The BMW Group will enter the 'third phase' of its transition to electrification from 2025, by which point it plans to have sold two million pure EVs to customers worldwide.
Termed 'Neue Klasse' (New Class) in reference to the hugely popular BMW saloons and coupés that were sold in the 1960s and 1970s, this new era will see the brand usher in a new generation of electric powertrains, adopt a "radically new" approach to sustainability and introduce a new software platform.
The first stage in BMW's transformation process began with the launch of its 'Project i' programme, under which it launched its first electrified models and explored new avenues in software and "digital interaction with the vehicle". The second phase introduced the 'Power of Choice' strategy whereby all BMW models are available wih a variety of powertrains ranging from combustion, to hybrid, to pure EV.
And now, in this third stage, BMW will develop and offer a "completely novel user experience never before seen in series production vehicles". It will be centred around a new approach to vehicle platforms that will usher in 'regionalisable technology stacks', which will allow each vehicle's operating system to be customised according to the region in which it will be sold.
BMW will also introduce a new 'digital first' approach which will offer individually configurable upgrades and new features throughout the vehicle's lifecycle for "an increasing proportion of revenues". The first step in this process will be the introduction, this year, of the firm's new eight-generation iDrive system in the iX SUV - which offers high-speed over-the-air updates.
By the end of this year, BMW says, it will have the world's largest fleet of "vehicles capable of installing new or upgrading existing functions over the air".
Neue Klasse models will be drastically different in their design to BMW's current cars, with "proportions that differ from the past", an emphasis on aerodynamic optimisaiton and more interior space than current BMW EVs.