BMW Planning China-Specific Neue Klasse EVs

CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed that BMW Design Shanghai is already working on different Neue Klasse products for the Chinese market


by Chris Chilton

September 18, 2023 at 05:29

 BMW Planning China-Specific Neue Klasse EVs

BMW has confirmed that the raft of Neue Klasse EVs coming in the next few years will all share the new-generation design language seen on the Vision Neue Klasse concept, and not just the also-new electric platform it rides on. But that doesn’t mean they will be the same around the world.

While Europe, Asia, America and Australia will all pick and choose from the same selection of models, BMW already has teams engaged in creating Neue Klasse vehicles that will be exclusive to the Chinese market, CEO, Oliver Zipse, has confirmed.

“I cannot reveal too much today, but BMW Design Shanghai is already working on special designs and functions for China-specific models of the New Class,” Zipse told attendees at the World New Energy Vehicle Congress, according to Automobilwoche, via Auto News.

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Production of NK cars is slated to begin in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2025, followed by Munich, Germany, and Shenyang, China, in 2026. Completing the set is BMW’s San Luis Potisi plant in Mexico, which gets its shot at building NK vehicles in 2027.

Related: Electric 2027 BMW M3 Neue Klasse Confirmed, Will Coexist With ICE Version

 BMW Planning China-Specific Neue Klasse EVs
Previous China-only BMWs include the i3 eDrive35L, a 3-Series EV

Zipse didn’t expand on how different the China-only cars would be, but the country’s unique vehicle tastes and the sheer size of the market (over 33 percent of BMW sales happen in China) means it’s not surprising the BMW is tailoring its offerings to suit the region’s buyers. The China-only Neue Klasse vehicles certainly won’t be the first BMW’s designed for the country and not available to the rest of us.

Last year, for example, BMW revealed the i3 eDrive35L, a fully electric version of the 3-Series that can’t be bought in Western BMW dealers. And this year it announced a long-wheelbase version of the new 5-Series complete with the 31-inch Theatre Screen rear infotainment package from the 7-Series. Other China-only cars offered over the years include a sedan version of Europe’s 1-Series hatch and a long-wheelbase 3-Series.


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