New Vision Neue Klasse X Concept Reinvents BMW’s Electric SUVs

BMW's next wave of electric vehicles have a distinctive look.

The BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept is a major departure from the old-school Bimmers I fell in love with as a kid. However, I will admit that I like the concept’s unique looks, mostly because it’s not excessively angry as some recent BMW designs. BMW says the production version of what you see here will be on assembly lines as soon as 2025, so it’s a concept that’s most certainly headed to production.

Neue Klasse (the Germans say it like “noy-a class-a”) means “new class” and is not the actual model name I would expect this to ship with. This concept, like the Neue Klasse sedan we saw last year, is intended to communicate the automaker’s aesthetic intentions with its next lineup of electric vehicles.

I saw this thing in person a few weeks ago, and I’m fairly optimistic about this idea. As an anachronist and a lover of car design before 2010-ish, I’d say that’s a big deal.

I still would rather hang a picture of an M1, a Z8, or even an E46 M3 on my wall, but BMW had to come up with new stuff eventually, and I prefer this direction to what’s been done to the front of the 4 Series.

It’s fairly clean, but proud and distinctive. It’s unique too; the Pringles man face is kind of cool and I really like the chunky edges and accents in the rear. I am typically not impressed with large screens, but this lean and sleek execution has me reconsidering that position.

BMW says there are “three main characteristics of the Neue Klasse – electric, digital, and circular.” What does that mean? Well, you’re looking at it.

The kidney grille design is executed as this backlit sculpted figurehead, tied together with the headlights that are supposed to light up decoratively as the driver approaches.

That idea of a wide bread of light is continued in the cockpit—there’s a wide but short display spanning the windshield’s width. This will be called BMW Panoramic Vision, and according to people at the concept’s unveiling, it should make it to the production version. It also works in conjunction with a new heads-up display.

The infotainment setup in the middle of the dash kind of spills out, so to speak, into the rest of the interior via ambient light and backlit textile upholstery. The interior is supposed to be made from a “completely plant-based, mineral-based, and petroleum-free surface material.”

In a nutshell, if the screen shows something red and blue, you’ll get some red and blue trim in the ambient light and decor, too. Hopefully such a function would be toggleable. Sounds a little too intense to run all the time.

Another neat driver-experience function that BMW’s people were eager to share on this concept is something called a Hypersonx wheel. Stylized as “HYPERSONX WHEEL,” this interface controls the vehicle’s propulsion expression which BMW has named the “Personal Sound Experience.”


Put in plain English: It’s a touch-screen interface that lets you tweak the “engine” sound that correlates with your speed and position of the accelerator. That could either be neat or cheesy as hell—and we’ll have to try it out on the road.

As for performance, BMW’s announcement crammed a lot of words you don’t encounter that often in a very dense paragraph. So I’m going to strip the main key performance-related comments down to bullet points for the easiest dissection.

  • This vehicle will be the sixth generation of BMW eDrive (electric car) technology
  • E-drive units themselves are improved (how exactly was not specified)
  • Prismatic battery cells will be replaced by cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells. BMW says an advantage is “a volumetric energy density more than 20 percent higher”
  • From a practical perspective, those new lithium-ion batteries (along with an 800-volt system) are supposed to improve charging speed “by up to 30 percent” over BMW’s current capabilities
  • “The sixth generation of BMW eDrive delivers up to 30 percent more range” than BMW’s current EVs
  • BMW also states “new tire designs and a special brake system for fully electric vehicles help increase overall vehicle efficiency by up to 25 percent”

I’m not usually crazy about block-quoting big chunks of a press release, but BMW included a few paragraphs about something it calls “super-brains” that seemed interesting but felt tough to paraphrase. That might mean it’s mostly marketing nonsense. Still, I like the way this official statement sounds so I’ll share it. As attributed to Frank Weber a member of the Board of Management of BMW responsible for Development:

“The BMW of the future will have four totally new super-brains: high-performance computers working smartly together on what, up until now, was processed separately. We developed the first super-brain completely in-house. It integrates the entire powertrain and driving dynamics with up to ten times more computing power.”

“The second super-brain will enable the next quantum leap in automated driving … Going forward, we will combine four key control units in a single high-performance computer. The result will be more dynamic performance, more precision, more efficiency, and even more fun to drive.”

Sounds like the takeaway is that better ECUs make for more precise car control. Unfortunately, more powerful onboard computers can also lead to better user tracking. I wouldn’t be surprised if these Neue Klasse vehicles gathered as much data as they could about your driving habits to somehow ultimately monetize. Yeah, the future looks fancy but the costs are high.

Speaking of costs, it’s TBA what the production version of the BMW Vision Neue Klasse X will end up costing. The current BMW iX lists for no less than $87,000, so I’d expect this to be in the six-figure neighborhood for sure.

The vehicle will be built in Hungary, at a facility BMW calls an “iFACTORY” that’s described “as first BMW Group manufacturing site in the world to run entirely on fossil-free energy.”