klasse SUV to open a “new era” for the brand in 2025
The all-electric SUV will mark a change in technology and design language for BMW
This is our latest look at the new all-electric ‘Neue Klasse’ SUV from BMW and it could mark a pivotal moment in the brand’s history when it launches in 2025. Sitting on the next-generation Neue Klasse platform, this model will showcase BMW’s latest EV technology and its future design language.
The Neue Klasse SUV will also kickstart a new range of “at least six” all-electric models between 2025 and 2027. The iX3-sized SUV will be joined by an all-electric 3 Series-sized saloon, previewed by the Vision Neue Klasse saloon concept that BMW brought to the Munich Motor Show back in September 2023.
Some of the design of the SUV will be shared with the saloon concept and we can already make out key details despite only having seen camouflaged test cars. Our latest look gives us a better indication of the Neue Klasse SUV’s front end, which will utilise a connected upper grille and headlight section - not too dissimilar to Vauxhall’s new Vizor design language - although BMW will probably point out the influence from its own ‘Neue Klasse’ 2000 saloon from the mid-1960s. The headlights look fairly bland here, we expect the production versions to feature a slender LED daytime running light signature.
The profile of the new car isn’t too far removed from the firm’s current range of SUVs. The windscreen looks fairly rakish for an SUV to help promote aerodynamics and BMW has purposefully hidden the rear pillar so we’ll have to wait and see if the traditional Hofmeister kink is retained. This test car sports a new set alloy wheels, wrapped in winter tyres.
The rear shot highlights the bulbous haunches added to help give the car visual width. Unlike the XM SUV, which has a rear windscreen that flows smoothly into the bodywork, the Neue Klasse SUV has a roof spoiler at the back that wraps around the rear window plus ridges that flow into the roof. The tail lights are still covered, but from these early test car images we should expect a thinner design than the outgoing iX3’s.
The Neue Klasse SUV will also feature BMW's Panoramic Vision full-width windscreen projection system. BMW's UI development boss, Oliver Pitrat, previously told Auto Express that the brand had nearly productionised the technology and that scaling it for different widths, curvatures and rake angles of screen – i.e. more upright for an SUV – is not a problem.
The interior of the Neue Klasse SUV should utilise a bespoke iteration of the Vision Neue Klasse concept’s dash. That means a pretty minimalist approach with a wide panoramic screen at the top of the dash and a larger touchscreen in the centre to operate the car’s functions. BMW says the wide screen of the i Vision Dee “anticipates the next generation of vehicles”, including the Neue Klasse SUV.
Powering the electric SUV will be BMW’s sixth-generation eDrive technology. That should mean up to 30 per cent more range, 30 per cent quicker charging and 25 per cent better efficiency. Based on the BMW iX3’s maximum 285-mile range, the new EV could reach over 350 miles on a single charge. Standard models are expected to use a single, rear-mounted electric motor, although the platform could allow for up to four motors.
Following the 3 Series-sized saloon and X3-sized SUV, it is likely that a Neue Klasse coupe, an estate, a larger SUV and potentially even high-performance M variants are in the pipeline. BMW boss Oliver Zipse outlined that six new models based on the Neue Klasse platform would arrive within the next 24 months, saying that “from SAVs to sedans there will be something for every customer”.
M division head of development Dirk Hacker previously told Auto Express that his team were well under way with development of a high-performance all-electric M car, which is likely to arrive in 2027.
“When we're thinking about an M high-performance electric car, you want to see the M characteristic,” he said. “We know the feeling from the M2 and M3 CS, but also pure electric. We have also launched some ideas for that with four electric motors and a lot of functions,” he added, referencing BMW's quad-motor i4 M50 prototype.
“We are working on a central intelligence made by BMW and not made by the suppliers. We are working on electric motors, high voltage batteries and it's very important also on how we can emotionalise such a car.”
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