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BMW's Neue Klasse X Concept Is a Big Tease

bmw vision neue klasse x concept
BMW's Neue Klasse X Concept Is a Big TeaseBMW
  • The Vision Neue Klasse X is one of the future concept vehicles to preview the next generation of BMW's electric lineup.

  • We've already spotted a camouflaged test vehicle, but the X is likely our first look at what the new iX3 will look like when it goes on sale sometime next year.

  • Attention-grabbing design aside, the Neue Klasse X is also a preview of future battery tech, in-car infotainment, and ergonomics.

The 1960s were an important turning point for BMW. After introducing a Neue Klasse, or new class, of sedan, not only would the German carmaker triple its car sales that decade, but it also delivered one of our all-time favorites, the 2002. Inspired by the past, BMW is debuting future all-electric models under the new Vision Neue Klasse moniker. Last year, BMW unveiled its Vision sedan concept—likely an i3 sedan for 2026—but now there's an all-new Neue Klasse. The biggest to wear the name, the Vision Neue Klasse X goes into production in 2025 in what will likely be the U.S.'s first all-electric X3—the iX3.

BMW says the look of the concept is very close to production form. In fact, earlier this year, a camouflaged SUV resembling the Neue Klasse X was spotted testing in the snow. The concept, which was unveiled to us at a media event near Lisbon Portugal, flaunted incredible details. It has reimagined the kidney grille as a dynamic element that's illuminated and backlit, making it look like something you could reach into.

The LED headlights share the same feel. The daytime running lights look like glowing support structures under a piece of architecture. Like the red and blue parallelograms that help create BMW's M logo, there's a sense of movement in their design. And while they don't move, the headlights and illuminated kidney grille activate and dance as an animation for driver approach and departure.

bmw vision neue klasse x concept
BMW

Shown next to the Neue Klasse sedan, you'll notice the X's taller sides have a sharper and flat face above the wheels. Though the actual production model will differ, the Neue Klasse X concept has 22-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber with a staggered setup of 275/35 fronts and 295/35 in the rear. The wheels wear a convincing lug stud cap that makes it look like they're center-locking, but they're traditional lug studs.

Taking a thorough look at the rear of the Neue Klasse X, you might wonder how the rear tailgate would lift open without a split in the taillights. Well, it doesn't. That's the beauty of a concept. Interestingly, the Neue Klasse X uses door handles similar to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is activated with a touch and then opened via a small winglet on the outside of the door.

As a showcase for the next-generation iDrive operating system and the home to "four new super brains" that play a pivotal role in how the next evolution of BMW vehicles will feel to drive, there's more to the Vision Neue Klasse X than the striking new look. BMW also showed off its most advanced voice assistant yet, which has been generated to sound closer to a human than an Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Neue Klasse X is slightly larger than the current X3 sold here and the all-electric iX3 offered globally. The interior feels as spacious as an X5. It offers an incredibly configurable Panoramic Vision dashboard. It allows passengers to touch and drag the information most important to them into the upper display that spans the width of the dash just below the windshield.

bmw vision neue klasse x concept
BMW

The Neue Klasse X's dashboard takes interior LED accent lighting to a new level by allowing the center of its shelf to glow. The infotainment display at the center of the dashboard replaces the iDrive controller typically situated at the center console. The new interface allows you to play video games and upload personal images and themes for use as backgrounds, and there is integration with a select number of social media networks that will allow you to view your Instagram feed.

While performance is often measured in acceleration time or highway range tests, BMW is working hard to win the lesser-known race of computing. Future BMWs will use "super brains," two of which already help power the all-electric i5. Simply put, they are new computer systems that are said to combine the efforts of systems typically divided into separate modules. The new network of communication is said to be a breakthrough for future automated driving, but the only meaningful specifics revealed so far are that the powertrain, stability, traction, and suspension computing power are improved tenfold.

On the driving range front, BMW told us the Neue Klasse X design sees a reduction of drag by roughly 20 percent when compared to its current SUVs. Their new eDrive units, which replace the prismatic battery cells with more energy-dense lithium-ion units, will improve charging speeds. The all-new iX3 this Neue Klasse X previews is said to have a 30 percent increase in total driving range, which, converted to an estimated EPA figure from Europe's Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), could mean a highway range of approximately 240 miles.

Production of the next-gen iX3 this Neue Klasse X teases will begin sometime in 2025 in Hungary. The new Debrecen production plant will be the home of models such as the long-wheelbase i3 sedan and iX3 that are currently made in China.

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