Not ready to go full electric, next-gen BMW 3 Series could use different platforms for EV and petrol variants

In a statement during the company’s mid-year report, BMW Chairman of the Board of Management, Oliver Zipse, mentioned plans for two electric cars that will debut in 2025 – a BMW 3 Series-sized EV and a sporty EV SUV. Both cars will spearhead the launch of BMW’s Neue Klasse platform, which will account for more than half of the brand’s sales by 2030.

The G20-based BMW i3 sedan is only available in China

Quoting the BMW AG Chairman of the Board of Management’s statement, “Our Neue Klasse will be coming in 2025 – at exactly the right time, when the e‑mobility ramp-up will be reaching new levels. The Neue Klasse will speed up market penetration of electric vehicles even further.

“For the launch of the Neue Klasse, we are planning a compact sedan in the 3 Series segment and a sporty SUV. By the end of the decade, the Neue Klasse should already account for more than half our global sales. We could also imagine a hydrogen drivetrain for this new vehicle generation.”

RELATED: BMW i3 returns as China-only fully-electric 3 Series, previews upcoming facelift

The G20-based BMW i3 sedan is only available in China

Previously, it has been reported that the next-generation BMW 3 Series will go fully electric. However, recent reports suggest that switching to an all-electric BMW 3 Series in the near future would be challenging, since most countries are still not ready to embrace full electrification.

Citing sources close to the matter, BMWBLOG reports that the current G20/G21 platform might actually be extended until 2027. As such, with the introduction of the Neue Klasse, it is possible for the ICE BMW 3 Series and its electric counterpart to exist simultaneously on two different platforms.

The G20-based BMW i3 sedan is only available in China

If you have been following the development of the electric 3-er, you would know that an electric version of the BMW 3 Series already exists exclusively for the Chinese market. The China-only BMW i3 is based on the G20 BMW 3 Series, albeit with an 11-cm longer wheelbase.

To date, EV BMWs in the “3 Series segment”, namely the BMW i4 and China-only BMW i3, have been built on ICE platforms – the G22 and G20 respectively. Sharing the same platform with their ICE counterparts, the development of these non-dedicated EVs will be somewhat limited compared to a car like the BMW iX, as the body still needs to accommodate a transmission tunnel and the EV battery pack usually reduces the ground clearance.

We will have to make do with the BMW i4 for now

Meanwhile in Malaysia, the closest thing to a compact EV sedan by BMW is the BMW i4, which is available as the i4 eDrive40 M Sport and i4 M50 variants. Also available in Malaysia are the BMW iX3 and BMW iX.

ALSO WATCH: 2022 BMW i4 in Malaysia, from RM389k – 5 Things


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