BMW Vision Neue Klasse X previews electric SUV due in 2025

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BMW is working on its next generation of electric vehicles, known collectively as the Neue Klasse (German for “New Class”), and the first are coming up soon. They will be a sedan and SUV, sitting in the same segments as the 3-Series and X3.

The SUV enters production in 2025 and the sedan is expected to follow shortly after. Previously it was thought the sedan would come first.

BMW previewed the sedan last year with the Vision Neue Klasse concept, and on Thursday the automaker provided a preview of the SUV with the Vision Neue Klasse X concept.

Anyone expecting a repeat of the sedan concept’s sleek front end will be dissappointed as the SUV sports a new set of BMW’s signature kidney grilles, stretched vertically in the style of the grilles on the original Neue Klasse of the 1960s, the 02 Series. Here the blacked-out grilles likely house sensors for electronic driver-assist features.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

The rest of the details are similar to the sedan, in that the designers have used cleaner surfaces than what’s typically found on modern BMWs, plus a greenhouse with large window areas, including a panoramic glass roof to help flood the cabin with light. BMW said drag is also around 20% lower than a comparable current model, which should be a boon for range.

The Vision Neue Klasse X, like the previous Vision Neue Klasse, also previews the future design direction for BMW interiors. The pared-back interior is similar to what’s found in a Tesla, with BMW stating that its aim was to reduce analog controls to a minimum. There are still some controls on the steering wheel but most of the interaction is handled via a central infotainment screen, a voice assistant, gesture control, and a head-up display spanning the width of the windshield.

BMW calls the new head-up display Panoramic Vision and said the system is able to project information at the ideal height of the driver’s line of sight. A separate head-up display capable of projecting 3D graphics replaces the instrument cluster. BMW said this system can display required information such as automated driver-assist alerts or navigation guidance as 3D animations in the driver’s line of sight.

A new feature previewed in the Vision Neue Klasse X is what BMW calls the HYPERSONX WHEEL. This is a digital feature that can create a personalized sound experience. BMW is light on details but said the sound is generated in real time and can be adjusted with the tap of a finger.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept

Neue Klasse vehicles are being developed on a next-generation EV platform that promises improved power and efficiency, plus faster charging thanks to an 800-volt electrical system. And BMW’s own drive and chassis control software should also ensure typical BMW handling characteristics.

Neue Klasse vehicles will also benefit from a next-generation battery with new cylindrical cells (instead of the current prismatic cell design), and together with other improvements should result in a range improvement of 30% over BMW’s current EVs, the automaker has previously said.

Prototypes for the production version of the Vision Neue Klasse X have already been spotted. It is being developed alongside a redesigned version of the gas-powered X3. Expect the electric SUV to be called an iX3, the name BMW uses for the current electric X3 sold overseas. Likewise, the sedan will likely be called an i3, a name already used on an electric version of the current 3-Series sedan sold exclusively in China.

Production of the SUV was confirmed by BMW on Thursday to be planned for a new plant under construction in Debrecen, Hungary. The 2025 start of production points to it arriving in the U.S. as a 2026 model. Neue Klasse EVs will also be built at plants in Germany and China, starting in 2026, and in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, starting in 2027.

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