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      10-18-2021, 08:25 AM   #1
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Fully Electric 3-Series Sedan Coming in 2025 on Neue Klasse EV Platform

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Reborn 3 Series to usher in new electric era
First car on BMW’s revolutionary Neue Klasse platform will be saloon with new motors, long-range battery and sustainable materials

BMW will kick-start the third phase of its electrification strategy in 2025 with an all-new executive saloon that will serve as the vanguard for a reinvented line-up based on a new EV architecture.

It will feature Munich’s sixth-generation electric powertrain, long-range battery technology, rapid-charging capability, lightweight construction, a fully customisable digital operating system and a new mix of sustainable construction materials.

Set to be sold alongside other new battery-electric and combustion-engined saloons, the new model, known under the internal working title NK1, will be the first car based on the Neue Klasse EV platform, paving the way for a whole new generation of EVs, including an extended line-up of SUVs.

The NK1 is likely to be initially positioned as an electric alternative to the next-generation 3 Series, in a relationship mirroring that between Porsche’s upcoming Macan EV and today’s similarly styled but unrelated petrol Macan.

The modular Neue Klasse platform, which is currently undergoing development at BMW’s FIZ research and innovation centre in Munich, is planned to serve as the basis for all BMW-badged electric models from 2025 onwards, providing the scope for front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts in combination with a series of different capacity modular battery packs, wheelbases and track widths as well as varying ride heights and wheel sizes ranging from 18in to 22in.

“The Neue Klasse represents the beginning of a new phase of operations for BMW,” said research and development chief Frank Weber. “It’s scaled to allow us to build electric cars from a 2 Series-sized saloon up to an X7-sized SUV.”

Its name, which references the pivotal saloon cars that BMW launched in the 1960s and 1970s, gives a hint at BMW’s ambition to reinvent and redefine the cars it sells.

As well as forming the basis for all of BMW’s new electric models, the aluminium and high-strength steel structure is being engineered to support plug-in hybrid powertrains with a front-mounted engine and an electrified rear axle in combination.

Weber added that it could also support a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain if the regulatory framework currently being proposed in various markets, including China, calls for such a move.

The Neue Klasse platform is ultimately planned to replace today’s FAAR and CLAR structures, providing a uniform base for greater economies of scale and manufacturing flexibility. This would allow factories to run both ICE and electric models down the same lines across BMW’s worldwide production network, in a move similar to that undertaken with the CLAR-based new 4 Series Gran Coupé and soon-to-be-introduced electric i4.

Weber claimed the one-platform-fits-all approach will greatly enhance BMW’s manufacturing efficiency by maximising synergies right across its line-up. “We won’t be building separate structures. The Neue Klasse will see a big ramp-up in volume potential. We’ve learned a lot in scaling over the past two generations of platform development,” he said, referencing the earlier Life module architecture of the i3 and the more recently developed electrified CLAR structure of the iX and i4.

The NK1 that’s earmarked to introduce the Neue Klasse architecture is one of four electric saloons that BMW plans to launch by the end of 2025. It will follow the CLAR-based i4, i5 and i7 with the choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive.

But whereas the i4, i5 and i7 all borrow heavily from ICE models, the NK1 is set to receive an “electric-centric design”, with new proportions and contemporary styling elements that are expected to influence the next generation of BMW models.

Among the architectural developments brought by the new platform is a flat floor structure that does away with the centre tunnel of the electrified CLAR platform as well as a considerably longer wheelbase that enables the A-pillars to be pulled forward for improved space and interior packaging.

“People are expecting different aesthetics. That’s why we’ve developed a new styling direction for our electric models,” explained Weber.

The construction of the NK1 saloon is planned to draw heavily on that of the seven-year-old i3 and recently introduced iX with an aluminium and steel platform base; a carbonfibre ‘cage’ body structure that uses carbonfibre-reinforced plastic in areas such as the sills; and a combination of aluminium, steel and composite-plastic body panels.

Power for the NK1 is planned to come from BMW’s new sixth-generation powertrain using synchronous electric motors.

Unlike the many rival car makers that rely on component suppliers for their powertrain expertise and volume requirements, BMW wasquick to bring electric motor development and production competence in-house.

Weber says this enables the firm to react quickly. “We’re developing electric motors that will be even more efficient yet more powerful than those we use today,” he said.

He also revealed that they won’t be restricted to standard versions but can also serve in a hot M variant of the NK1.

Along with the new electric motors, the Neue Klasse will introduce 800V battery technology in combination with 350kW charging capability, as first seen on the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-tron GT.

Weber wouldn’t be drawn on specific details of the new battery but acknowledged that BMW is testing various chemical processes and cell types for use in future Neue Klasse models.

“We’re working on the recipe,” he said. “We know that solid-state batteries won’t come until the end of the decade. But we will increase the energy density for a greater range.”

The latest generation of nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery cells used by the iX extend to a 105.2kWh pack providing a range of up to 390 miles. BMW’s aim is a 20% increase in efficiency in combination with the sixth- generation electric motors and new power electrics system, hinting at a range of more than 435 miles for the NK1 saloon.

