X3-sized SUV will be first of BMW’s NK vehicles and has the same wide kidney grilles as the Vision Neue Klasse sedan concept
November 21, 2023 at 06:47
Get ready for a BMW revolution, because the automaker’s next-generation Neue Klasse EVs have just taken their first tentative steps from concept car to showroom-ready product. Our spy photographers have snapped a prototype of the BMW electric SUV that will be the first of the NK cars to make it to market in 2025.
Known internally by the codename NA5, the SUV is roughly the same size as the current X3, but appears lower and sleeker, and has a very different face. But it’s a face you’ll instantly recognize if you’ve been paying attention to BMW’s recent Vision concept cars, and is made up of a pair of wide, smooth panels that stretch across the nose and hark back to the look established by the original Neue Klasse sedan of the 1960s and kept in play for over 30 years. There even appears to be a set of oval kidneys hidden in the center, beneath the disguise.
Related: BMW’s EV Range To Go Ballistic With New i3 Sedan, iX3, iX4, And iX5
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Potentially badged iX3, which is a name already used on electric versions of the X3 sold in Europe (but not in the U.S.), the new SUV is slated to begin production in summer of 2025 and will arrive on the market ahead of a production version of the Vision Neue Klasse sedan concept that will use the same platform and replace today’s 3-Series.
Though exact details of the architecture and platform are still, like the styling, under wraps, we can expect the iX3 to be available in single motor and dual-motor, all-wheel drive forms, with the same kind of 40 eDrive and xDrive grades we’re familiar with.
This particular prototype’s blue brake calipers and relatively large wheels suggest it might be an M50 or M60 model, and BMW must also be working on a full M version that offers even more performance. BMW says the architecture can in theory deliver a whole megawatt of power (1,340 hp / 1,360 PS), though even an iX3M is unlikely to offer much more than half that for the street.
The extensive disguise doesn’t give too much away in terms of details, but we can see that the iX3 has a sportier stance than the upright current X3, that it features wide, muscular rear arches and flush door handles. BMW trademarks like the Hofmeister kink in the rear quarter window, however, are still present, even if BMW has tried to hide them for this road test.
What do you think of the styling? Leave a comment and let us know.