BMW has started to demonstrate some of the cutting-edge technologies that will be featured in its upcoming Neue Klasse all-electric cars.
The new family of EVs has so far only been previewed by a collection of forward-thinking concepts, such as the Vision NEXT 100, Vision Circular and more recently the Vision Dee, but BMW has now begun to preview some of the new tech it will bring to market when production begins in 2025.
BMW’s Panoramic Vision is the first of these new technologies, which is a brand new way of communicating critical information to both driver and passenger. Arriving with wide-reaching advancements that will dramatically change the user experience, it is essentially a full-width head-up display that projects information onto the lower section of the windscreen.
What makes it different from other head-up displays is that most critical information, such as the vehicle’s speed, will be projected onto a darkened section at the base of the windscreen, upping the visual contrast and therefore making it easier to see in all conditions. This is accompanied by secondary information that’s projected onto the windscreen’s clear section above: additional driver-assistance information or graphics for the sat-nav.
When it comes to head-up displays BMW has been a pioneer, yet where the technology has typically been a supplementary display, BMW Panoramic Vision will likely become the primary source of information. This could result in the traditional set of dials that have come to define the interior of vehicles to be dismissed.
Along with BMW Panoramic Vision, the motoring company will also make significant changes to the iDrive system’s control and information elements, revolutionising the entire user interface, as it did with the first iDrive system that was launched in the 2001 E65 7 Series saloon.
The interior, however, is only one example of the cutting-edge technology that will be introduced in BMW’s new electric vehicle era. Also, the company will unveil battery technology it refers to as “round cells,” which was created especially for the Neue Klasse platform. BMW claims a 30 per cent increase in range, a 20 per cent improvement in energy density and a 30 per cent boost to charging speed.
BMW stated the cost of the battery will be reduced by up to 50 per cent, meaning that the improved performance doesn’t come at any extra expense.
The BMW iX currently holds the title of having the longest range of any BMW model, with a 389-mile range, but the forthcoming New Klasse models may surpass it with this new battery technology. A compact executive saloon that is around the same size as the current 3 Series will be the first production model to be built on the Neue Klasse platform. Rather than replace that model entirely, though, the new EV will sit alongside it in the BMW line-up.
After 2025, the brand projects that BEV sales will make up more than half of its total global sales, with the Neue Klasse platform contributing significantly to that figure. To reduce production and delivery costs, the new round cell battery will be produced in six factories that will be dispersed across Europe, China, and the Americas.