BMW has trademarked 48 names for renamed trims across the entire product lineup.
Thanks to numerous trademarks registered with the German Trade Mark and Patent Office in the last two weeks (48 in total, the complete list can be viewed at the bottom of this article), CarBuzz can report that BMW is working on loads of new electric cars and will reimagine the entire naming scheme we've become accustomed to for gas-powered Bimmers.
As you may know, current BMW models like the 3 Series have a simple three-part naming scheme. The first digit is the model series, the two subsequent digits designate its powertrain level, and the last element is one of three suffixes: d, i, or e. The first refers to diesel-powered cars, the second to gasoline injection vehicles, and the third to electrified hybrid models. Recently, BMW has attached the letter i as a prefix to all-electric cars like the i4. But the new naming scheme will seemingly combine the two nomenclature systems, forgoing EV suffixes like "eDrive35" on electric models.
BMW has registered trademarks for numerous names with the i, X, and iX prefixes. For example, the manufacturer has filed to protect the names iX750, X750, and i750. Similarly, there are trademarks for the names iX130 and i120. The question is what each of these trademarks is for, as multiple potential applications present themselves.
It seems that the name i750 would apply to the electric 7 Series, the i7, with a powertrain designation of 50. If we use the same logic for X750, the name could apply to the X7 SUV with a '50' powertrain. The new logic suggests that the iX750 nomenclature would refer to the forthcoming electric version of the X7 to be called the iX7. Basically, BMW will adopt its sedan naming strategy for both sedan and SAV (BMW-speak for SUV) derivatives, dropping the current sDrive and xDrive suffixes with integrated 35i, 40i, and 50i powertrain designations. Instead, we suspect xDrive will be used as a standalone suffix to denote an all-wheel drivetrain.
Combustion-powered SAVs and cars will continue to be offered in the future - German media has confirmed as much. In the 5 Series, these would be named the (hybrid) 530e, the (traditional) 530i, and the (AWD) 530i xDrive. The electric version would be offered as the i530 and i530 xDrive, while the name iX540 would mean an electric X5 SUV with a more powerful 40 powertrain. Make sense?
What could be confusing is that BMW currently produces the iX electric SUV, which has additional designations depending on the powertrain. For example, the range-topping model is the iX M60.
Would BMW keep the iX around as a standalone model in the same vein as the XM? Or would it be killed off and replaced by a similarly sized SUV with the new naming scheme? Perhaps BMW could even rename it in the same way Audi renamed the e-tron the Q8 e-tron. Any of these are plausible, but we suspect the latter two make the most sense. After all, the first BMW i3 has been retired, and its name has now been used for the electric 3 Series.
In the past, people didn't say they owned a BMW 3 Series - they said they had a 328i or a 330i. Perhaps that will become the norm again under the refreshed naming strategy.
On a separate but similar note, CarBuzz discovered one single M denomination among the plethora of trademark filings: M350. On the one hand, this could be a hotter version of today's M340i (the most likely use), but on the other, the lack of an i at the end could suggest that this will be the name for the M3's powertrain. Again, we're putting our money on the Germans being unapologetically logical and going with the former.
We doubt that BMW will be putting excessively long badges alongside those preexisting for X5 and M3, but we've been wrong before. We'll report back once we learn more.
You can see all the newly trademarked names below.
Here are all the new names trademarked by BMW, listed by model series:
BMW 1 Series/i1:
BMW 3 Series/i3:
BMW 4 Series/i4:
BMW 5 Series/i5:
BMW 7 Series/i7: