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BMW Vision Neue Klasse X showcases the brand’s face of the future

BMW’s latest ‘New Class’ concept car previews the look of the next-gen X3 and X5 SUVs

  • New design direction for BMW
  • Fully electric SUV
  • All-new interior 

It’s fair to say that the styling department at BMW has caused some controversy in recent years with its polarising designs, but the new BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept previews a fresh direction for the brand. Applying similar design cues used for the BMW Vision Neue Klasse saloon concept of 2023, the X variant gives us a glimpse at the future of BMW’s SUVs, including the X3 and X5.

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But this is more than just a styling exercise. According to BMW, the saloon and SUV Neue Klasse concepts are “redefining the BMW brand”, presenting a new design ethos that will filter through to all of BMW’s future models. A focus on EV technology, a digital interior experience and sustainable manufacturing processes are at the core of the Neue Klasse models, with the X concept applying these themes to a trendy SUV body.

What does the Neue Klasse X look like?

All of that design-ethos jargon aside, we imagine most car buyers will be intrigued by the way the Neue Klasse X looks. It’s a whole new direction for BMW, leaving behind those giant kidney grilles in favour of clean surfaces and a new, distinctive front end. The headlights are integrated into a black band that spans across the nose, interrupted by a pair of much smaller, illuminated kidney grilles – although being an EV, they’re only for show.

The new EV-only platform has allowed BMW to push the wheels further towards the corners of the car, resulting in short overhangs front and rear. The tail-lights nearly stretch across the full width of the tailgate, sitting below a rear window and spoiler that appear similar to that found on the XM SUV.

What about the interior of the BMW Neue Klasse X?

Things are radically different inside, too. You won’t find a traditional gauge cluster or even a digital driver’s display; instead, key driving information is projected onto the base of the windscreen using a technology that BMW calls ‘Panoramic Vision’. The system is complemented by a traditional infotainment touchscreen mounted to the centre of the dashboard, as well as a new 3D head-up display, with all three technologies making their way into future production models according to BMW.

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Looking around the cabin, you’ll struggle to find many physical controls. We imagine BMW has moved controls for climate and media to the central touchscreen, in line with its ‘digital interior experience’ design, but it remains to be seen whether any physical buttons appear in future models.

BMW has experimented with different sustainable materials in the Neue Klasse X’s cabin, from plant-based textiles to plastics made from recycled fishing nets. The result is a lower overall CO2 footprint, as well as easier disassembly and recyclability when it reaches the end of its life.

What about the performance and specs of the Neue Klasse X?

As the Neue Klasse X is a concept study, BMW hasn’t provided any detailed performance figures or technical specifications, but we know of some general improvements that have been made to the electric powertrain.

Production models will arrive with a new generation of BMW’s ‘eDrive’ system, using new electric motors and batteries. BMW claims that the latter will be more energy-dense than those found in previous electric models, with new technology to improve charging speeds by up to 30%. More aerodynamic bodywork, new tyres and a revised braking system should boost overall efficiency by up to 25%.

How much will the Neue Klasse X cost and when can I order one?

At this point in time, it’s hard to say how much the Neue Klasse X will cost. When it reaches production, it’s expected to replace the iX3 and will probably adopt the same name. Production isn’t scheduled to begin until 2025, however, so official unveiling, pricing and delivery dates will all be revealed in due course.

Can’t wait until 2025? There are plenty of electric SUVs on sale today – here are 10 of the best…

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