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BMW Vision Neue Klasse unveiled with stunning design and huge EV upgrades

Treat yourself to the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. It’s a four-door sedan concept that gives a taste of everything BMW has in store for us over the next few years.

BMW says its design is a pared-down simplification of the essentials we’re used to from BMW design, but to us it feels like a reimagining of the brand’s design language in its entirety with a retro touch added via the silhouette. . For those following BMW’s latest concept vehicles, you’ll also see plenty of Vision Dee i’s in the Neue Klasse. In fact, it looks more like an evolution of that vehicle than anything else.

Going deeper into some details, the Neue Klasse got a new grille that was completely lightweight and without a real grille. Instead of the vertical orientation we’ve quickly grown accustomed to in other BMW models, this one extends horizontally across the face and integrates all the driver assist sensors to keep the front end cleaner. As you approach the Neue Klasse, it casts a three-dimensional lighting effect on the grille to serve as communication with its driver. Then, when you get to the door, E Ink elements in the lower side windows highlight where you need to place your hand to open the door. Place your hand in the right place and the doors open by themselves. The taillight illumination is equally exotic, as according to BMW it consists of 3D-printed luminous elements that span multiple layers to create a perception of depth when looking at them.

As for references to the BMWs of yesteryear, the designers tell us that it chose to highlight a front end in the shape of a shark’s nose that is steeply angled forward, powerful wheel arches and the retracted greenhouse. That said, its ultra-simplistic bodywork and overall design language bears no resemblance to BMW models on the road today. BMW won’t say this explicitly, but given the size of the Neue Klasse, we have a feeling this design foreshadows a future 3 Series electric product.

BMW has released plenty of numbers in the EV space on how the new Neue Klasse platform and EV lineup will improve on its current EV lineup. Referring to the current i4, BMW claims that the new battery cells (round instead of prismatic) will have 20% higher energy density than today. The charging speed of Neue Klasse electric vehicles will be 30% faster and the overall driving efficiency of the vehicle – thanks to the latest generation of BMW electric motors, a new heat pump and optimized cooling – will increase by up to 25% . This figure increases to 40% in winter compared to today, mainly thanks to the heat pump. In total, BMW estimates this will equate to around a 30% increase in range for a vehicle like the BMW i4. The highest-rated i4 right now in terms of range is the eDrive40, with 307 miles according to EPA tests. With this new technology, this model would theoretically be good for around 400 miles of driving.

That number still doesn’t impress the Lucids of the world, but it’s remarkably good for a vehicle of this size and price class. Improved charging is another boon, as the current maximum power of 200 kW would increase to 260 kW, making it faster than Tesla vehicles and approaching the charging speed of more expensive models like the Porsche Taycan. and the Audi E-Tron GT.

The interior of this Neue Klasse is necessarily the element that is both the most appreciated and the most controversial. For starters, yes, it’s yellowish corduroy upholstery on the seats – BMW tells us it’s planning to use more materials other than leather in future interiors. All mustard-like fabric is broken up with an off-white color used on the floor, center console, doors and elsewhere. It looks very much like a tastefully designed lounge inside the Neue Klasse, and the large amount of glass with a low beltline emphasizes the amount of light that filters into the cabin. There’s no doubt how cool and beautiful it all is, but the tech on display is arguably the real star of the show.

Here we see the next generation of BMW iDrive, a more elaborate version of the BMW Panoramic Vision display and new iDrive ‘controller’. Starting with the screen which now features a new shape and sits alone in what would be the center console area (although when asked BMW said it was still considering retaining the volume), it officially drops the iDrive rotary knob. It’s now fully touch-enabled and features new software that redesigns the structure and operation of iDrive as we know it today. The full-width fancy panoramic vision is integrated into the main screen. BMW says it will be available on Neue Klasse vehicles and will project the display across the entire lower part of the windshield so that it is both in the driver’s and passenger’s field of vision. . BMW designers assured us that it would work with polarized sunglasses, unlike many head-up displays currently in production. What you’ll see on Panoramic Vision will usually be an extension of the touchscreen. Plus, you’ll be able to control via a new touch controller on the right spoke of the steering wheel or via the central touchscreen if you prefer. A demo showed you can project navigation instructions, media controls and more onto the widescreen display, and it certainly looks nifty when you’re in the car. We will be very intrigued to try a production version of the new technology.

You’ll be able to see the Neue Klasse at the Munich Motor Show if you’re in Germany, but more importantly, you should expect to see many of its features, technology and design feature in future BMW EVs. That future isn’t too far off either, as BMW says we should start seeing the Neue Klasse hit the road in 2025.


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