BMW Knew The Neue Klasse Sedan’s Taillights Would Be Controversial

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Roughly half of BMW’s sales nowadays are represented by SUVs but the good ol’ sedan still has a future in the brand’s lineup.

It’s so important that the German luxury brand decided to preview the Neue Klasse family of next-generation electric vehicles with a conceptual three-box saloon in 2023. BMW i Head of Design, Kai Langer, sat down and had a chat with Top Gear magazine about the newly unveiled SUV equivalent, the Vision Neue Klasse X, before discussing the sedan that preceded it.

Addressing the elephant in the room, Top Gear’s Jason Barlow brought up the car’s rear-end design with the unusually high-mounted taillights. Kai Langer rhetorically asked: “That was controversial, right? We knew that this would be like the thing. But we believe that it makes sense, you know, to include it. I mean, I still believe that’s the right move.”

Photos: Quirin Schoen www.qr-photography.com

Langer explains the up-top taillights make sense because they continue the line of the gently sloped trunk lid to “follow the overall structure and form and the logic.” Interestingly, the BMW i Head of Design mentions that the positioning of the rear lighting clusters lowers production costs. Speaking of which, the Vision Neue Klasse sedan is scheduled to hit the assembly line in 2026 at the Munich plant, presumably with the “i3” moniker.

We’ll likely have to wait until next year to see camouflaged prototypes undergoing testing and try to find out whether the odd placement of the taillights will make it to production. Chances are the road-going model won’t look all that different, for better or worse. Opinion-splitting design aside, Langer believes the sedan still has a future in BMW’s lineup.

While the two concepts portray a sedan and an SUV, these “Vision” showcars are a window into a fresh design language for BMW that will impact the whole lineup. Not just EVs riding on the namesake electric platform but also conventional models powered by internal combustion engines. Langer insists each model line will continue to have its own character, but some design cues will be shared across the portfolio to achieve a cohesive look.