Neue Klasse concept is another divisive design from BMW


BMW’s designers are no strangers to controversy. From Chris Bangle’s flame-surfaced 7-Series to the more recent gaping grille of the 4-Series, the Bavarians’ boldness has caused commotions and set memes in motion.

Those previous efforts pale into insignificance alongside the just-revealed Vision Neue Klasse concept, however. “The design is so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.

Refreshingly, the concept is a three-box sedan rather than an SUV, and there are further acknowledgements of BMW’s heritage in the car’s shark nose, double-kidney grille and twin headlamps. It’s the almost featureless “monolithic” profile that’s somehow strangely most distinctive. The distinct lack of surface detailing makes it look rendered rather than real, like an AI interpretation, and this is further exaggerated with the “Joyous bright” yellow-tinged paintwork.

The minimalism extends to the cabin which, aside from a large central display is almost featureless. It appears remarkably spacious and airy as a result, while a combination of white and yellow trim cool cord seats is a radical departure from the company’s traditional use of metal, leather or wood.

BMW Neue Klasse Concept 5

This choice of materials is part of the brands’ bid to reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint. It is, of course, fully-electric and BMW claims it will offer 30 percent more range, 30 percent faster charging, and 25 percent greater efficiency than its current EVs. New battery cells offer 20 percent higher energy density, which will make a major contribution to those goals.

“The Neue Klasse represents a major technological leap that will take EfficientDynamics to new heights,” says Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. “The same applies to its design—which could not be any more futuristic. With the Neue Klasse, we have embarked on the biggest investment in the company’s history. We are not just writing the next chapter of BMW; we’re writing a whole new book. That’s why the Neue Klasse will certainly impact all model generations.”

A production version is expected to debut in 2025, by which time the hoo-ha over its design should have died down.

BMW Neue Klasse Concept 2
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    Although I still think Chris Bangle got it wrong, I still think he was right that BMW had needed a new design language. Same is true now. They’ve pushed the “gaping whale shark open mouth” motif as far as it could go.

    Still, this new language feels a little like a “car of the future” from a 70’s sci fi movie. But as with the Bangle flame surfaces, you have to give them credit for daring something this bold.

    Looks like a BMW 2000CS and 2013 Nissan IDX concepts had a baby.

    Shame Nissan didn’t call it a 510 and actually build it.

    Lose the glass roof and funny line through the side windows and I don’t mind this at all. Among a sea of terrible EV concept designs this one looks quite good.

    There are two kinds of BMW buyers: Those who appreciate the engineering and driving dynamics, and those who are primarily concerned with status. The first group tolerates the godawful styling and the second is clueless to begin with, so…

    I actually like this car. I’m not a fan of the current turtle-backed SUV design idiom and seeing a 3-box sedan is refreshing. The front and rear treatments are quite elegant in their minimalism. The overall shape would lend itself nicely to a coupe version, once they eliminate the fishbowl roof.

    ccrvtt- you missed the third type of BMW owner, the minimum wage wannabe “tunerboy” that buys a rusting, flogged 200k+ mile Beemer, puts in $5k worth of rims, tires, and online bargain, bass only audio; then cuts out the suspension, obtains the loudest exhaust system possible AND vents the wastegates before the “mufflers”. Oh, and all the excess underbody and fog lighting that are never turned off. And in Fargo, none of these three types of Beemer boys ever bother with turn signals, they tailgate, and drive as if they are compensating for some, ah, physical inadequacy. And always males. Always.
    But I do like this design language. And you’re right, it would make a superb coupe, or convertible (if there’s room for the hardware). I find the front and rear aspects to be clean and mature, with just enough aggression for the “Ultimate Driving Machine”. And if the interior were in maroon (instead of yellow) and medium grey it would be brilliant. Yes, the fishbowl gotta go, but all in all, I like this.
    7 of 10 stars, would recommend.

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