BMW to Introduce Simplified Naming Scheme with Neue Klasse

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By Car Brand Experts

Recall the time when BMW’s naming convention was logical? It utilized a straightforward three-digit format where the initial number indicated the model and the last two digits represented the engine displacement. With just three digits, you could discern the type of vehicle at a glance. Then came the convoluted chaos that exists today, with the inclusion of SUVs and electric cars muddying the waters. Fortunately, BMW seems intent on returning to its roots with the introduction of the upcoming line of Neue Klasse automobiles.

As per a report from Car Magazine, BMW has filed trademarks with the European trademark office for several new model designations that hint at forthcoming clarity in naming conventions.

Unlike other brands that plan to offer both internal combustion and electric vehicles post-2030, BMW is actively investing in and promoting traditional combustion engine vehicles. Given the need to differentiate between electric and petrol variants of the same model, like the X3, BMW recognizes the necessity for a more intuitive naming system. The recent trademark applications indicate a return to the familiar three-digit structure for all models, irrespective of body style, with only an “i” used to signify electric models.

<em>BMW i5 M60 | BMW</em>
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BMW i5 M60 | BMW

The initial model slated for the new naming strategy is the BMW X3, according to Car Mag. Thus, the regular X3 will adopt names like X320 and X330. In contrast, the current X3 follows a naming convention like BMW X3 xDrive30i. The new approach proves to be more efficient. Furthermore, the electric X3s based on the Neue Klasse platform will be designated as iX330, iX340, and iX350, offering a simpler alternative to names like BMW i4 eDrive35i.

Reports suggest that sedans and coupes will follow a similar pattern, albeit sans the “X” prefix. Therefore, 3 Series models might be known as 330 and 340 (or other numbers chosen by BMW), with their electric counterparts identified as i330 and i340. It is noticeable that BMW is phasing out the use of “i” at the end of traditional combustion engine model designations. The “i” was originally introduced decades ago to signify fuel injection but persisted as a tradition long after fuel injection became standard practice. However, retaining “i” in the names of both electric and combustion engine vehicles, albeit placed at different ends of the sequence, could lead to confusion. Hence, BMW’s decision to eliminate it is commendable.

Details regarding BMW’s M cars remain undisclosed, though the nomenclature may follow a straightforward route: BMW M3 or iM3.

While these trademark applications are merely filings at this stage, and nothing is official yet, the proposed naming system appears superior to BMW’s existing one, prompting optimism for its adoption.

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