BMW Vision Neue Klasse X Previews the Brand’s Next-Generation SUVs

A production model based on this concept will roll out next year

The next era of BMW design is going to be radically different to what we know now.

After revealing a sedan version of its vision of the automotive future, BMW offered its first official look at the Vision Neue Klasse X on Thursday. Obviously, the last letter in that name is the dead giveaway for what this concept represents: A new generation of SUVs riding on an architecture the Bavarian automaker actually plans to put into production in 2025. So, while we won’t see this exact car hit the roads en masse, we do have to brace ourselves for a new style of SUV in the next couple years. That’s not a bad thing by any stretch, especially if you’re not a huge fan of the brand’s current design philosophy.

Tracking closely with the Neue Klasse (“New Class”) sedan, the X clearly represents a look forward for the Ultimate Driving Machine. That said, it also pulls from more than half a century of heritage. The original “Neue Klasse” — the BMW 1500 — launched in 1962 as a complete revolution of the brand’s design language, engineering ethos and performance-oriented mindset. It’s from that very car that the original E12 BMW 5 Series emerged a decade later, as well as the E9 coupes including the 1972 3.0 CSL.

Unlike the sedan, the Neue Klasse X does sport the kidney grille as a prominent feature. The front-end styling pretty much revolves around that focal piece, including the full-width lighting and the lower intakes, that come down and out from a center point. BMW’s designers also sculpted the hood to bring your eyes toward the BMW logo, as well as to the grille as the brand’s unmistakable signature (particularly for its modern crossovers). That said, I do appreciate that the kidney grille isn’t obnoxiously huge here. Down the sides, the Neue Klasse X has some distinctive lines but doesn’t go berserk (again, like some other “look at me” models).

Head around back, and the lighting is definitely a fixture, but the lower fascia and the rest of the rear end design generally isn’t too crazy. There are certainly interesting character lines, but it doesn’t appear BMW designers went too berserk just adding lines, creases or bulges for their own sake.

The Neue Klasse X also handles infotainment a bit differently than you’re used to.

These sorts of concepts are supposed to look a bit funky and fantastical, and the BMW Neue Klasse X is no exception. BMW makes this concept’s interior stand out by way of a funky, trapezoidal-shaped center display, as well as a four-spoke “HypersonX” steering wheel (with “person” bolded between “Hy” and “X”…yes, that is how BMW brands it) and pillar-to-pillar display called Panoramic Vision.

While you’ll also be able to get a head-up display in the production car, putting pertinent information along the bottom few inches of the windshield does keep everything closer to the driver’s view. We’ll have to see how useful it actually is (or whether we wind up suffering information overload, as these setups tend to do) when we test out a production-spec model.

When it comes time for customers to actually order their Neue Klasse X, you’ll obviously be able to select different interior layouts beyond the white-and-orange option or interior lighting shades. BMW already offers a host of tweaks for its existing “i” models like the iX crossover, including different settings for the infotainment layout as well as the noises piped into the cabin.

The BMW Neue Klasse will also feature an updated 800-volt electrical architecture, as well as new battery pack design for better efficiency. We don’t have exact range estimates, though BMW does hint at a possible maximum range of 600 kilometers (372 miles) in their official images. The new pack can also recharge up to 186 miles of range in 10 minutes, according to the manufacturer’s claims.

We’ll know more specific information as we near the production date. Exactly how much of the concept will translate to a version you’ll actually be able to buy remains unclear, but BMW says the first examples based on this Neue Klasse X concept will roll off the Debrecen, Hungary assembly line in calendar year 2025.