BMW revives the new class. Unlike in the 1960s, when the brand presented its first mid-range car under this name, this time it is not a specific model, but a platform. Above all, this should become the basis for a new generation of electric cars and, from 2025, a fully electric alternative for the 3 Series and X3 series. This is what BMW boss Oliver Zipse revealed in an interview with “Car Magazine”. The new architecture should enable front, rear and all-wheel drive. New batteries should offer more range, can be charged more quickly and at the same time contain fewer rare earths.
But: Zipse indicates that the New Class can also serve as a platform for combustion engines. That fits in with the strategy, because, unlike other manufacturers, BMW has not set a final goal for the end of the combustion engine; the people of Munich want to offer as much choice as possible when it comes to drive. The project is currently running under the name NK1. The BMW boss still leaves open whether the BMW 3 Series will be replaced. The current G20, which has been on sale since 2019, is due for a facelift in 2022. A new generation should coincide with the planned presentation of the NK1.
Electric BMW 3 Series could be sold as i3
Oliver Zipse knows that too – the BMW boss holds out the prospect that there may be two models next to each other for a while. What that might look like can currently only be speculated. Perhaps the model based on the new class will be sold as the i3, while the combustion version will initially continue to be based on the CLAR architecture and later switch platforms. There is still no tangible information about the design. “Autocar” reports that the Central tunnel will be omitted. For more space in the interior, the A-pillar should move further forward and the wheelbase should be enlarged. In addition, shorter overhangs at the front and rear are to be expected.