Family planning – BMW is launching 6 “Neue Klasse” models in two years

At the end of 2025, BMW will launch an innovative family of electric models with the newly designed “Neue Klasse” architecture. Initially six vehicles are planned. The leap to today is said to be huge.

When BMW launched the i3 ten years ago, the small electric car represented a revolution in the automotive industry. New concept, new drive, new materials, new production, new design. All of this combined with a sustainable approach. At the time, the i3 was considered the most advanced car in the world. No competitor had anything similar to offer. With the New Class, the scenario is expected to repeat itself from the end of 2025, if BMW’s announcements are to be believed. Once again the Bavarians are launching an electric car that stands out strikingly from the rest of the car world. One might think that the designers had skipped several generations. The Neue Klasse refers to its namesake from the 60s. At that time, the Neue Klasse heralded a new start for the white-blue brand with the BMW 1500 sedan and laid the foundation for a success story (model series 02, 3 and 5). 10 minutes for 300 kilometersThe new Neue Klasse represents the change to one at BMW electrical and digital mobility. A dedicated 800-volt electrical architecture (electric only) was developed for this purpose. The centerpiece is a new high-voltage storage system that not only dispenses with a modular design and its own base plate, but also switches from prismatic to cylindrical battery cells. They are integrated directly into the body. Advantage: better package, lower height, higher energy density. “We also remain flexible for later updates regarding battery types and cell chemistry,” says project manager Mike Reichelt. The charging power is up to 350 kW, and 300 kilometers can be recharged in just ten minutes. The 6th generation of the BMW eDrive will make its debut in the new class, being lighter, more compact than the system used today and, according to Mike Reichelt, over 40 percent cheaper. In addition, secondary effects such as air and rolling resistance as well as a low overall weight and intelligent thermal management should contribute to good efficiency. Up to 25 percent less power consumption is announced compared to today’s iX3 and minus 20 percent compared to the i4. This smells like best-in-class values. New BMW iX3 is the beginning. The New Class represents the largest investment in BMW’s corporate history. The electric architecture is designed so that it can cover the entire portfolio. Within the first two years after the debut, six models will be on the road. The launch will take place in the core series. The mid-range SUV iX3, not dissimilar in design language to the “Vision Neue Klasse” concept sedan, will be coming from the completely new Debrecen plant in Hungary at the end of 2025. This suggests that there will no longer be an electric version of the new X3, which debuts this year. BMW will continue to run the current iX3 in parallel, at least until well into 2025, in order to keep the production gap to the new iX3 as short as possible. The New Class will make its debut as a sedan in 2026. It initially rolls off the assembly line at the main plant in Munich, which is currently being converted for 650 million euros. A little later, BMW will also produce the mid-range model in Mexico and China. An extended iX3 version is also being manufactured in China. BMW should probably have the iX4 coupé variant ready to go in Drebrecen by 2026. The Touring is expected from Munich the following year. The station wagon would then be number five in the New Class family. The sixth model is probably a compact SUV that will inherit today’s iX1. Room for improvement – and below The end of the flagpole is far from being reached. BMW still has plenty of room for improvement and improvement. In the city car segment, a successor to the i3 is definitely conceivable again, as the next 1-series generation. In the luxury class, the 8 series and the X7 are due to be replaced. The latter could alternatively use the new generation of fuel cell technology, which BMW’s partner Toyota wants to have ready for use from 2026. Rolls-Royce should also benefit from the architecture of the New Class. And of course the performance subsidiary M GmbH will use the potential. CEO Franciscus van Meel has already announced an M3 as the highest level of performance. The power sedan is intended to bring driving pleasure to an unprecedented level. With the introduction of the new class, a new nomenclature will most likely be on the agenda in order not to unnecessarily confuse customers during the transition to the electric age. Depending on the version, the electric sedan could then be called i320 or i330, for example, while the combustion engines of the next 3 series will simply be called 320 and 330, without the i or diesel d after them. The iX320 and iX330 would be suitable for SUVs. (SPX)
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