BMW gives more details about its ‘Neue Klasse’ EVs

With the ‘Neue Klasse’ or ‘New Class,’ BMW will launch a new vehicle architecture for the electric future in 2025. The Munich-based company has a tight model schedule: six model series are to use the New Class base within two years. More details have become available.

BMW already confirmed in March 2023 that six model launches based on the New Class are planned within 24 months. From the second half of 2025, the premiere model will be produced at the new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, before the second model rolls off the production line at the main plant in Munich in 2026.

The New Class will also be built at the Mexican plant in San Luis Potosí in 2027, and recently, BMW added that the BBA joint venture will also produce it, probably in 2026.

3 Series segment first

The first two models from Debrecen and Munich will be SUVs and saloons in the 3 Series segment. The German specialized publication Automobilwoche confirms this in its current model preview for BMW.

“At the end of 2025, The SUV iX3 (internal designation NA5) will come from Debrecen in Hungary. This suggests that BMW will keep the current iX3 running in parallel. In 2026, the New Class will debut as a saloon (designation NA0). It will initially roll off the production line at the main plant in Munich.”

The NA0 will also be built in Mexico and China at a later stage. An extended version of the iX3 from Debrecen is also planned for China, which will probably be referred to internally as the NA6.

As with the current combustion series, there will also be a corresponding SUV coupé from 2026 called NA7. For sales, it will most likely be called iX4.

Compact and mid-range

The fifth of the six already planned models will be the NA1, the fully electric estate version of the NA0. This will be built together with the saloon in Munich, probably from 2027.

The sixth model, internally referred to as the NB5, will be a compact SUV expected to succeed the current iX1. This means that the New Class will initially only be used by models with code numbers 1 to 4. Larger vehicles like the recently relaunched 5 or 7 series will not switch to the new platform shortly.

A few weeks ago, BMW confirmed that from 2027, only electric cars in the New Class will be produced at the main plant in Munich, and 650 million euros will be invested in the necessary conversion measures.

The 3 Series sedan (concept pictured here) is the first New Class to be assembled in Munich /BMW

In addition to the i4 electric model, the 3 Series and 3 Series Touring are currently being built as combustion and hybrid models, and the combustion counterpart to the i4, the 4 Series Gran Coupé. With the switch to the New Class, the mid-range combustion models will no longer come from Munich.

BEV-only platform

The New Class is the most significant investment in BMW’s company history. Due to its modularity, it is an electric vehicle architecture that should cover all segments, from the current 1 Series compact class to the luxury saloon.

Initially, there were also statements about combustion or hybrid models based on the New Class platform, but BMW now defines the platform as “BEV-only”.

Sixth generation

For the New Class, BMW is switching from a 400-800-volt system and prismatic battery cells arranged in modules to round cells with a cell-to-pack concept. This should improve the packaging of the vehicles, resulting in lower overall heights and a higher energy density.

It also marks the debut of BMW’s sixth e-drive generation. This will continue to use externally excited synchronous motors, but these should be lighter, smaller, 40% cheaper, and 25% more efficient than the current (fifth) generation.

‘Old’ naming returns

As already reported, the naming of the models is likely to change again with the new class, also for the distinction between combustion and electric cars. A future X3 with a combustion engine would then be called X320 or X330, depending on its performance, while the electric model with the prefix ‘i’ would be called iX320 or iX330.

The same scheme is planned for BMW’s saloons and estates. The electric 3 Series saloon, for which BMW provided a near-production preview at the IAA with the Vision Neue Klasse concept, will be given names such as i330 and i340 as a production model.

 

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