BMW’s upcoming modular architecture, dubbed Neue Klasse, will debut in 2025, on a fully electric model in the 3-Series segment. The new BEV-only platform will be concentrated around the premium midsize segment (European classification) and not cover the whole spectrum of BMW’s range.
As reported by Automotive News Europe, Oliver Zipse, BMW CEO, shared the news during BMW’s first-quarter earnings call last week following rumors from late last year. He said the Neue Klasse platform represents “a quantum leap in technology” using a new generation electric powertrain with increased output and a new kind of battery cells. The first production model based on it will be produced in BMW’s new plant in Hungary starting from 2025.
While the architecture was initially planned to be compatible with fully electric, gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell powertrains, during the 2021 Munich Auto Show BMW revealed it will be reserved for fully electric models. Oliver’s Zipse comments are on the same page: “When it hits the market, it will be concentrated on the 3-Series segment and at that point in time the market will have developed into a size where it is reasonable to have only one drivetrain in that architecture.”
Contradicting earlier reports, Oliver Zipse revealed that the new modular architecture will be mainly focused on midsize vehicles, adding that it “does not cover from the lower segments all the way to the luxury segments”. That contradicts last year’s comments made by Frank Weber, research and development chief at BMW, who said that the Neue Klasse would underpin future models ranging from the 2-Series up to the X7.
BMW’s decision not to use the EV-only Neue Klasse in flagship models like the 7-Series and the upcoming XM will allow the bavarian automaker to keep ICE alive a bit longer in larger segments since the demand is still there.
According to the CEO, BMW wants BEV sales to reach 2 million units by 2025, on the way to accounting for 50 percent of its sales by 2030 or even earlier than that. Predictably, the Neue Klasse architecture is set to play an important role in growing EV sales.