BMW had announced in March that the Neue Klasse would be revived to signify a dedicated electric platform. This is due 2025. The promise of a “radically different approach”, along with “completely redefined IT architecture and software” were all that BMW was willing to reveal at the time. Next-generation drivetrains are expected to bring “significant leaps.”
Thankfully, a new interview from CAR Magazine with none other than BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse sheds (some) light on how BMW is developing the new architecture. Interestingly, the Neue Klasse might not necessarily be reserved for pure electric vehicles as the company’s boss doesn’t exclude the possibility of adding a combustion engine: “At a later point in time, you might put another type of engine, combustion, on the front axle.”
The 57-year old executive said that NK-based models could have an electric rear axle and a gasoline engine to drive the front wheels, enabling a hybrid system with AWD. In this case, the engine will likely be small in displacement. The Neue Klasse model’s front section will be shorter to increase the wheelbase and make more room inside.
Oliver Zipse notes that the platform will be BEV-centric. If there are hybrids built on the Neue Klasse these models may coexist with the 3 Series for many years until the combustion-engined model is discontinued. The iX3, which received a facelift this week, will be one of the first to use the new hardware. It will then switch to the next generation in the latter part of this decade.
BMW’s chief executive says that the Neue Klasse will be seeing the introduction of Gen 6 lithium-ion batteries. These will not use rare materials, and will rely on more recycled nickel. These next-generation packs are ideal for a wide range of EVs because they have a higher energy density, better recharging capability and a modular configuration.
Oliver Zipse stated to Car Magazine that the NK platform would be in use for at most 15 years. It could also be used up to 20 years. This means it may be scrapped around 2045. Although solid-state batteries are not expected to be available in time for the opening of the architecture, it is very likely that the new batteries will soon be used in NK-based electric vehicles.
[Source: CAR Magazine via EVGLOBE]
Publiated at Wed. 11 August 2021, 17:40:48 (+0000).