Inside, many materials are planned to be sourced in line with the ‘circular economy’ strategy showcased by the i Vision Circular concept at last month’s Munich motor show.

Details are scarce, but Weber pointed to upholstery made from recycled plastic as one possibility of hitting new sustainability targets set for BMW’s next generation of electric models.

BMW says the first phase of its electric strategy started with the unveiling of the i3 in 2013 and the second phase with the recent introduction of the iX. The NK1 saloon’s arrival will represent the start of the third phase.

BMW expects electric models based on the Neue Klasse platform to account for at least 50% of its global sales by 2030, by which time it plans to offer at least one electric model in each of its existing 15 model lines.

WHAT NEUE KLASSE MEANS THE SECOND TIME AROUND

BMW’s decision to revive the Neue Klasse name for its next generation of cars might suggest a desire to go retro, but it actually serves notice of its radical intent.

The original Neue Klasse models, produced from 1962 until 1977, set many of the design trends that BMW still follows today: Hofmeister kinks, the classic three-box shape and so on. But the real success of the Neue Klasse era was how it repositioned BMW through a new design and engineering direction. BMW models became less stodgy and more dynamic, repositioning and reviving the brand and setting the course for everything that has come ever since.

In the 1960s, that brand shift was sparked by BMW’s financial difficulties, but that’s not an issue in 2021. Instead, BMW is reacting to the dramatic shifts in the car industry that go far beyond simply electrification. So new Neue Klasse models will focus on not just electrification but also sustainability and digitisation – topics that will necessitate new types of cars built on new platforms.

Like the first Neue Klasse cars, they will look different from their predecessors – because they will be different.

And don’t fret, the Hofmeister kink will survive.
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/n...w-electric-era
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      10-18-2021, 10:24 AM   #2
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Good article, makes sense that BMW would use the 3er as its first "revolutionary" EV as the 3er is the brand's bread and butter and has always emphasized what the brand stands for, similar to MB and their S-Class. What will be very interesting is to see how this Neu Klasse Platform turns out like. From previous articles they mentioned that the platform would still be underpinning ICE vehicles to allow it to share production lines and I am curious to see if this will affect the ICE cars in a negative way as the platform may require certain design requirements and restraints to be made, as all RWD based BMW's require a long dash-to-axle ration in order to shoehorn the I6 under the hood, and it seems a focus of the Neu Klasse platform is to increase passenger space and wheelbase while shortening overhangs.

It was also mentioned previously that the platform would also replace cars on the UKL (FWD) platform, such as the X1 and 2GC, which could make for some interesting changes to BMW's lower-tier vehicles. Will this mean those cars will be made RWD-based again?
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      10-18-2021, 06:06 PM   #3
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It's needed but still way behind.
Hope they really get smart heads together to catch Tesla.
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      10-18-2021, 06:28 PM   #4
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Please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be uglplease don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly
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      10-18-2021, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chihuahua View Post
Please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be uglplease don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly
It will be ugly.
BMW will force you to like it.
Then you start loving it.
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      10-18-2021, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaffari46 View Post
It will be ugly.
BMW will force you to like it.
Then you start loving it.
Internally they call it the Stockholm styling.
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      10-18-2021, 08:02 PM   #7
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I hope the curb weight will be sub 4000 lbs.

Weight aside, you'd hope that by 2025, ~15 yrs after BMW's first EV (i3), they'd finally get an EV right.
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      10-18-2021, 08:12 PM   #8
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Sounds positively horrible, a screen surrounded by a car, and at least 15 years behind tesla at that point. They have to make it, no one wants to make it, but they have to.
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      10-18-2021, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stein_325i View Post
It was also mentioned previously that the platform would also replace cars on the UKL (FWD) platform, such as the X1 and 2GC, which could make for some interesting changes to BMW's lower-tier vehicles. Will this mean those cars will be made RWD-based again?
In an older article, Oliver Zipse mentioned

Quote:
‘At a later point in time, you might put another type of engine, combustion, on the front axle,’ adds the 57-year-old CEO. ‘The architecture is still BEV-centric. It will give you the absolute best electrical driving performance like any pure electric platform; there is no contradiction at all.’
I interpreted this as the platform would have the following configurations:
  • FWD - ICE or Electric (Front)
  • RWD - Electric (Rear)
  • AWD (PHEV/HEV) - ICE (Front), Electric (Rear)
  • AWD (BEV) - Electric (Front), Electric (Rear)

So current ULK models would easily transition to the FWD or AWD configuration. Maybe even a fun compact RWD BEV. The downside is without a tunnel, I don't see a possibility of an ICE powering the rear wheel, unless there is a mid/rear engine in the cards.
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      10-18-2021, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chihuahua View Post
Please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be uglplease don't be ugly please don't be ugly please don't be ugly
LOL. Sums up every new product announcement from BMW.
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      10-18-2021, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi View Post

