BMW's Neue Klasse electric architecture will arrive in 2025, and as of today, we know a 3 Series sedan will be the opening act. Whether it officially becomes the new 3 Series isn't entirely clear, but an interesting rumor has the popular sedan existing simultaneously on two platforms going forward – one for electricity, the other for internal combustion.
The rumor comes from BMW Blog, citing an anonymous but reliable source for the information. The car would become the G50 / G51 3 Series, riding on BMW's CLAR modular platform for internal combustion and hybrid powertrains. It would coexist with the Neue Klasse electric 3er, likely called the i3, rumored to have an internal designation of NA0. And it wouldn't launch until 2027.
It's quite an interesting notion, though BMW isn't ready to talk about such possibilities. In an email to Motor1.com, a BMW spokesperson declined to comment on our inquiry about this rumor.
The current 3 Series debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2018 and just received a mid-cycle refresh that was announced in May. The update brought minor exterior tweaks to the front and rear, offset with a significant tech upgrade inside featuring a large curved screen containing two displays for the driver and center touchscreen. If BMW follows its typical lifecycle for vehicles, a new model would arrive in 2025. That's perfect timing for the Neue Klasse platform to take over, but the rumor poses a relevant question: is BMW ready to take the 3 Series all-electric in the next couple of years?
That's the foundation for the rumor, and at this time, there's no clear indication that BMW's new platform will accommodate internal combustion powertrains. It's certainly possible that BMW could extend the current G20 3 Series lifespan, and in fact, that's also been a rumor on BMW Blog. Bumping to 2027 would give buyers a few years of overlap to get comfortable with electric power.
Building a next-generation 3 on the CLAR platform would extend the overlap while giving buyers a choice of pure electric and hybrid vehicles for at least another decade. The literal million-dollar question is whether an i3 on the Neue Klasse platform and a 3 Series on CLAR would be worth the investment.