BMW is hard at work on its dedicated electric car platform. It's called the Neue Klasse (German for "New Class"), named after a lineup of hugely successful sedans and coupes sold from 1962 until 1972. The decision to revive Neue Klasse has been taken to highlight the EV architecture's importance – and it starts with this all-new model.

Spotted on a snowy day in the German countryside outside of Munich, the purely electric SUV has practically nothing in coming with the iX3. Although we're getting the impression it has all (if not most) of the production body panels in place, those are not the final headlights and taillights. However, logic tells us those basic-looking placeholders have the same shape and size since any changes would impact the dimensions of the surrounding body panels.

2025 BMW iX3 spy photos

We had hoped to see significantly shorter overhangs given the bespoke EV platform but that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. The large two-tone wheels with blue brake calipers suggest BMW was testing a prototype that either had the M Sport Package or it was an M Performance version. 

The SUV's front design appears to take after the Vision Neue Klasse concept. Although that was a sedan, the first production model to get these underpinnings will be an SUV. A four-door saloon serving as an electric 3 Series (different from the i3 Sedan sold in China) will follow shortly.

It looks like BMW is merging the grille with the headlights, just like we saw on the concept in September at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich. You can rest assured the iX3 won't have an exaggerated grille like we've seen on the X7 and XM.

The inaugural Neue Klasse model will also be BMW's first model to use sixth-generation batteries with round cells. The German luxury brand has pledged to boost range and charging speed by 30 percent compared to the existing fifth-gen prismatic batteries. The cylindrical cells are going to increase energy density by more than 20 percent and will have a standard dimeter of 46 millimeters. Height will depend on application: 95 mm for cars and 120 mm for SUVs such as this iX3.

BMW Neue Klasse EV Concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse concept

BMW Neue Klasse EV Concept

BMW Vision Neue Klasse concept

Our spies couldn't peek inside, but the Vision Neue Klasse previewed a minimalist interior that did away with most conventional controls. It even lacked a driver's display, although it did have a massive head-up display as wide as the dashboard. There was also a large tablet-like touchscreen serving as the infotainment system for what will become the tenth-generation iDrive.

Codenamed "NA5" per BMW insiders, the electric SUV won't be produced in China as is the case with the current iX3. Instead, it'll be built at a new factory in Debrecen, Hungary and will go on sale in the second half of 2025 in Europe. A wider availability won't happen until spring 2026. Initial versions are rumored to be the 40, 40 xDrive, 50 xDrive, M60 xDrive, with a full-fat M variant ("ZA5") said to arrive later in the life cycle.

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