BMW i1 and i2 confirmed – sedan, hatch and crossover planned, based on FWD Neue Klasse platform

BMW i1 and i2 confirmed – sedan, hatch and crossover planned, based on FWD Neue Klasse platform

The forthcoming Neue Klasse vehicles from BMW may initially take the form of electric versions of the 3 Series and X3, but Munich has plans to expand the lineup rapidly in the coming years. This will start with compact EVs that will complement the petrol- and diesel-powered 1 and 2 Series, called the i1 and i2.

According to Autocar, sources says these models will provide a more affordable entry to BMW’s electric lineup, which currently starts at RM249,800 for the iX1. The i1 will be offered in 2026 as a hatchback and, for the first time for a 1 Series outside of China and Mexico, a sedan.

Meanwhile, the i2 will arrive in 2027 as a sort of crossover, albeit not the SUV kind as that would carry the “X” brand. Instead, company insiders are touting it as a spiritual successor to the original i3 hatchback – an electric 2 Series Active Tourer, perhaps? A “coupé” version of the i2 with a sleeker roofline is also being developed.

The i1 and i2 will be underpinned by a distinctly separate version of the Neue Klasse architecture – the NBx for front-wheel-drive vehicles. The next i3 and iX3 will instead sit of the NAx for rear-drive models, which will spawn two derivatives – the NDx platform for luxury vehicles and a lightened ZDx for future BMW M sports cars.

BMW i1 and i2 confirmed – sedan, hatch and crossover planned, based on FWD Neue Klasse platform

The i2 is tipped to be a spiritual successor to the original i3

Aside from the i1 and i2, the NBx will also form the basis of the next-generation iX1 (and presumably its sportier iX2 sibling) and MINI Countryman. These will allow these cars to reap the benefits of the Neue Klasse architecture, namely fast DC charging speeds through an 800-volt electrical architecture, vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality and new, more energy-dense batteries that swap out prismatic cells for cylindrical ones.

The company remains committed to the compact segment at a time rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Audi are seeking to move away from it. Product head Bernd Körber recently told the publication that BMW wants to grow in all markets and “connect with the younger generation,” which models in the 1 and 2 Series range will attract.

“Of course they have lower profitability but they also fulfil a different purpose in getting younger customers and developing [BMW] in certain markets,” Körber said. “So yes, they are still part of our strategy and it’s good that we have two brands in the segment, with of course MINI playing a big role.”

BMW i1 and i2 confirmed – sedan, hatch and crossover planned, based on FWD Neue Klasse platform

The Neue Klasse architecture and design language will be rolled out across BMW’s EVs

Körber agreed with Autocar‘s suggestion that the departure of the Mercedes A-Class – which has recently received a stay of execution but is still expected to be discontinued in 2026 – and the Audi A1 and Q2 will provide BMW the opportunity for the 1 Series in particular to gain market share.

The first Neue Klasse models, the i3 and iX3, are said to be in the “final stages” of development and are being readied for production. “We have built the first pre-series cars and have driven them,” Körber said, adding that the new architecture will also bring next-generation software and connectivity that will be rolled out across all future BMW models.

Munich will revamp its portfolio in short order to keep its lineup looking consistent, with a new design language first seen in the Vision Neue Klasse and Vision Neue Klasse X to be applied on all models. “We will change the entire portfolio within a relatively short period of time, so that it has one look and feel and also the same capabilities,” said Körber. “Our ambition is that we unify that in a way that ideally one push of the button and your entire portfolio gets updated.”

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • ROTI CANAI on Jun 21, 2024 at 9:46 am

    and bmw continues to slide down

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • TinKosong on Jun 21, 2024 at 10:10 am

    its futuristic design? Sorry I cant disgust the design.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • leong kok peow on Jun 21, 2024 at 3:11 pm

    nice KIA rotfl. new BMW design really go down the drain just like Benz. now decent looking design premium car brand only left with Porsche, Audi and Lexus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • rwd bmw only on Jun 24, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    FWD BMW is no BMW. No 4 or 5 door RWD BMW left under 3 Series/X3 level is unacceptable. And now they make matters worst by planning a RWD MINI SUV. Looking back; MINI killed BMW. In 2004 BMW had the RWD 1 Series (a SWB 3 Series) and MINI was a FWD go kart, both on par with their audiences. Now the small BMW is no BMW anymore because MINI needed a new platform and more models to be viable. Wish they had axed it instead and kept BMW RWD biased. The fact that New Class models get the code NBx say it all: even at BMW they consider it B-choice. If you want a BMW it needs to be 3 Series/X3 or up; NAx. Don’t buy FWD BMW, it’s the only way to change this.

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