BMW’s Vision Neue Klasse marks a significant shift in the company’s future electric roadmap. Sporting a sleek and minimalist design, it streamlines the core visual elements synonymous with the BMW brand.
At this year’s IAA Mobility International Motor Show in Munich, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse stands out as a bold declaration of the future, particularly for what was once BMW’s flagship segment – the traditional saloon car. Over time, the popularity of the conventional ‘three-box’ saloon has waned in the face of the relentless ascent of SUVs.
The Vision Neue Klasse represents a courageous endeavor to steer the company in the right direction, breathing contemporary life into the visionary designs pioneered by figures like Wilhelm Hofmeister in the 1960s and 1970s. Adrian van Hooydonk, the current head of BMW Group Design, aptly describes the Neue Klasse’s design as quintessentially BMW, so forward-looking that it appears to leap ahead by a model generation.
It’s important to note that the Vision car is purely a concept, and BMW’s show cars typically deviate somewhat from the eventual production models. Nonetheless, the elegantly minimalistic aspects of this vehicle are entirely manufacturable, and features such as the utilization of secondary raw materials and full electric propulsion are already becoming standard.
This concept also puts a spotlight on essential BMW design elements, such as the iconic ‘Hofmeister kink,’ a signature curve on the C-pillar that has been integral to nearly every BMW for the past half-century. Additionally, it introduces a more cohesive BMW kidney grille that seamlessly integrates into the entire frontal area, complete with integrated headlights and a prominent central partition.
BMW underscores that each facet of this concept represents a substantial leap forward, offering “30 percent more range, 30 percent faster charging, [and] 25 percent greater efficiency.” Inside, it boasts a new generation of BMW’s pioneering iDrive Human-Machine Interface (HMI), working in harmony with the ‘BMW Panoramic Vision,’ a head-up display system projecting information across the entire width of the windshield.
Elsewhere, the cabin adheres to the typical minimalist concept style, featuring yellow corduroy upholstery as a refreshing departure from traditional interiors. BMW emphasizes that the absence of decorative leather and chrome serves as a clear strategy to minimize the car’s carbon footprint.
Why is this concept so pivotal? After losing ground in the electrification race to its competitors, BMW acknowledges the need to redefine its electric vehicle (EV) strategy and align manufacturing and innovation with a fresh design vision. This vehicle charts the course for next-generation mobility, with elements from the Vision Neue Klasse expected to gradually infiltrate BMW’s production vehicles over the next two to three years.
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