Set to succeed the existing iX3, the bold five-seat SUV will pack close to 600bhp in its most potent form and spearhead a six-strong range of electric cars atop the new 800V platform.
Among them will also be the radical i3 saloon, which was previewed as the Neue Klasse concept at the Munich show in September.
Other Neue Klasse electric models will be added to the BMW line-up in quick succession, BMW R&D boss Frank Weber told Autocar.
“We are in a phase where flexibility is required,” he said. “We have to detach ourselves from how we have perceived platforms up to now.
“There is an increasing realisation that the art of mastering diversity in your portfolio lies in how you use and network major components – engines, motors, battery cells, onboard computers, control units, app functions and software upgrades.
“It is not so much the platform structure itself but the individual components and how you use them. That is the Neue Klasse.”
The second-generation iX3, codenamed NA5, will be sold alongside petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the fifth-generation ‘G45’ X3, in a similar strategy to today’s iX3.
But while the new EV moves on to the Neue Klasse platform, the more familiar ICE variants will be based on an updated version of the CLAR platform in use today.
Weber said: “When a large part of your sales is electric, you have to consider how you align all platforms for volume growth. We are firmly convinced that our strength in conventional internal-combustion-engine models, together with the developments that we have in store for our next generation of electric models, will lead to further growth for BMW.”