During the IAA 2021, BMWBLOG sat down for a panel discussion with Frank Weber, BMW’s head of research and development, and the man in charge of shaping the technical future of the company. It is not an easy task, especially given the volatile times we live in and the major transformations taking place in the automotive industry.
Among many interesting topics, such as sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) over the entire product lifecycle in terms of sustainability, we also discussed with the R&D manager about the launch in 2025 of the product. architecture Neue Klasse. The new platform was announced a few months ago as BMW’s answer to the electrical architectures of competitors.
Of course, this isn’t BMW’s first electricity-driven architecture. The BMW i3 was born in 2010 as a specially designed electric car on a very expensive carbon fiber platform. But compared to the i3 which was and still is a niche car within the BMW lineup, the Neue Klasse will take a different path.
“What is clear is that the Neue Klasse is not like the BMW i3,” says Frank Weber, BMW Development Manager. We [will] get into the biggest segments that we have in the world, the 3 and X3 series from the start. Ramping up, “Weber added.” But what you’ll notice is that we can’t shift all of our volume immediately to the new platform. Neue Klasse is all about turning BMW and BMW’s heart on this new one. architecture. “
Neue Klasse (NK) will also see the introduction of Gen 6 batteries which will use less rare materials and rely more on recycled nickel. The next-generation packs will have greater energy density and improved charging capabilities as well as a modular configuration, making them ideal for a wide variety of electric vehicles.
According to a previous statement by BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, the NK platform will be in use for at least 15 years or up to 20 years, which means it could be discontinued around 2045 at the latest.
It’s no surprise that the 3 Series and X3 are the first to jump on the EV-centric platform. The G20 3 series is due to undergo a facelift in 2022, which means that an all-new model will be available as early as 2025. The X3 could have a slightly longer production than usual, given that the refurbished X3 has just been announced. . So from a marketing and sales perspective, it makes sense that both models lead the way.