BMW builds a diverse range of "ultimate driving machines." But if you prompt a car enthusiast with "BMW," the first image conjured is probably the 3 Series: the brand's iconic, sporty compact sedan. The 3 Series defined modern BMW in the late 20th century. Soon, it will help redefine BMW in the 21st; the next generation is going all-electric. 

BMW still needs to confirm the name of the 3 Series EV. Trademark filings suggest the brand may revive the i3 nameplate for it, starting with i320, i330 and i340 variants. The "i" would distinguish the models from the current combustion 3 Series, which will likely stay in production alongside it. 

The new Neue Klasse EV architecture will underpin the 3 Series EV. It should arrive packed with next-generation EV technology, and it won't have to make the same design compromises that BMW made with the i4 and iX, which are built on modified combustion platforms. 

Gallery: The BMW Vision Neue Klasse X concept SUV.

What Will The Electric BMW 3 Series Look Like?

BMW previewed the new 3 Series with its Vision Neue Klasse concept. Like its combustion predecessor, the new 3 Series should be a sporty, three-box sedan. Automotive News expects coupe and wagon variants to follow. BMW is also planning an SUV counterpart, potentially known as the iX3, previewed by the Neue Klasse X concept

Concepts preview what should be a refreshing departure from BMW's current styling language to a more minimalist and retro look. Traditional styling elements like the Hoffmeister Kink will endure. Lines should be dramatically cleaner and simpler than we've seen from recent BMW vehicles. The new 3 Series should depart from the mega kidney grille era; the Vision Neue Klasse didn't have one, and the Neue Klasse X featured smaller, narrower illuminated kidneys. 

Expect BMW to push the envelope a bit with the interior. BMW has teased features like augmented reality projection on the windshield and Lincoln Nautilus-like coast-to-coast displays. BMW has also pledged that Neue Klasse vehicles will use more sustainable materials. 

Gallery: BMW Vision Neue Klasse X Concept

What Will Power The Electric 3 Series?

A new platform will mean a new electric powertrain for the 3 Series. BMW says its new sixth-generation eDrive system will deliver 30% more range, 30% faster charging and be 25 percent more efficient. The electric 3 Series will use an 800V architecture and pack BMW's new and more energy-dense cylindrical battery cells, which should allow more efficient packaging and a lower vehicle height for better efficiency.

BMW has noted that the Neue Klasse platform can accommodate up to four motors and a range of 268 to 1,341 horsepower. Expect the entry-level 3 Series to exist toward the low end of that range, likely with single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD variants. 

Will The Electric 3 Series Get An M Version?

Yes. BMW confirmed to Autocar that "the next M3 will be battery electric — full battery electric." BMW has been spotted testing a quad-motor EV setup in a similarly-sized car. However, the new M3's output will likely be significantly less than the top 1,341 horsepower, nearly three times the oomph of the current combustion M3. 

BMW did trademark the iM3 name. However, BMW's M division boss, Frank van Meel, has asserted that BMW will never put an "i" on an M-badged vehicle; Motorsport comes first for the M division. 

How Much Will The Electric 3 Series Cost?

BMW has yet to announce pricing for the new 3-Series. The current 3 Series sedan starts at $44,500 MSRP, and the i4 electric sedan begins at $52,200 MSRP. Factor in modest price increases and the power of deductive reasoning suggests the base electric 3 Series will start around $50,000. 

When Will The Electric 3 Series Arrive?

According to Automotive News, the iX3 electric crossover will debut as the first Neue Klasse vehicle in the second half of 2025. Production of the electric 3 Series sedan should follow in 2026. The first electric 3 Series models may hit U.S. dealers as 2027 vehicles, depending on the timing.

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