BMW Vision Neue Klasse X Previews Future BMW Electric SUVs

Published on March 21, 2024 in Electric by Guillaume Rivard

The next generation of electric vehicles at BMW, known as the Neue Klasse, was initially previewed by a sleek car concept at IAA 2023 in Munich last summer. Now, we get to see what the German automaker’s future SUVs will look like and be capable of.

The first production model based on the Vision Neue Klasse X (about 90 percent of which will be similar or identical, BMW told us) is scheduled to come to life at the Debrecen assembly plant in Hungary sometime in 2025. The site will become the first BMW Group factory in the world to run entirely on fossil-free energy.

A Design for a New Era

As you can easily see, the Vision Neue Klasse X looks like no other SUV or crossover in BMW’s current lineup. “The Neue Klasse is much more than just a car or a specific concept; it is redefining the BMW brand—and, at the same time, will be more BMW than ever,” says BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse.

Photo: BMW

The highly sculptured and aerodynamic exterior, achieving a 20 percent reduction in drag compared to existing BMW X models, is headlined by a much busier front end than the aforementioned Neue Klasse car, with a combination of lines and shapes that clearly won’t appeal to everybody. BMW’s signature kidney grille is reinterpreted once more in a sharp contrast with the gigantic design on the BMW iX. Was the latter a mistake? That’s the impression we get.

The bodysides and rear section are admittedly more traditional, but another thing that defines this SUV is the expansive greenhouse—complete with a massive panoramic glass roof—flooding the interior with natural light and accentuating the spacious feeling inside. Special lighting, animations and sound effects add another dimension to the experience.

Photo: BMW

The interior is designed with sustainable and recycled materials including the warm-coloured textiles. The sheer lack of physical controls is not a real surprise but raises a few concerns. The centre display is elegantly integrated into the clean dashboard, with the voice-controlled BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant playing an even bigger role here.

That being said, the most unique and notable feature inside the Vision Neue Klasse X is what BMW calls Panoramic Vision, which projects key information across the full width of the windscreen. It will be complemented in production models of the Neue Klasse by an enhanced 3D head-up display. There’s also a new HYPERSONX WHEEL digital function allowing occupants to easily customize the EV sound experience on any trip, at any time.

Photo: BMW

Sixth-Gen Electric Drive System

In the Neue Klasse, overall vehicle efficiency will reach a new level thanks to the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology. Remember, the current, fifth-gen system earned the company a 2024 Innovation Award from AJAC earlier this week.  

Frank Weber, head of development at BMW, says that four totally new “super-brains” are working smartly together in the Vision Neue Klasse X. The first one, which was developed completely in-house, integrates the entire powertrain and driving dynamics with up to ten times more computing power. The second super-brain will apparently enable “the next quantum leap in automated driving.” 

Photo: BMW

Obviously, it’s too early to talk about performance specs, but we can tell you that the new cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells have a volumetric energy density more than 20 percent higher than that of the prismatic cells previously used. In combination with the transition to an 800V system, this will improve charging speeds by up to 30 percent, BMW claims. The sixth generation of eDrive also promises up to 30 percent longer range. What’s more, new tire designs and a special brake system for fully electric vehicles will help increase overall vehicle efficiency by up to 25 percent.

Excited, yet? Well, we sure are. And we want to know more. Keep following The Car Guide for continued coverage of the upcoming Neue Klasse and future BMW models that are planned for Canada.

Watch: The Car Guide Drives the New BMW iX

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