Published on September 3rd, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
BMW Vision Neue Klasse Reinvents The Brand For The Electric Age
The BMW Vision Neue Klasse might keep the brand ahead in the age of the EV.
Most car companies are going through a once-in-a-century shift away from the internal combustion engine and all the traditional marketing, values and structures associated. For BMW, EVs represent a more than a change in drivetrain.
For decades, this brand has clawed its way to the top of the premium automotive sales ladder and have created cars that define the segment. But that lead is being taken from them with the advent of new EV brands that are seen as more sustainable, more tech-forward and more unconventional. The solution – the BMW Vision Neue Klasse.
This new concept vehicle was first hinted at with the BMW i Vision Dee. The Vision Neue Klasse dials many aspects down a notch and actually looks pretty close to production ready. Not only does it preview BMW’s plans for electrification and digitalisations, it also shows how the car will deal with ‘circularity’ or sustainability starting 2025.
The design of the Vision Neue Klasse is guided by simple and distinctive lines that referrences BMW’s initial New Class of the 1960s and 1970s that helped save the company from insolvency. As a result, you get a classic sedan look that doesn’t feel as oversized and bulky as most modern four-door cars do.
The BMW kidney grille has been reinterpreted completely and made into quite an interesting graphic. The double headlights have been transformed into a single interaction area with 3D animations. The Hofmeister kink is really well defined and there are E Ink elements in the lower portion of the side windows for a variety of reasons. This same E Ink tech is found on the rear lights, which are unlike anything we’ve seen on any BMW in recent memory. The entire roof is constructed of glass for an expansive view of the outside. The 21″ wheels are a tribute to the classic cross-spoke design and are aerodynamically optimised.
The colour shown here is ‘Joyous Bright’, which contains a very little bit of yellow. The paintwork is contrasted by black side skirts and bumpers. To improve sustainability, the exterior uses mare secondary materials, reduced material variety and improved recycle-ability.
The number of physical controls have been reduced to bare minimum, but at the same time there are also fewer displays as well. The new generation of BMW iDrive is shown here with a new iDrive controller in the centre console with BMW Panoramic Vision. This feature is all new, projecting information at the driver’s line of sight across the width of the windscreen. With the new iDrive system, both the driver and front passenger can interact with information displayed using gestures.
In terms of materials used, BMW are going with bright cord fabrics for the interior. The front seats are bolted to the floor using a single bracket for additional rear legroom. Meanwhile at the rear there are two individual seats for better ergonomics. The interior is completely free of chrome and leather.
Sustainability and More
BMW is saying that the Neue Klasse represents a huge leap forward in EV technology with 30% more range, 30% faster charging and 25% more efficiency, but it’s unclear what the baseline for the improvement is but it’s likely a BMW eDrive generational comparison (5th to 6th). Major advances have been made to the battery cells in addition to highly efficient electric motors.