Engine

BMW's Naming Scheme to Become Even More Confusing

What happened to German logic?

When BMW launched the naming scheme for its models decades ago, the company decided to forgo 'creative' and pretentious names used by other manufacturers and utilize a straightforward system for marking its cars. Consisting of three numbers, the first number marked the series and its standing within the company lineup, while the second and third number related directly to the engine displacement, so that the 320 indicated a 2.0-liter engine underhood – nothing more and nothing less.

Over the years, the company decided to stick to its well-established and popular model numbers, even when the engine size did not match the numbers on the car's badge. Thus, today's 650i sports a 4.4-liter engine, and the M235i runs a 3.0-liter engine. With the addition of new models in the 3 and 4 Series range, this is about to get even more confusing. The engine codenamed B48 will sport a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter engine in the 330i and 430i, while a B58 turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter will underpin the newly-named 340i and 440i. If this isn't confusing enough, just wait for the hybrid models.

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