Neue Klasse is the current representation of a pending future for BMW. Although the Neue Klasse was created to wow showgoers at the recent IAA mobility event in Munich, where the German luxury car brand had to project a significant presence in its home city, elements of the design will come to production in 2025.
The overall design is daring, with very sophisticated illumination elements. Surface lights create a three-dimensional lighting effect across the iconic BMW kidney grille. Around the rear, Neue Klasse’s taillights feature several 3D-printed elements, which are layered to create a startling depth effect.
Proof that sedans aren’t dead
It’s noteworthy that BMW chose a traditional sedan configuration for the Neue Klasse, instead of a crossover of SUV format. This indicates that designers, engineers and product planners at some of the world’s most established car companies recognise that a sedan body style might best serve hyper-efficiency, a requirement for EVs.
The Neue Klasse’s tail section, which features a negative slant, is unlikely to become a production car feature due to its negative aerodynamic proportions. In contrast, Neue Klasse’s interpretation of BMW’s classic kidney grille is not structural but a graphic illusion with lighting surfaces. And one which is essential as EVs don’t have traditional air-intake grilles, something which has always been a signature feature of BMW design.
Powering Neue Klasse are new batteries with round cells and 20% better power density than BMW’s current EVs. BMW also promises enhanced recharging speed and 25% superior efficiency. Thermal stability is improved with a powertrain heat pump, which BMW claims will enable Neue Klasse to have 40% better deep-winter driving efficiency than contemporary EVs.
Neue Klasse’s advanced iDrive
There is no estimated range claim for the Neue Klasse, but BMW has ventured to the idea that its future EVs could have a real-world driving range way beyond 400 miles.
The Neue Klasse’s cabin architecture is radical and typical of a concept car. Seat upholstery is a corduroy-type fabric, symbolic of new cabin trim materials anchored in sustainable supply chains.
As expected, Neue Klasse has no buttons or dials for infotainment or device pairing. It uses an advanced version of BMW’s iDrive, with hyper-sensitive gesture control and menu projection onto several screen surfaces in the cabin.