BMW’s Neue Klasse electric vehicle-specific platform is critical to the brand’s success in the electric age, which is scheduled to be launched in 2025, when the successor models of the i3 and iX3 will be launched. With the new Neue Klasse expected to account for more than half of BMW’s global sales by 2030, BMW Chief Technology Officer Frank Weber has revealed some specifications for models that will use the platform.
According to Weber, electric vehicles using the Neue Klasse platform will feature a “huge technological leap” with next-generation battery and electric motor technology. The Neue Klasse electric car will feature a new concept called “pack-to-open-body” that allows BMW to customize its battery size to fit any model by using round cells instead of prismatic cells.
BMW will incorporate some of these technologies into its Neue Klasse lineup of electric vehicles, from 1-Series-sized sedans to large SUVs in the X7 class. These EVs will benefit from batteries with 20% higher energy density, 30% higher packaging efficiency, 30% longer range and 30% faster charging than the batteries BMW is currently using. In addition, the new battery is said to be 20 percent lighter, 50 percent cheaper to produce, and emit an estimated 60 percent less carbon dioxide during production.
BMW round battery unit (right) and prismatic battery unit (left)
Weber also revealed: “The combination of the new car’s 800V high-voltage system and high-performance charger can allow the new car to increase its cruising range by 48 kilometers per minute, up to a maximum of 600 kilometers.” This means that it only takes about 12 minutes to recharge the battery pack. Charge from zero to 95%.
In terms of power, the Neue Klasse platform will provide power output from 268 horsepower to 1341 horsepower, and the architecture can accommodate up to four electric motors. At present, the BMW M brand is already testing the first pure electric model equipped with 4 electric motors.
Most future Neue Klasse models will be available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with one or two SSM motors driving the rear wheels. BMW says the SSM motor has stable peak performance, high energy density, good repeatability, low noise emissions and an efficiency of up to 97 percent.
The platform’s battery packs range in capacity from 75 kWh to 150 kWh and provide a range of up to 621 miles (1,000 kilometers). However, Weber believes that making a big fuss about battery power and range is not the answer, because the impact of size and weight is just the opposite. Instead, BMW focused on improving vehicle energy efficiency. According to Thomas Albrecht, owner of Efficient Dynamics, the Neue Klasse will improve aerodynamic efficiency by at least 25 percent. BMW is also working on A+ tires, which are said to reduce rolling resistance by 7 percent, while improved low-loss hub bearings and friction-optimized brakes should improve efficiency by a further 4 percent.
BMW will preview the Neue Klasse platform with a Vision concept car at the 2023 International Consumer Electronics Show in January.