BMW will enter the next chapter of its electrification strategy with the launch of the Neu Klasse platform. The architecture is currently under development and the fruition of this process is expected in 2025 in the form of a fully-electric 3 Series. The initial focus of this new platform will be models from the midsize premium segment, the automaker’s CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed recently.
Speaking during the automaker’s first-quarter earnings call on Thursday, Zipse said the Neue Klasse will go into production in the middle of this decade at BMW’s new plant in Hungary. Vehicles based on the new architecture will be offered only with a purely electric powertrain, which is contrary to previous reports claiming Neue Klasse will also underpin combustion-powered models.
"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," Zipse explained the reasons for the change in BMW’s strategy.
Following its initial launch, the Munich-based manufacturer will expand the scope of the Neue Klasse for use in electric vehicles from other segments. Citing a source close to BMW, Automotive News reports there will be a full range of zero-emissions vehicles based on the architecture, ranging “from the high-volume segment to exclusive high-performance models." The company’s combustion-fueled models, meanwhile, will continue to be based on other platforms.
Gallery: BMW i3 eDrive35L
As far as the 3 Series EV is concerned, it will hit the market in 2025 and will be vastly different from the i3 currently offered in China. The latter is an EV conversion based on the current 3 Series and is not underpinned by a dedicated platform for electric vehicles. Equipped with a 66.1 kWh battery pack, the China-only electric sedan has a range of up to 327 miles (526 kilometers) between charges but that’s based on China’s CLTC regime, which is generally generous.