New BMW 3 Series previewed by Vision Neue Klasse concept car
BMW’s new Munich concept teases the 3 Series’ future design direction and technology
- Show car previews all-electric BMW 3 Series
- New “shark nose” design
- Production debut expected in late 2024
The next BMW 3 Series has been previewed by the Vision Neue Klass concept at the Munich Motor Show. The futuristic show car has a radical new design language for the brand, using E-Ink technology to transform exterior details like its headlights and kidney grille in digital form.
The car retains a traditional three-box layout, but has a forward-slanting “shark nose” and a short rump that’s so radical BMW’s design boss Adrian van Hooydonk said: “It looks like we skipped a model generation”. There’s a set of aerodynamic 21-inch alloy wheels, while yellow exterior highlights are meant to help give the Vision Neue Klasse a “friendly” look that’s less aggressive than the current 3 Series.
As on the i Vision Dee concept first seen at the CES tech show at the start of the year, there’s even a strip of E-Ink along the bottom of the side windows. This allows the design of the car to change instantly – by representing the classic Hofmeister kink where the base of the rear window kicks up at the back edge, for instance. Body panels like the bumpers and side skirts are also constructed from recycled materials to make the car more sustainable.
The concept’s interior is no less bold, with a new take on BMW’s iDrive infotainment system called Panoramic Vision, along with a central display and multifunction buttons placed on the steering wheel. Set to make its debut in a production version of the Neue Klasse, Panoramic Vision sees information projected into the driver’s view ahead, but unlike a traditional head-up display, it covers the entire width of the windscreen. This will allow both the driver and front passenger to interact with the display for a “shared user experience”. Drivers will also be able to use a gesture to move content from the central display onto the Panoramic Vision windscreen, while the latest evolution of BMW’s voice control should make it simpler to adjust the car’s settings.
Underneath the Vision Neue Klasse is an all-new electric platform that’s set to underpin many of BMW’s EV models from 2025 onwards. This incorporates the sixth generation of BMW’s eDrive technology, which the manufacturer claims will offer “30% more range, 30% faster charging and 25% more efficiency”. Compared with an equivalent BMW i4, this could see the BMW 3 Series replacement manage a range of around 450 miles with charging speeds of 270kW when it’s fully unveiled in late 2024.
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