The Redesigned BMW iX3: What’s Changed?
BMW is putting a lot of effort into its own dedicated electric car platform, called the Neue Klasse. This name is a nod to the series of extremely popular sedans and coupes that were sold from 1962 until 1972. By reviving the Neue Klasse moniker, BMW is emphasizing the importance of this new EV architecture, which is being kickstarted with a brand-new model.
Witnessed on a freezing day in the German countryside bordering Munich, the exclusively electric SUV has nothing whatsoever to do with the iX3. Despite detecting that it includes (most if not all) of the manufacturing body parts, those are definitely not the concluding headlights and tail lights. Nonetheless, reason would dictate that those ordinary-looking stand-ins must have the same size and shape since any changes would affect the measurements of the nearby body sections.
We had expected to notice significantly fewer overhangs with the uniquely designed EV chassis, however that does not appear to be the case. The eminent two-toned wheels together with blue brakes calipers intimate BMW was examining a prototype which either consisted of the M Sport Bundle or was an M Performance variant.
The SUV’s façade looks to be inspired by the Vision Neue Klasse concept. Despite being a sedan, the initial item in a production line to utilize these elements will be an SUV. Shortly after that will be a four-door saloon serving as an all-electric 3 Series version (as distinct from the i3 sedan offered in China).
It appears that BMW is blending the grille with its headlights, similarly to what we saw at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich last September. You can confidently be certain that the iX3 won’t have an embellished grille, like the X7 and X5 do.
The initial Neue Klasse will mark BMW’s first introduction of sixth-generation batteries with circular cells. The German automaker has promised to offer expanded range and quicker charging speeds, yielding an increase of 30 percent compared to the current fifth-generation batteries made up of prismatic cells. These cylindric cells will provide a greater energy density of over 20 percent and they have a normal diameter amounting to 46 millimeters. Depending on the purpose, the height shall vary in between 95 mm for vehicles and 120 mm for SUVs like the iX3.
Despite being unable to penetrate the walls of the Vision Neue Klasse, our intelligence agents reported glimpsing a surprisingly minimal interior design without typical controls. Instead of the traditional driver’s screen, this vehicle sported an expansive head-up display which spanned across the dashboard. A large-scale tablet, presumably containing the upcoming 10th edition iDrive software, served as the infotainment centre.
Codenamed “NA5” according to BMW insiders, the electric SUV will not be produced in China, which is the case with the current iX3. Instead, it will be manufactured in a new facility located in Debrecen, Hungary and will be available for sale in Europe during the second half of 2025. The wider availability of this vehicle will not take place until spring 2026. Reportedly, the initial versions will include the 40, 40 xDrive, 50 xDrive, M60 xDrive, with a complete M version (“ZA5”) expected to arrive later in its life cycle.