The Next Chapter in BMW’s Electric Saga
When BMW launched the i3 back in 2013, it wasn’t just unveiling a new car; it was making a statement. The world was ready for electric, and so was BMW. But not everyone was ready for the i3. Its boxy design and unconventional aesthetics raised eyebrows. "Is this really a BMW?" some wondered. Well, fast forward to today, and BMW is ready to answer that question with a resounding "Yes!" as it prepares to launch the successor to the i3, promising a design that stays true to the brand’s roots.
Learning from the Past
BMW’s development boss, Frank Weber, is a man with a plan. He acknowledges the i3’s place in history but is ready to turn the page. "The i3 was a bold move, and it paid off. But it's time for something new, something that says 'BMW' through and through," Weber shared with Automobilwoche, Automotive News Europe’s sister publication.
The i3’s successor won’t be a car that lives on the fringes; it will be a BMW at its core. "A lot of people liked it, but in the eyes of others, the i3 was not a real BMW. We will not repeat that in this form," Weber stated emphatically.
A Success Story
Let's not forget, the i3 was a hit. With more than 250,000 units sold over a nine-year production run, it stands as one of the most successful electric cars of all time. But BMW isn’t resting on its laurels. The development team is hard at work, ensuring that the i3’s successor will not only meet but exceed expectations.
Affordable and Accessible
"BMW definitely needs to bring to market an affordable, compact car,” Weber remarked. The focus is on providing customers with the best possible access to the BMW brand, ensuring that the entry-level offering feels every bit a part of the Neue Klasse family as its more expensive siblings.
The Future is Electric
The Neue Klasse electric architecture is the future of BMW’s electric fleet. With longer driving ranges, faster charging times, new software functions, and a 50% reduction in battery pack costs, it's set to revolutionize the electric vehicle market.
Production of the first Neue Klasse cars will kick off in 2025 at BMW’s new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, followed closely by Munich. The initial offerings will include a midsize sedan and SUV, with four more vehicles set to expand the Neue Klasse within the first two years.
"From the middle downward to smaller vehicles, as well as upward to larger vehicles, there's a lot of potential," Weber hinted.
Embracing the Future
BMW is ready to embrace the future, ensuring that the legacy of the i3 lives on, not as an outlier, but as a pioneer that paved the way for a new generation of BMW electric vehicles. The i3’s successor promises to be a car that not only meets the moment but defines it, proving once and for all that electric is not just the future; it’s the present, and it’s unmistakably BMW.