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BMW showcased its latest car designs in Munich today under the theme Vision Neue Klasse, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the future of sustainable cars.
Their designs, which I’ve seen up close at the Santa Monica design studio DesignWorks, have always impressed me with their science fiction style. This one has a glass roof, so you better get out the sunscreen.
This time, the car designers focused on electrification, digitalization, and circular design. The Vision Neue Klasse (new class) focuses on the cars that BMW wants to make happen in the next few years.
“The BMW Vision Neue Klasse combines our ability to innovate in the core areas of electrification, digitalization, and circularity,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW chairman, in a statement. “In this way, we are always able to stay two steps ahead of the future: The Neue Klasse is already bringing the mobility of the next decade to the roads in 2025 – and leading BMW into a new era.”
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The Vision Neue Klasse debuted at the IAA Mobility 2023 International Motor Show in Munich. This car with a virtually all-glass roof looks pretty cool.
The design language features sleek surfaces and minimalistic lines that emphasize signature features such as the BMW kidney grille and the iconic Hofmeister kink. The interior is equipped with the next generation of BMW iDrive, offering users a unique digital experience that seamlessly blends the real and virtual worlds. These virtual environments make me feel like they’re designing cars for the metaverse.
By utilizing increased amounts of secondary raw materials, adopting resource-efficient production methods, and employing a fully-electric drivetrain powered by the sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology, the Neue Klasse significantly reduces its carbon footprint throughout its lifecycle, the company said.
“Thirty percent more range, 30% faster charging, 25% more efficiency – the Neue Klasse represents a major technological leap that will take EfficientDynamics to new heights,” said Frank Weber, member of the board of BMW responsible for development, in a statement. “The same applies to its design – which could not be any more futuristic. With the Neue Klasse, we have embarked on the biggest investment in the company’s history. We are not just writing the next chapter of BMW; we’re writing a whole new book. That’s why the Neue Klasse will certainly impact all model generations.”
The fully-electric vehicle architecture allows for new possibilities in interior design. Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design, said in a statement, “The design of the Neue Klasse is typically BMW and so progressive it looks like we skipped a model generation.”
The interior of the Vision Neue Klasse features innovative elements such as BMW Panoramic Vision, a central display, and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, minimizing analog controls. The driver and front passenger can interact with information displayed on the BMW Panoramic Vision, creating a shared user experience. The BMW iDrive incorporates a highly integrated software architecture that consolidates data related to driving experience and infotainment, enabling a new level of personalization and customization.
The production of the Neue Klasse is focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and resource consumption. The manufacturing plant in Debrecen operates entirely without fossil fuels and utilizes a significant amount of raw and secondary materials produced with reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
The sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology, featuring high-efficiency electric motors and newly-developed round battery cells with increased energy density, allows for up to 30% faster charging and a 30% extended range. As a result, the overall vehicle efficiency improves by up to 25%.
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