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BMW unveils ‘futuristic’ Vision Neue Klasse

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Market Trends | Technology
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Adding to a week of futuristic glimpses into automakers’ ideas and innovations, BMW has also teased what could come next from a “new intuitive interaction paradigm between the driver and vehicle” to electrification, digitalization, and circularity.

Debuting Wednesday at the 2023 IAA Munich, BMW said the Vision Neue Klasse, its next-gen i3, which is expected to be a hatchback instead of a sedan.

Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Board of Management chairman shared that its concept car, the Neue Klasse, is “already bringing the mobility of the next decade to the roads in 2025 – and leading BMW into a new era.”

In a news release, BMW added, “The BMW i Vision Circular highlights the tremendous potential that can be leveraged by systematically 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.”

BMW describes it as being “pared down to the essentials,” with expansive surfaces and only a few distinctive lines.

“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,” BMW said. “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 drivetrain with sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology reduces the carbon footprint of the Neue Klasse across the vehicle lifecycle.”

Next-gen BMW iDrive will have “Panoramic Vision,” a new multifunction steering wheel, a new central display, and a new 3D head-up display (HUD) to serve as the central display and operating elements of the Neue Klasse models. All of that plus voice control of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant leaves drivers with a minimum of analog controls.

“Thirty percent more range, 30% faster charging, 25% more efficiency — the Neue Klasse represents a major technological leap that will take EfficientDynamics to new heights,” said Frank Weber, BMW AG Board of Management member responsible for development. “The same applies to its design — which could not be any more futuristic.

“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.”

The models will have fully-electric vehicle architecture with BMW characteristic features — powerful wheel arches, inset greenhouse, and a steeply forward-slanting “shark nose” front end, the OEM said. However, the windows will be larger with strong indentations at the front and rear. And 21-inch aerodynamic wheels will pay tribute to the classic cross-spoke design inspired by motorsports, BMW said.

The OEM says production will take place at its new plant in Debrecen that operates without fossil fuels and more raw and secondary materials made with less carbon dioxide. Enviornmentally-friendly use will also take place when the vehicles are driven, according to BMW.

“High energy efficiency during the vehicle use phase will be ensured by optimizing weight, air, and rolling resistance, as well as through intelligent heat management, especially for the electric drivetrain, using sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology,” a BMW news release states. “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% higher energy density than that of the prismatic cells used previously.”


All images of the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. (Provided by BMW)

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