Did you see it? At the end of the keynote video on the new BMW class, there was a brief glimpse of the electric SUV future.
Zipse asked: “What will the driving experience of BMW feel like in the future?” and held up a black box. It is inconspicuous, but a revolutionary combination of hardware and software. With the new class, the software of the drive electronics will be processed together with the software of the driving stability programs. It is an “electronic super brain” in the vehicle – internally probably also called “Heart of Joy”, the heart of joy. And it is precisely this heart that will play a major role in the driving experience of the future. And not for nothing does the video show not only the technology carrier from BMW M GmbH with up to 1,360 hp but also the “Heart of Joy” in the SUV of the new class.
Already in summer 2022, Zipse announced: “To start, we are planning a compact sedan in the 3 Series segment and a correspondingly sporty SUV.” These are very high-volume segments at the core of the BMW brand, said the BMW boss. At the end of June 2022, the board approved the design of the first two models, which are internally called NA0 and NA5.
Although the NA5 model, i.e. the SUV, is still heavily camouflaged, many details can already be deduced here. Short overhangs, long hood, set-back passenger cell and prominently flared fenders. The side mirrors are housed in the window triangle, and the four-door vehicle opens via classic outside door handles. BMW’s design team is also relying on typical design cues for the new class, such as the kidney grille, the “shark nose” and the Hofmeister kink. The latter can already be seen in the window strip of the SUV.
The electric crossover model appears like a raised BMW 3 Series Touring with aggressive styling.
By 2027, BMW plans to launch at least six more vehicles based on the new class architecture. In addition to a three-box sedan in the format of a BMW 3 Series, it also has an estate and an SUV. The SUV is expected to be the size of the current BMW iX3 and eventually succeed that model. This fits within the classic product cycles, as the iX3 has been on the market since 2021. The Audi Q6 E-Tron is a potential competitor.
In terms of design, the SUV will also orient itself on the Vision New Class study, which visualizes the look of the upcoming electric vehicles. BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said at the premiere: “The design of the new class is typical BMW and so progressive that it looks as if we have skipped a model generation.”
From 2025, BMW will launch the first new-class model on the market. The platform not only allows pure electrification with up to 750 kilometers of range or charging within ten minutes for 300 kilometers. The architecture also goes beyond the design vision and digital connectivity and is intended to represent a new understanding of the production cycle of raw materials, materials, and resources. The new class also comes with an extended head-up display and new operation of infotainment and vehicle functions without the familiar iDrive controller.