BMW was busy recently, registering trademarks for 48 new names at the German Trade Mark and Patent Office. The filings are due to the number of new electric cars the automaker plans to launch in the next few years and hint at plans to revise its model naming convention.
We are used to BMW's current naming scheme, which uses three numbers to indicate the model range and the engine displacement or trim level. These numbers are occasionally preceded by M to denote a performance version, or followed by a suffix like d, i, or e, to indicate an engine type. Generically, vehicles are referred to by the first number, like the 3 Series, which could be anything from a 318i to M340i.
The new trademarks include names with the i, X, and iX prefixes for vehicles like the i120, iX130, and X750. Applying the current naming logic would suggest that the i120 and iX130 are 1 Series vehicles while the X750 would be a 7 Series. The X typically refers to an SUV or crossover like the X7 or X5, while the i as a prefix denotes an electric vehicle like the i4.
Since BMW will continue to offer traditional internal-combustion engines in the future alongside hybrid and electric vehicles, it's a good bet that the naming conventions will continue to reflect the current model designations. In the case of the 5 Series, a conventional combustion-engine version would have a designation like the 530i, or 530d for a diesel. The hybrid version would be called the 530e, while the electric-only version would be the i530.
There was only one M model filed among the trademarks for the M350. The most likely vehicle is a hotter version of the 3 Series, topping or replacing the M340i. However, there's no indication if this would be a petrol-powered vehicle, electric, or hybrid.
The additional trademarks make sense, given that BMW expects EVs to outsell ICE and PHEVs by 2028. Meanwhile, BMW is continuing to freshen up its lineup. We recently spotted the revised 2024 BMW 4 Series Coupe and a new M5 tearing around the Nurburgring.