BMW Ditches Terrible Giant Grilles For ‘Vision Neue Klasse’ Design
It was apparent that BMW began running out of good designs a few years ago and needs a reboot. The awkward surface changes, and especially the beaver fang grilles, have been abominations from what was once the design house for 3-Series sedans, Z8 roadsters, shark nose 3.0s, and early 1990s 8-Series coupes. Look no further than the XM to see how low BMW designs have fallen. Probably thinking along similar lines, BMW has debuted its Vision Neue Klasse concept, a clean-sheet and clean design language projection of what we hope is its future.
We’ve been critical of BMW’s design for some time. But we wouldn’t have been were it not for such an illustrious design heritage. The marque deserves much better, a cleaner and more dynamic look that creates a lust for enthusiasts in general.
Why is the Vision Neue Klasse concept better?
A clean body with emphasis on big, round wheel openings and a more angular roof is new territory for BMW. From the side, the only telltale identification is the Hofmeister kink C-pillar. Short overhangs front and rear and simplified surface development that doesn’t try to do tricks or statements result in a very clean overall look.
BMW chose to eschew the traditional kidney bean front grille, yet being split still defines who the maker is. We can still imagine this morphing into kidney bean grilles without killing what the concept’s grille conveys. Imagine a bit of body color that angles between the vents and headlights, and that would do the trick.
Is the Vision Neue Klasse interior as clean as the body?
When BMW debuted the digital i Vision Dee virtual design at the 2023 CES Show, it signaled that the company was moving away from its current malaise. But it was more cute than cool in virtual form. The Vision Neue Klasse takes that design and gives it slightly bolder proportions. It looks like it could be next year’s 3- or 5-Series. Or depending on its size, even its 7-Series.
The clean approach of the exterior transitions seamlessly into the cabin. Clean, white, hard surfaces extending to the clamshell seats look futuristic but are also translatable to production. And only the simple screen interrupts the clean dash. Yes, we keep repeating “clean,” but that’s what it is.
Should it make it to production, the screen replaces the clunky iDrive and numerous other controls. Instead, BMW says everything is built into the screen. Its “Panoramic Vision” head-up display runs the width of the dash. We know that this type of interface will hit actual production in the next year or two.
Is it electric?
Visually and dynamically lightening the overall look, as well as adding actual light, are the tall windows. Yet it doesn’t convey a fishbowl AMC Pacer look. The novel steering wheel turns steering wheels on their sides, though we doubt it will see production.
Being a concept, the drivetrain is a mystery, other than it being electric. That’s a given, but not the point. This is a design concept that projects what BMW sees it needs to conquer the future. It’s hard to say when you’ve been wrong, and this is a save face of sorts. We more than applaud the German automaker for taking this refreshing step in bringing back compelling design to augment its already incredible engineering.