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Best look yet at next BMW 3 Series: Vision Neue Klasse revealed


Platform set to underpin next-gen 3 Series will deliver 25 percent more efficiency than current BMW EVs

BMW will fortify its electric car offering with the introduction of the Vision Neue Klasse – a concept that reveals more detail about its eponymous platform.

Neue Klasse, the platform, is set to replace BMW’s current-generation Cluster Architecture platform beneath a range of electric models from the second half of 2025.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white driving front three quarter
The Vision Neue Klasse concept previews the next BMW 3 Series

But the Vision Neue Klasse is a concept vehicle that not only previews expected range and efficiency – but also the most controversial change that the platform will bring about.

Next 3 Series previewed by Vision Neue Klasse concept

As the shape of the concept car suggests, the Neue Klasse platform will give BMW engineers the confidence to transition the brand’s venerable 3 Series sedan and wagon lineup to an electric platform, possibly under i3 branding.

Chasing Cars understands that the next 3 Series will in fact be two vehicles. Petrol and hybrid options will continue, remaining on Cluster Architecture, with only electric versions scoring the Neue Klasse chassis.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white rear three quarter
Improved battery density and motor performance will boost efficiency and range for Neue Klasse models

While the 3 Series has been overtaken by some of BMW’s SUV models in contemporary sales success, the low-slung model is still seen by many as an industry reference point.

Securing its successful transition to electrification is seen as crucial within BMW.

But the electric 3 Series will be just one of six models set to launch on the Neue Klasse platform from the second half of the decade.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white side profile wheels
The 3 Series, possibly badged i3 in electric form, will be one of at least six Neue Klasse models

BMW plans to take on Tesla’s established efficiency advantage by improving range by 30 percent for Neue Klasse vehicles compared to their Cluster Architecture predecessors.

However, the brand says it will accomplish this feat mainly by improving efficiency – attacking motor performance, battery density and aerodynamics – rather than by increasing outright battery size.

Efficiency is said to improve by 25 percent for Neue Klasse vehicles, providing most of the range gain, while charging speeds will be 30 percent faster, BMW says.

Neue Klasse will replace the Cluster Architecture platform for EV models such as the current-gen i4 (pictured)

The brand says it has “embarked on the biggest investment in the company’s history”.

Radical new designs and better electric tech

If the 3 Series-sized Vision Neue Klasse concept is anything to go by, BMW designers will reference the 1970s for the brand’s next-gen models.

BMW has added a “fresh interpretation” to features such as the iconic kidney grille, along with a shark-nose front end and distinctive headlight design.

But what will be the biggest change going forward will be to the electric vehicle hardware and in-car technologies.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white yellow interior panoramic vision
The interior of the Vision Neue Klasse showcases a panoramic display projected on the windscreen, intended for production

A huge pillar-to-pillar display called BMW Panoramic Vision stretches the full width of the dashboard and takes over functions previously relegated to the driver’s binnacle.

This windscreen-projected panorama display is supplemented by a large central touchscreen.

New sixth-generation BMW E-Drive batteries replace the existing fifth-gen units found in cars such as the current i4 and iX1, promising higher energy density.

Rivals are also developing next-gen EV platforms

BMW says that “electrification, digitalisation and circularity are the core elements of the transformation” to the Neue Klasse.

Neue Klasse will arrive on the scene at about the same time as BMW’s rivals are preparing to launch their next-generation electric architectures.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white side profile
Neue Klasse won’t be alone: rival brands are introducing next-gen EV platforms

Key competition will come in the form of models spawned by the new Mercedes-Benz MMA ‘Entry Luxury’ platform, while Hyundai-Kia will seek to entrench its know-how with a new IMA electric chassis.

Volkswagen’s next-generation electric platform has been delayed until the later part of the 2020s. Audi will plug the gap by licensing the modular Nebula platform developed by China’s SAIC Motor.