The BMW i Vision Dee concept unveiled in January of this year provided an intriguing look at BMW’s upcoming electric car design. At the IAA Mobility 2023 trade show in Munich, a more developed version of the same concept will now make its premiere. It will contain extra design cues and functions that will be implemented into production versions.
This design approach places a strong emphasis on highlighting iconic BMW elements such as the distinctive BMW kidney grille and the Hofmeister kink in the side window graphic. These enhancements infuse the design with a more pronounced BMW character and identity.
The next generation of BMW iDrive ensures a one-of-a-kind digital user experience, seamlessly integrating the realms of reality and virtuality. This advanced technology promises an immersive and intuitive interaction for occupants.
Furthermore, the commitment to sustainability is evident in the increased use of secondary raw materials, resource-efficient production processes, and the adoption of a fully electric drivetrain featuring sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology. These eco-conscious measures significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the Neue Klasse throughout its entire lifecycle.
The exterior design of the Neue Klasse models introduces defining elements that will characterize this new generation of models. It exudes a sense of clarity, elegance, and timelessness, showcasing a distinctive BMW identity. Additionally, the adoption of a new, fully-electric vehicle architecture creates exciting opportunities for interior design innovations.
Adrian van Hooydonk, the head of BMW Group Design, aptly summarizes the design philosophy, stating, “The design of the Neue Klasse is quintessentially BMW, and it’s so forward-looking that it appears as though we’ve leapfrogged a generation of models.” This bold and progressive approach exemplifies BMW’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive design and technology.
The BMW Vision Neue Klasse embodies several iconic BMW design elements, including robust wheel arches, a gracefully sloping greenhouse, and the characteristic “shark nose” front-end that leans forward. Paying homage to classic motorsports aesthetics, the car is adorned with 21-inch aerodynamic wheels inspired by the cross-spoke design. Simultaneously, the car’s body exhibits a near-monolithic presence, featuring pronounced contours at the front and rear, as well as expansive windows that create a fresh and distinctive visual appeal.
The exterior finish, named “Joyous bright,” bathes the car in a subtle yellow hue, underscoring the friendly and forward-looking personality of the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. To provide contrast, black side skirts and bumpers are integrated into the design. In an environmentally conscious move, the car incorporates a higher proportion of secondary raw materials and streamlines material diversity, contributing to enhanced sustainability. Additionally, an improved dismantling concept is set to optimize the recycling process for Neue Klasse vehicles, further advancing the principles of circular economy and environmental responsibility.
The BMW Vision Neue Klasse offers a contemporary reinterpretation of the brand’s iconic design elements, including the BMW kidney grille and double headlights, seamlessly integrating them into the car’s front-end as a unified interaction area. This transformation facilitates a cohesive and intuitive connection between the driver and their vehicle.
Upon approach, a captivating lighting effect featuring precise three-dimensional animations engages, initiating a natural and intuitive interaction between the driver and the car. The use of E Ink elements in the lower part of the side windows enhances the exterior welcome scenario, drawing attention to the sensor area responsible for activating automatic door opening.
Innovation extends to the rear of the car as well, with the design of the rear lights showcasing cutting-edge technology. These lights feature 3D-printed light elements that span multiple levels and are meticulously controlled to produce a distinctive sense of depth, leaving a lasting and unique impression. This blend of advanced technology and design aesthetics defines the BMW Vision Neue Klasse’s forward-looking approach.
The BMW Vision Neue Klasse represents a departure from traditional analog controls, with a deliberate reduction to the essentials. Human-vehicle interaction is primarily facilitated through key elements such as the BMW Panoramic Vision, the Central Display, and multifunction buttons integrated into the steering wheel. Complementing this intuitive interface is the trusted voice control system of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. This approach aligns with BMW’s heritage of driver-centric design while offering a modern interpretation.
Much like the pioneering introduction of the BMW iDrive controller in the center console and the BMW Head-Up Display, the brand continues to lead the way with the innovative BMW Panoramic Vision, making its debut in the Neue Klasse. This groundbreaking feature projects information at the optimal height, directly into the driver’s line of sight, and for the first time, spans across the entire width of the windshield. This technological advancement will complement the upgraded BMW Head-Up Display integrated into production models of the Neue Klasse.
In the next generation of BMW iDrive, both the driver and front passenger can engage with the information displayed on BMW Panoramic Vision, fostering a shared user experience. Drivers can seamlessly transfer content from the Central Display to the BMW Panoramic Vision with a simple gesture, enhancing interactivity and convenience.
The user experience inside the BMW Vision Neue Klasse is elevated through an interplay between ambient lighting and graphic elements present on both the Central Display and BMW Panoramic Vision. This immersive experience is further customisable through My Modes. For instance, in the ‘Sport’ mode, specific displays are configured against a vibrant yellow backdrop, enhancing the interface for dynamic driving scenarios.
Underpinning this innovation is the next-generation BMW iDrive, built on a highly integrated software architecture that seamlessly combines data related to the driving experience, infotainment, vehicle electronics, and the BMW cloud. This integration allows for a more precise adaptation of the interaction between the driver and the vehicle, catering to specific driving situations and individual preferences, ultimately redefining the concept of mobility.
Inside the BMW Vision Neue Klasse, the use of bright cord fabrics creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The light-colored instrument panel supports a steering wheel with flattened top and bottom portions, as well as the Central Display with a Matrix-Backlight in the shape of a parallelogram. The center console houses a smartphone charging cradle and a sleek glassy selector lever area.
A notable design feature is the single-bracket attachment of the front seats to the floor, which maximizes rear legroom. The rear compartment is configured with two individual seats, offering a spacious and comfortable environment for passengers. The interior design intentionally avoids decorative chrome or leather elements, contributing to a more sustainable production process and a reduced carbon footprint.
The BMW Vision Neue Klasse marks the commencement of a new era in personal mobility, one characterised by rich digital experiences, emissions-free local operation, and long-term sustainability. This vision ensures that the signature BMW driving pleasure will endure for generations to come.