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Vision Neue Klasse X concept will preview BMW’s new all-electric SUV on 21 March

The concept will showcase the production car’s design and technological features

BMW Neue Klasse SUV exclusive image - front

The new BMW Neue Klasse SUV is about to be shown off in concept form in the shape of the Vision Neue Klasse X concept. Last autumn we saw the Vision Neue Klasse concept at the Munich Motor Show — a precursor to the next-generation all-electric BMW 3 Series. Now the Vision Neue Klasse X concept follows suit acting as a preview of the upcoming BMW iX3-sized electric SUV

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Despite the SUV concept arriving after the saloon, Auto Express can reveal that the radical rethink of the iconic executive saloon could actually be beaten in the race to showrooms by the production version of the Vision Neue Klasse X SUV that will potentially carry the BMW iX3 badge.

We’ve seen plenty of spy pictures of the new Neue Klasse SUV testing and we’ve even created an exclusive image of the final car based both on these prototypes and the Vision Neue Klasse concept itself.

BMW Neue Klasse exclusive image - rear

In a new video BMW has revealed that the concept version of the new SUV - which is expected to take the ‘Vision’ name, will be unveiled on 21 March. BMW calls the concept its “next step in the road to Neue Klasse”.

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In terms of design, the new family-sized SUV features a slightly different profile from the existing X3. The more rakish roof and lengthened wheelbase are signs that this car sits on the Neue Klasse platform. This incorporates a more efficient battery-cell configuration that allows its floor to be slightly thinner than existing EV layouts, which in turn helps the roofline to be lower, reducing the frontal area and improving the car’s efficiency.

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The longer wheelbase – facilitated by repositioned bulky hidden items like the heating and ventilation systems, without compromises for combustion-engine cooling – should increase cabin space, allowing this X3-sized model to deliver passenger accommodation more in line with that of the larger X5.

Both the Neue Klasse SUV and the saloon will arrive from 2025, kickstarting a range of “at least six” new all-electric models up to 2027 according to BMW boss Oliver Zipse. 

Our exclusive images interpret the camouflaged test car’s looks, along with those of the Munich show car, which was said to be around 80 per cent of what we should expect in production form. Radical elements like the side cameras may be replaced by mirrors, but our images show how the concept’s adventurous reworking of BMW’s double-kidney grille could be reworked for a higher-set bonnet line.

BMW development boss Frank Weber has told us to expect Neue Klasse models to have “30 per cent more range, 30 per cent faster charging and 25 per cent more efficiency” than existing vehicles. Based on the current iX3’s claimed range of up to 285 miles, the Neue Klasse SUV could deliver over 350 miles between recharges, around 80 miles down on the lower and more aerodynamically efficient saloon. The taller model should get the same fast charging speed, though, of up to 270kW.

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Inside, we can expect the Neue Klasse SUV to feature a bespoke version of the Vision Neue Klasse’s minimalist dash, complete with a wider Panoramic Vision set-up. This new 3D head-up display projects info onto the base of the windscreen and runs the entire width of the vehicle, allowing the front-seat passenger to interact with elements like infotainment and navigation, while keeping relevant data in front of the driver.

This display is paired up with a large touchscreen, and widgets can be transferred between this and the windscreen strip. BMW’s project lead on user interfaces, Oliver Pitrat, has told us that the new system is scalable for different widths and screen angles, so it’s all but certain to feature in the upcoming SUV.

Regular versions of the Neue Klasse SUV are likely to feature a single rear motor, but key officials from BMW’s M performance division have already flagged up that Neue Klasse could offer them scope for a quad-motor, four-wheel-drive configuration. It’s unlikely that this will appear in the first wave of Neue Klasse SUVs, though, with a debut beyond 2027 more likely.

As well as this SUV and the saloon, BMW is likely to bring a coupe, an estate and a larger X5-sized SUV to market as part of its initial Neue Klasse push. The company’s target is for at least 50 per cent of its sales to be pure electric by 2030, but it suggested earlier this year that it is on track to achieve this goal earlier than that.

Now read our new BMW iX2 review...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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