Next BMW 3 Series Coming With EV Alternative

Despite the new, fully electric BMW iX and i4 not being in Canadian showrooms yet, the German automaker is already busy working on the next step in its electrification strategy, which will kick off around 2025 with a brand new platform called “Neue Klasse” and sixth-gen electric drive system known as eDrive 6.

Said platform, whose name also evokes an important family of cars that BMW launched in the 1960s and 1970s, will underpin all sorts of body styles and configurations ranging from small cars to large SUVs. In fact, the plan is to use it for all new BMW-badged EVs launched from mid-decade onwards.

According to a report by British website Autocar, the first vehicle to be based on the Neue Klasse platform will be an electric alternative to the next-generation 3 Series. It will be sold alongside the conventionally powered variant to give consumers the option to go electric or not.

Photo: Fabian Kirchbauer

In addition to eDrive 6 technology, to be available in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, future BMW EVs will use lightweight construction, a mix of sustainable materials, long-range batteries, rapid-charging capability (with an 800V architecture similar to the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT) and a fully customizable digital operating system.

BMW’s research and development chief Frank Weber explained to Autocar that the Neue Klasse platform is being engineered to not only form the basis for electric models, but also to support plug-in hybrid powertrains (more advanced than the one in the current 330e, for instance) and potentially even a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain if necessary.

At the same time, BMW will phase out the existing FAAR and CLAR platforms in a move to provide a single base for greater economies of scale and flexibility on the assembly lines.

Photo: BMW AG

Weber also hinted that styling will be even more distinctive than it is with the iX and i4, while interior space will be maximized further. The i Vision Circular concept (pictured above) from last month’s IAA Mobility show in Munich could be some sort of preview. And performance enthusiasts should not worry because sporty M variants will inevitably be part of the equation.

Watch: The Car Guide Drives the 2022 BMW i4

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

First Drives2022 BMW i4 M50: First Electric BMW M Car is a Treat to Drive
Munich, Germany—The all-new BMW i4 M50 is the first M-branded electric car from BMW, spearheading the Bavarian automaker’s EV offensive along with the equally new iX crossover which we also took for a spin recently. We drove the i4 M50 on the roads between Munich and the Austrian border on …
Test Drives2021 BMW 330e xDrive: Do the (Right) Math
While plug-in hybrid SUVs are starting to grow in number, selection is more limited when it comes to cars. In the compact luxury sedan segment, the BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60 are the only ones to offer this technology right now (Mercedes-Benz has opted not to bring its plug-in …
New ModelsBMW XM Concept Previews 740-Horsepower, M-Exclusive SUV
In 50 years, BMW ’s M performance brand only had one model that didn’t come from the Bavarian automaker’s regular lineup: the legendary M1 . Soon there will be a second, called XM, which we now get a preview of thanks to this concept. A sign of modern times, the …
ElectricFirst Fully Electric BMW 3 Series Unveiled for China
The first fully electric BMW 3 Series has been unveiled but there’s a catch: it’s the Chinese variant that will go on sale over there starting in May. Called i3 eDrive35L (not to be confused with the late i3 hatchback), this car is derived from the long-wheelbase 3 Series sedan …
News2023 BMW 3 Series is Refreshed and Given a Huge Display
The current-generation BMW 3 Series gets a mid-cycle update for 2023, with sales to begin this summer. The changes, both inside and out, are not insignificant. The 3 Series is still a key pillar for the German brand, representing around 14 percent of its global sales. Designers have made sure …