New BMW Neue Klasse SUV to use next-generation EV tech in X3 size package
This all-electric SUV will sit on BMW’s new Neue Klasse platform
BMW’s roll out of its advanced Neue Klass platform will kick off from 2025 and we can expect it to underpin a wide range of all-electric cars. The roll-out will start with an iX3-sized SUV, which we’ve spied here in prototype form testing on the road.
The Vision Neue Klasse saloon concept BMW brought to the Munich Motor Show back in September gave you a good look at the firm’s upcoming design language and technology focus and while the SUV in these spy shots competes in another segment, there will be some similarities to the compact saloon concept.
We saw the Neue Klasse SUV in profile several months ago, but now we have a better look at the front and rear design. Like on the Vision Neue Klasse, the upper grille and headlights flow together in one 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 centre section of the grille has two sections of camouflage suggesting a smaller iteration of BMW’s iconic kidney grille than currently used on the BMW XM, X7 and 7 Series.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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”.
Following the 3 Series-sized saloon and X3-sized SUV, it is likely that a coupe, an estate, a larger SUV and potentially even high-performance M variants are in the pipeline, accounting for the six models over 24 months starting from 2025.
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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