Further details regarding BMW’s upcoming New Class vehicles

With the New Class, BMW will be launching a completely new vehicle architecture for the electric future from 2025. The Munich-based company has a tight model schedule: Six model series are to use the New Class within two years. Now there are more details.

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BMW itself had already confirmed in March 2023 that six model launches based on the New Class are planned within 24 months. The rough production ramp-up at the plants was also known: From the second half of 2025, the premiere model is to be produced at the new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, before the second model rolls off the production line at the main plant in Munich in 2026. In 2027, the New Class will also be built at the Mexican plant in San Luis Potosi.

It was previously assumed that the first two models from Debrecen and Munich would be vehicles in the 3 Series segment – as an SUV and a saloon. This is also confirmed by the German publication Automobilwoche in its current model preview for BMW: “The SUV iX3 (internal designation NA5) will come from Debrecen in Hungary at the end of 2025. This leads to the conclusion that BMW will keep the current iX3 running in parallel for the time being. In 2026, the New Class will make its debut as a saloon (NA0). It will initially roll off the production line at the main plant in Munich.”

The NA0 is also to be built in Mexico and China “a little later”. An extended version of the iX3 from Debrecen is also planned in China, which will probably be referred to internally as the NA6. However, this variant is likely to be intended exclusively for the Chinese market. As with the current combustion series, there will also be a corresponding SUV coupé from 2026, which will be called NA7 – the sales designation will probably be iX4. However, Automobilwoche leaves open whether the iX4 will then come from China or Debrecen.

Only compact and mid-range models for the time being

The situation is clearer for the fifth of the six planned models: this is to be the NA1, the electric estate for the NA0. This will be built together with the saloon in Munich, probably from 2027. The sixth model is referred to internally as the NB5. According to the report, this will be a compact SUV, “which is expected to inherit the current iX1”. Whether the NB5 will be built together with the NA5 in Debrecen or, like the current iX1, in Regensburg, is not clear from the report. However, this means that the New Class will initially only be used by models with the code numbers 1 to 4. Larger vehicles such as the recently relaunched 5 or 7 series will not switch to the new platform in the near future.

Around two weeks ago, BMW itself confirmed that only electric cars in the New Class will be produced at the main plant in Munich from 2027 – 650 million euros will be invested in the necessary conversion measures. In addition to the i4 electric model, the 3 Series and 3 Series Touring are currently being built there as combustion and hybrid models, as well as the combustion counterpart to the i4, the 4 Series Gran Coupé. With the switch to the New Class, the mid-range combustion models will no longer come from Munich.

Overall, the New Class is the largest investment in BMW’s company history. It is an electric vehicle architecture which, due to its modularity, should be able to cover all segments from the compact class of the current 1 Series to the luxury saloon. Initially, there were also statements about combustion or hybrid models based on the New Class, but BMW itself now describes the platform as “BEV-only”.

There are some technical changes: BMW is switching from 400 to 800 volts system voltage and from prismatic battery cells arranged in modules to round cells with a cell-to-pack concept. This should improve the packaging of the vehicles, resulting in lower overall heights and a higher energy density. It also marks the debut of BMW’s sixth e-drive generation. It will continue to use externally excited synchronous motors, but these should be lighter, smaller, 40 per cent cheaper and at the same time 25 per cent more efficient than the current fifth generation.

As reported, the naming of the models is also likely to change with the new class, particularly with regard to the distinction between combustion and electric cars. A future X3 as a combustion engine would be called X320 or X330, depending on its performance, while the electric model with the prefix ‘i’ would be called iX320 or iX330. The same scheme is planned for BMW’s saloons and estates. According to a report from September, the electric 3 Series saloon, for which BMW provided a near-production preview at the IAA with the Vision Neue Klasse concept, is to be given names such as i330 and i340 as a production model.

automobilwoche.de (in German)


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