For a while, it seemed worryingly like BMW had lost it.
The wanton controversiality of the buck-toothed 4 Series, outlandish iX and wilfully challenging i7 gave the impression that the firm was eschewing mass appeal entirely in pursuit of heightened appeal in the more lucrative luxury market, among demographics who value polarisation over panache.
Now, though, with the comparatively subtle (you might even say objectively handsome) treatment of its latest concept car, the Vision Neue Klasse, together with its associated virtuous messaging around sustainability, connectivity and utility, BMW will no doubt rekindle a spark of excitement and intrigue in those who had been left cold by some of its recent efforts.
BMW Neue Klasse concept sets tone for brand’s EV reinvention
It doesn’t directly preview any one production car (though you can bet the 2025 3 Series replacement will be a pretty good match…) but rather an entire line-up of dramatic, imposing EVs with the range, kerb appeal and technological functionality to really move the premium EV game along.
The signs are hugely promising: the cosy, minimalist cabin is a pretty vocal pushback from the incremental industry-wide shift towards drab, dreary cockpits, and the technology housed within seems set to tangibly improve the driving experience, rather than impede it.
And while the Neue Klasse’s defining design cues are perhaps no less ostentatious than those of BMW’s most polarising recent efforts, the sharp, cab-back silhouette and muscular proportions go some way to reassuring us that not all new-age EV saloons will be amorphous, anonymous, aero-obsessed blobs.
There will be vocal detractors to the decision to swap physical controls for voice activation, those who argue that a full-width head-up display will be distracting on the move and possibly even more critics of that striking new front-end design.
But perhaps all comers can be united in agreement that BMW’s ‘new class’ of electric cars will strike a commendable balance between honouring the most celebrated aspects of the firm’s historic models and warmly embracing the future.