Cars > Vision

BMW gives us another glimpse of its future with this Neue Klasse SAV concept

The Vision Neue Klasse X is a preview of a future X-car

This is a preview of future BMW Sports Activity Vehicles. PHOTO FROM BMW

Not too long ago, BMW unveiled its Neue Klasse design concept that gave us an idea of what future sedans from the firm will look like. Now, the Bavarians have added a high-bodied version in the shape of the Vision Neue Klasse X.

Some say this might already be a pretty concrete idea of what the new iX3 would look like, and while you might just call this an SUV, BMW prefers the term SAV (or Sports Activity Vehicle).

The overall design has been changed slightly from the sedan concept unveiled last year, and the new X version now features a more traditional kidney again that reminds the onlooker of the original Neue Klasse (Type 115) from the 1960s. 

The airiest cabin you'll see from a BMW yet. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The interior has also been tidied up and looks more like a production version now. The long panoramic display that sits just below the windscreen can now be configured using the center touchscreen, and has space for up to seven different apps.

Only the speed indicator on the left is fixed. The rest can be configured the way the passengers want. This curved screen that reaches across the entire front of the cabin is visible to all occupants, but the driver will also get a separate 3D heads-up display in the production version.

One thing is missing from the cabin, though: the iDrive controller. BMWs of the future seemingly won’t be using it anymore.

We appreciate the return to clean, sleek lines. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The whole machine is powered by “super brains,” in-house-developed high-performance computers that control everything from driving dynamics to the powertrain and autonomous driving features.

Up to four of these digital brains will be combined into one supercomputer in future models to make the cars more dynamic, efficient, and more fun to drive—or presumably be driven around in.

Sound is an often-mentioned topic when it comes to EVs, and BMW is offering passengers of the Neue Klasse X a new way to experience it. Using something called the HypersonX Wheel (emphasis on person, apparently), occupants will be able to choose different driving sounds ranging from relaxed to sporty.

While it doesn't have the polarizing looks of its siblings, it's still an interesting thing to look at. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The car is fitted with a new battery pack that promises 30% higher energy density, 30% faster charging speeds, and 25% more efficiency.

A glimpse at the new panorama screen in the press pictures does give us an idea of how far the car will be able to go on a single charge, and it seems the German brand is aiming for around 600km here.

On the design front, things have calmed down a little, and while it still has the monolithic look of recent soccer-mom tractors from Bavaria, it’s a little gentler on the eye now.

Do you prefer the design with or without a kidney grille? PHOTO FROM BMW

Sustainability is a big theme again with this Bimmer, starting with a plant-based, mineral-based, and petroleum-free surface material in the interior.

Then there are injection-molded parts made from maritime plastics, which are made using things like recycled fishing nets. Recyclability has also been improved to ensure the car is gentle to the environment even after it has served its purpose.

The Neue Klasse X will be built at BMW’s new Hungarian factory in Debrecen, but exact production dates have yet to be announced.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.