At this month’s Munich motor show, BMW is showcasing its next-generation design and tech with a new EV saloon concept
BMW’s recent design direction has been divisive to say the least, but as indicated by this – the new Vision Neue Klasse concept – its future models will continue to be bold and eccentric. Built as a manifesto for what’s to come from the Bavarian firm, the Neue Klasse is a three-box saloon underpinned by a new EV architecture that uses BMW’s sixth-generation eDrive motor units.
Despite the radical styling, the Neue Klasse does show glimpses of traditional BMW cues, including a shark nose front end, the Hofmeister kink in the side glass and a cab-rear stance.
It follows the styling language previously set out by the i Vision Circular hatchback and i Vision Dee saloon, with smooth body surfacing and a reinterpreted kidney grille design that features animated lighting units set behind sheets of glass.
Beneath the skin, the Neue Klasse offers a glimpse of what’s to come from BMW’s next step in electric powertrain technology, which centres around new eDrive motor technology.
With more advanced heat management and more energy dense, round battery cells, the advancements present a range increase of up to 30 per cent, with charging speeds boosted by the same factor. Coupled with weight optimisations and cleaner aero, the Neue Klasse offers an overall energy efficiency improvement of up to 25 per cent.
Inside, the Neue Klasse’s airy, space age cabin doesn’t appear ready for production any time soon, but it does provide a look into the future of BMW’s in-car tech.
The brand’s iDrive infotainment system will evolve into an even more expansive digital interface, with a panoramic screen stretching across the base of the windscreen. Both the driver and passenger can interact with this, along with a large central display mounted to the dashboard to access key vehicle functions.
A projected release window for the Neue Klasse (or, more accurately, its design and technology approach) hasn’t been announced yet, but it could reach consumers closer to the end of the decade.