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BMW hedges its bets on the Neue Klasse family of electric vehicles, starting with the 2026 BMW iX3. This new electrified compact crossover is the first model using this new platform, which should carry the BMW electric vehicle lineup into the mid-2030s. This puts a ton of pressure on the new compact electric crossover to be the EV that changes the game for BMW.

This new BMW EV doesn’t have the iX3 name yet

Currently, BMW sells an iX3 in Europe but not the United States. This new electric SUV appears in spy shots that show it to be about the same size as the current iX3, doesn’t have a name yet. BMW calls it the NA5 internally but will likely receive a recognizable name once production begins. This second-generation compact electric SUV should be available in Europe and North America.

Styling cues taken from another BMW

This new BMW iX3 could borrow styling cues from two of the brand’s concept vehicles: the Vision Circular and Vision Neue Klasse. We might see a new model with a flush panel across the nose, replacing the signature twin-kidney grille look. CarScoops tells us a look in the cabin area suggests more influence from the Vision Neue Klasse. The dashboard is void of a traditional instrument display. This tech-rich area could rely on augmented reality graphics projected on the windshield. This places instrument readings in the driver’s line of sight.

2024 BMW X3 driving on a road. The new 2026 BMW iX3 compact luxury electric crossover SUV should be about the same size as the current X3.
2024 BMW X3 Front View | BMW

What puts pressure on this new BMW iX3?

When the new 2026 BMW iX3 hits the production line, the Neue Klasse platform gives it an 800-volt electrical architecture for faster charging. This new subcompact crossover uses BMW’s new Gen6 batteries, which should deliver the expected EV driving improvements.

These new Gen6 batteries use smaller cylindrical cells, replacing the prismatic cell design of current BMW EVs. This change, coupled with other upgrades should improve the driving range provided by this new EV platform. These batteries have increased nickel content and less cobalt than the previous batteries. BMW claims this should improve energy density by 20%, provide up to 30% more driving range, and reduce production-related carbon emissions by 60% compared to the current batteries.

Better EV driving range and charging times

Driving range and charging times are two of the most significant challenges facing the electric vehicle market. The new BMW Neue Klasse EV platform should deliver up to 500 miles of driving range and reduce the charging time by as much as 30%. These new Gen6 batteries have improved packaging,  reducing the battery pack’s height and weight.

The new 2026 BMW iX3 should have the choice of single and dual-motor powertrains, giving drivers plenty of options. Production of this new BMW compact electric crossover should begin in 18 months. This gives BMW time to finish the development of this new platform. The Neue Klasse platform could underpin all BMW EVs for several years.