BMW’s ‘Neue Klasse’ EV concept is a radically different vision for the future

    BMW is not a company that shies away from bold, progressive design. Case in point: the company’s new Vision Neue Klasse concept electric car, a showcase for BMW’s next generation “core brand” vehicles.

    Unveiled at the IAA Mobility 2023 International Motor Show in Munich on Saturday, the Vision Neue Klasse (it means “new class” in English) is a fairly compact, sporty car that somehow falls both into the “retro” and “futuristic” drawers.

    The rear lights have 3D-printed light elements that create an impression of depth.
    Credit: BMW

    The most recognizable BMW features on the Neue Klasse are the barely visible, monochrome BMW logo, the forward-slanted shark nose, and the trademark kidney grille, which has been redone for the new vehicle using lighting alone.


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    Other than that, the Neue Klasse is a very futuristic reimagining of the original Neue Klasse, BMW’s series of mid-sized, sporty sedans that launched in the early 1960s and proved a great success for the company. BMW calls the design “clear” and “almost monolithic,” however, the few lines actually present in the design boldly cut into surfaces in unexpected ways, the result being a car whose size is hard to judge.

    BMW Neue Klasse

    Will the new Neue Klasse do what the original Neue Klasse did for BMW in the 60ies? It remains to be seen.
    Credit: BMW

    At the rear, the taillights are wide, imposing, and enhanced with 3D-printed elements to create an impression of depth. As Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design put it, “The design of the Neue Klasse is typically BMW and so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation.”

    BMW says the Neue Klasse will bring 30 percent more range, 30 percent faster charging, and 25 percent more efficiency, which is partially a result of the car’s size and design, and partially due to BMW’s sixth-gen eDrive tech. That’s in addition to the new, round battery cells which offer a 20 percent higher energy density than the prismatic cells used in earlier generations of BMW’s electric cars.

    BMW Neue Klasse

    The panoramic vision display extends throughout the windscreen.
    Credit: BMW

    Inside, you’ll find what you’d expect from today’s modern EV: minimal buttons and a sprawling center display, coupled with a panoramic vision display projected across the entire lower portion of the windshield.

    It wouldn’t be BMW, of course, if it were just a normal screen and steering wheel inside; instead, the screen is slanted to the left, and the steering wheel looks like it’s been rotated 90 degrees to the side. These elements will surely evolve into something more traditional in market-ready versions of the car. One thing that’s definitely coming, though, is the next generation of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which will include gesture commands for both the driver and passenger.

    BMW Neue Klasse interior

    Everything in this cockpit seems to be slanted to the side.
    Credit: BMW

    The Neue Klasse is not just a concept made for an uncertain, indefinite future. Instead, the cars based on this concept are coming in droves and fairly soon; the company plans to roll out 6 Neue Klasse-based models in the next two years, including a sedan and a SAV (sports activity vehicle, BMW’s lingo for an SUV).

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