New BMW Naming System Will Be Less Confusing Starting With Neue Klasse

Hopefully this means no more eDrive and xDrive nonsense.

Remember when BMW’s nomenclature made sense? It was a simple three-number system in which the first number denoted the model and the final two numbers represented the engine size. From three numbers, you could tell exactly what sort of car you were looking at. Then it became the muddled, jumbled up mess that it is now, with SUVs and electric vehicles muddying the water. However, it seems that BMW sees an opportunity to get back to its good old days with its upcoming line of Neue Klasse vehicles.

According to Car Magazine, BMW filed trademarks with the European trademark office for various new model names that suggest some upcoming model clarification.

BMW is one of the few brands that isn’t just going to be selling internal combustion cars alongside electric ones after 2030 but it’s actively investing in and pushing ICE vehicles. Since it’s going to have electric and gas versions of the same model, such as the X3 for example, BMW needs a naming system that’s easier to understand. According to these new trademark filings, the familiar three-number convention will be applied across all models, regardless of body style, and only an “i” will separate electric vehicles.

BMW i5 M60 | BMW

The first model to get this new naming system will be the BMW X3, according to Car Mag. So the standard X3 will get X320 and X330 names. The current X3’s naming system goes like this: BMW X3 xDrive30i. The new way is far better. Furthermore, the Neue Klasse-based electric X3s will be called iX330, iX340, and iX350. Much simpler than BMW i4 eDrive35i.

Sedans and coupes are said to get the same setup, just without the “X.” So, for example, 3 Series models will be 330 and 340 (or whatever numbers BMW decides to use) and the electric versions will be i330 and i340. Notice BMW seems to be dropping the “i” from the end of its internal combustion model names. That “i” was first introduced decades ago to note a car’s fuel injection and it stayed long after fuel injection became the norm, just out of tradition. However, having both electric and ICE cars use “i” in their names, just at different ends of the numbers, would be confusing, so it’s good BMW is finally ditching it.

While there’s no word on what BMW will do with its M cars, it seems like it could be pretty straightforward: BMW M3 or iM3.

Of course, these trademark filings are just that—trademark filings. Nothing is official just yet but this naming system does seem far better than BMW’s current one, so I’m hoping it sticks.

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