I interpreted this as the platform would have the following configurations:
  • FWD - ICE or Electric (Front)
  • RWD - Electric (Rear)
  • AWD (PHEV/HEV) - ICE (Front), Electric (Rear)
  • AWD (BEV) - Electric (Front), Electric (Rear)

So current ULK models would easily transition to the FWD or AWD configuration. Maybe even a fun compact RWD BEV. The downside is without a tunnel, I don't see a possibility of an ICE powering the rear wheel, unless there is a mid/rear engine in the cards.
Quote:
However, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse recently offered some clarification. The new Neue Klasse of vehicles will be entirely electrified but there will still be the potential for plug-in hybrids with gasoline engines. It will be set up so that the rear axle of all Neue Klasse vehicles is electric. So regardless of whether or not the car is an EV, hybrid, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive, the back axle will only be powered by an electric motor.
https://www.bmwblog.com/2021/03/30/b...y-electrified/
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      10-18-2021, 11:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaffari46 View Post
It will be ugly.
BMW will force you to like it.
Then you start loving it.
It isn't happening yet. To be honest I see some of the new cars on the road and they look worse the more I see them.

I really hope they make this look good, I would like my first EV to be a BMW.
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      10-18-2021, 11:58 PM   #13
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So this is what the i4 should have been from the beginning I guess ?
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      10-19-2021, 12:00 AM   #14
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We'll all be banned from the Neue Klasse forums by 2024
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      10-19-2021, 12:20 AM   #15
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Dont be uglier....

Last edited by chef423; 10-19-2021 at 12:36 AM..
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      10-19-2021, 01:33 AM   #16
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Oh man i do hope they put even a bigger grill on this on just to pi** people off even more the meltdown so far has been fun to watch and read But jokes aside it will probably look alright but doesn't BMW design their cars like 5-8 years in advance so the current design is based on something that was drawn like 5-8 years ago when F series was new.

But this is good news if BMW can deliver on this one with what they announce here it could be really good. I Hope for lighter weight on the cars because at this point it is starting to get a bit way to much, they have the tech to build complete carbon fibre bodies so they should.

What i do hope for range is around 650-700 km but as a constant and that it wont deviate to much depending on the season outside i think that is one of the hardest thing to pull off just because of the nature of batteries and EVs but also pull off better Highway driving this is where EV lacks a lot today compared to their ICE counterparts they tend to have a ridiculous range drop off when it comes to highway driving.

For charging it is nice with faster charging but this is also highly depended on the infrastructure out there, because it ain't cheap putting out those big as chargers with 300 kw+ sense the electric companies have a tendency to take nice sums of fees for delivering this type of power to companies who puts out this type of chargers, so it doesn't get more expensive charging a car then it costs refuelling a regular one up.

At the moment it costs between 81 dollars to 104 dollars for a full fuel of tank in Sweden with the current prices depending on the tank size of your car. It would shame if EV costed that much to charge then a lot of people would loose interest in EV switching, if it ain't gonna be cheaper as proclaimed by today's standard.
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      10-19-2021, 02:34 AM   #17
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Interesting. Just need to wait 4 more years.
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      10-19-2021, 06:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miko M View Post
Hope they really get smart heads together to catch Tesla.
The reviews of the Kia EV6 suggest that the former BMW engineers they poached have already surpassed Tesla.

Maybe BMW should have gone to a bigger effort to keep said engineers!

Will probably end up with a Polestar 2 in the driveway before BMW gets the Neu Klass off the drawing board.
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      10-19-2021, 06:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWGirlFL View Post
However, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse recently offered some clarification. The new Neue Klasse of vehicles will be entirely electrified but there will still be the potential for plug-in hybrids with gasoline engines. It will be set up so that the rear axle of all Neue Klasse vehicles is electric. So regardless of whether or not the car is an EV, hybrid, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive, the back axle will only be powered by an electric motor.

https://www.bmwblog.com/2021/03/30/b...y-electrified/
So gas will never power the rear axle in the Neue Klasse. Seems like a big deal, but hopefully electric motors will powerful enough such that a hybrid will still be rear-biased?
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      10-19-2021, 07:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStanman View Post
So gas will never power the rear axle in the Neue Klasse. Seems like a big deal, but hopefully electric motors will powerful enough such that a hybrid will still be rear-biased?
Also read:
Quote:
Zipse suggested that the Neue Klasse platform will allow at least three different technical configurations:
1. Rear electric motor (eRWD)
2. Rear electric motor + front electric motor (eAWD)
3. Rear electric motor + front internal combustion engine (plug-in hybrid AWD)
https://topelectricsuv.com/news/bmw/...xt-gen-bmw-x5/
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      10-19-2021, 08:52 AM   #21
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Revolutionnary ... 2025... that's indeed "revolutionary" to arrive so late in the BEV game. So making the real "i4" 13 years after the i3 or 7 years after the model 3.
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      10-19-2021, 09:33 AM   #22
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If the i4 is anything to go by, I am very excited to see what a fully electric 3 Series is going to bring on a dedicated platform. If BMW improves the range another 15-20% from the i4, it's going to be a complete EV as far as what you would expect a BMW to be (see: i4).
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