With its latest design concept, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse, the BMW Group is showcasing what the next generation of vehicles from its core BMW brand will look like.
The Vision Neue Klasse Vehicle, which will be unveiled for the first time in public at the IAA Mobility 2023 International Motor Show in Munich, embodies a clear design language, with expansive surfaces and just a few distinctive lines, that has been pared down to the essentials. This approach accentuates signature features like the BMW kidney grille and the Hofmeister kink of the side window graphic, giving the design even more of a BMW feel.
In the interior, the next generation of BMW iDrive guarantees a unique digital user experience that merges real and virtual worlds. Increased use of secondary raw materials, resource-efficient production and a fully-electric drive train with sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology reduces the carbon footprint of the Neue Klasse across the vehicle lifecycle.
“30 percent more range, 30 percent faster charging, 25 percent more efficiency – the Neue Klasse represents a major technological leap that will take EfficientDynamics to new heights. The same applies to its design – which could not be any more futuristic,” says Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. “With the Neue Klasse, we have embarked on the biggest investment in the company’s history. We are not just writing the next chapter of BMW; we’re writing a whole new book. That’s why the Neue Klasse will certainly impact all model generations.”
New BMW design language: clear, elegant, timeless
The exterior showcases design elements that will define the different Neue Klasse models. It is clear, elegant, timeless. The new, fully-electric vehicle architecture also opens up new possibilities for the interior design. “The design of the Neue Klasse is typically BMW and so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.
Powerful wheel arches, the retracted greenhouse and steeply forward-slanting “shark nose” front-end are all characteristic BMW features. 21-inch aerodynamic wheels pay tribute to the classic cross-spoke design inspired by motorsports. At the same time, the almost monolithic vehicle body, with strong indentations at the front and rear, as well as large window areas, create a new aesthetic.
The luminous exterior paintwork in “Joyous bright”, with its subtle yellow hue, underscores the friendly, future-oriented personality of the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. Contrast is provided by black side skirts and bumpers. With a higher percentage of secondary raw materials and significantly reduced material variety, targeted improvements have been made to enhance circularity. An improved dismantling concept will also help optimise recycling of the vehicles of the Neue Klasse.
A fresh interpretation of the brand’s signature design elements, like the BMW kidney grille and double headlights, transform the vehicle’s front-end into a single interaction area. A lighting effect with precise three-dimensional animation initiates intuitive interaction between the human and their vehicle as soon as they approach the car. E Ink elements in the lower portion of the side windows also feature in the exterior welcome scenario, directing attention to the sensor area that activates automatic door opening. Innovative technology similarly defines the design of the rear lights, with 3D-printed light elements that extend over several levels and are controlled in a targeted manner to create a unique impression of depth.
Providing vision: Next generation of BMW iDrive
Analogue operating controls have been reduced to a minimum in the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. Human-car interaction takes place through the BMW Panoramic Vision, the Central Display and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel. The user experience is rounded out by the tried-and-tested voice control of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. In this way, the next generation of BMW iDrive offers a modern interpretation of the driver orientation typical of the brand.
As it did with the introduction of the BMW iDrive controller in the centre console and the BMW Head-Up Display, the brand is once again leading the world with BMW Panoramic Vision, which will be available for the first time in the Neue Klasse. Information is projected at the ideal height into the driver’s line of sight and, for the first time, across the entire width of the windscreen. This innovation will complement the enhanced BMW Head-Up Display in the production models of the Neue Klasse.
In the next generation of BMW iDrive, both the driver and front passenger are able to interact with information displayed on BMW Panoramic Vision, creating a shared user experience. Drivers can move content shown on the Central Display to the BMW Panoramic Vision with a simple gesture.
A coordinated choreography between the ambient lighting and graphic elements of the Central Display and BMW Panoramic Vision enriches the user experience – which can also be customised using My Modes. In My Mode ‘Sport’, specific displays are set against a yellow background to support dynamic driving. The new BMW iDrive is based on a highly integrated software architecture that consolidates data related to the driving experience and infotainment with data from the vehicle’s electronics and electrical system and the BMW cloud. Interaction between human and vehicle can thus be tailored even more closely to the driving situation and individual needs, enabling a totally new perception of mobility.
Bright cord fabrics create a comfortable atmosphere inside the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. The light-coloured instrument panel supports the steering wheel, which is flattened at the top and bottom, as well as the Central Display with Matrix-Backlight in the outline of a parallelogram. A smartphone charging cradle and the glassy selector lever space on the centre console. The front seats are attached to the floor by a single bracket, freeing up additional legroom in the rear compartment, where passengers can enjoy the spaciousness created by having two individual seats. The design of the interior, which is completely free of decorative chrome or leather, helps optimise the carbon footprint of the production process.
CO2-reduced production, sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology
Manufactured at the new plant in Debrecen entirely without fossil fuels and with much wider use of raw and secondary materials produced with reduced CO2, the Neue Klasse will also provide significant impetus for resource-efficient individual mobility. High energy efficiency during the vehicle use phase will be ensured by optimising weight, air and rolling resistance, as well as through intelligent heat management, especially for the electric drive train, using sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology.
In addition to highly efficient electric motors, major advances in the new BMW eDrive technology include newly-developed round battery cells, with more than 20 percent higher energy density than that of the prismatic cells previously used. The sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology will improve the charging speed for Neue Klasse models by up to 30 percent, in addition to boosting their range by up to 30 percent. As a result of all these measures, overall vehicle efficiency will increase by up to 25 percent.
Innovations guarantee signature BMW driving pleasure for future generations
Electrification, digitalisation and circularity are the core elements of the transformation that is being actively shaped by the BMW Group and began with the electrified models of the BMW i brand. The BMW i Vision Circular highlights the tremendous potential that can be leveraged by systematic implementing a circular economy that reduces consumption of raw materials and lowers CO2 emissions. BMW i Vision Dee, on the other hand, shows how digital, human-centric technology can enrich the user experience.
All these topics are now coming together in the BMW Vision Neue Klasse, a vehicle that represents the whole range of technological innovations through which the BMW Group is demonstrating its future sustainability. The BMW Vision Neue Klasse signals the start of a new era of individual mobility that is rich in digital experiences, locally emission-free and circular in the long term – guaranteeing typical BMW driving pleasure for generations to come.