BMW is working on not one but two 3 Series EV models. A China-only model (BMW i3 sedan) is due in 2022 and a global model is projected to arrive in 2025. The latter will be more advanced and could be a real challenge to Tesla’s Model 3, which currently dominates the mid-size luxury EV segment worldwide.
A true Tesla Model 3 challenger
BMW will bring everything it has to bear in order to succeed in this highly competitive segment. It’s new platform, design language, powertrain, in-cabin tech and so much more will help it compete. The global 3 Series EV will be the first model of the brand’s third-generation EVs, and the nucleus of its third phase of electrification will be an electric-first ‘Neue Klasse’ platform. It will be the first model sitting on this all-new platform, which is currently under development at BMW Group Forschungs- und Innovationszentrum (BMW FIZ) in Munich, Germany.
BMW NK1 Design & Build
Internally, BMW calls the global 3 Series EV car BMW NK1, most likely because it will be the first Neue Klasse platform-based model. The company could repeat its multi-material formula for the NK1’s bodyshell to keep the weight as low as possible. It could use a mix of aluminium, steel, and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.
Thanks to its electric-first platform, the global BMW 3 Series EV would look very different from the brand’s internal combustion engine models. It will likely feature a sleeker, techie, and more practical design than the BMW i4. Expect a longer wheelbase and more raked A-pillars pushed far forward on the global BMW 3 Series EV. Inside, the floor will be flat and there will be no center tunnel in the way. This may lead to more space and a cleaner design. There should be significant usage of recycled and sustainably sourced eco-friendly materials, contributing to the company’s circular economy goal.
BMW would offer the global 3 Series EV in single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD configurations. It will employ the sixth-generation BMW eDrive technology, which should be a combination of a newly developed propulsion motor (incl. power electronics), an 800-volt high-voltage battery pack, and an intelligent energy management system. According to a report from Autocar, the NK1 could have a range of more than 435 miles. With 350 kW charging capability may allow topping up from 10 to 80% in around 20 minutes.
BMW’s electric 3 Series could premiere in a concept form (Vision) in 2023 and be released in production form by 2025. However, it won’t be competing in a vacuum! Already, BMW’s competitors are on their way – while Xpeng has just released its entry-level sedan P5, Nio is planning to release a Tesla Model 3 rival (Nio ET5) in 2022 or 2023. By 2025, German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar could also release a mid-sized electric sedan.
Featured Image Source: BMW