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Old BMW is dead, and the Neue Klasse X killed it.

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I need to write a catchy headline. Click bate, they call it. But no, it’s a true statement, and it’s both good and bad. Let’s take you for a walk around BMW’s Neue Klasse X, which is essentially the BMW iX3. Which is uh, basically an X3, one of BMW’s most important cars.

The BMW Neue Klasse X ditches the old, inside and out

Every BMW (except for maybe you, i3) has looked like a BMW, and that’s a good thing. But about 20 years ago, everyone started to copy that distinct look. Don’t believe me? Here’s a Mitsubishi Diamante:

Copy cat.

Remind you of an E39?

BMW never liked this, and they’ve been moving away from their traditional styling. So away goes the kidney grills, the angel eyes (you can see the pre-historic example of this change on the new 4 Series LCI), and the classic motorsport dial layout inside that’s been a hallmark of the brand since the 70s. In its place is a design that I like and is attractive (if a bit Skelator in the front), but feels more generic than is typical of BMW.

A handsome, if generic shape. Photo: BMW

Another thing also happened: someone, somewhere, decided that every car in the lineup needed to look very similar to each other. So the Neue Klasse sedan and X resemble each other both inside and out. And the way it’s all laid out inside means BMW saves design and production cost, just like Tesla.

The BMW Neue Klasse X is full of Tesla Tech

Looks like a Tesla inside. Photo: BMW

Move to the inside, and you can see more Tesla with a single screen. There’s also a thin screen on top of the dash, but who’s looking all the way over to the passenger side for relevant info? Hopefully this is still in the concept stages.

Remember when the driving experience mattered most in a press release? Now, BMW touts the latest tech in iDrive, the fact that you can configure the screen however you’d like, and even play video games and post on social media right from your car.

Good-bye dials, good-bye dashboard. Photo: BMW

Perhaps one cool feature are two “super brains” – they connect all the important systems on a car and allow it to react much faster than they currently do. Perhaps that adaptable suspension will finally read your mind.

Home, home on the range

Still only 240 miles of range. Photo: BMW

BMW has eDrive units that replace prismatic battery cells with more energy-dense lithium-ion units They say it will improve charging time, and with some improved aero tweaks over the current X3, results in a range of 240 miles.

For comparison, my X3 M40i gets 400 miles to a tank, and can refill said tank in 2 minutes. Those are the goals for a car you need to use as a tool each day, not the ability to post your latest Starbies run on Insta.

Photo: BMW

The iX3 will begin production in 2025 in a new all-electric factory in Hungary, which is good news, as that leaves the regular X3’s production to stay in South Carolina. I hope that ICE-powered X3 maintains a more conventional design, because there’s a good chance it ends up in my garage.

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

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