BMW registers new type names

Especially for EVs

BMW ix330 photoshop

BMW establishes new type names for – in particular – electric cars. The ‘i’ as an indication for an EV is retained, but otherwise the type name is filled in in a somewhat more traditional way. There also seem to be some changes for traditionally powered BMWs.

Electric BMWs are currently designated with an ‘i’ followed by a number that indicates the class in which the car operates. Or rather: a figure that indicates on which fuel BMW the EV in question is based. This is the case, for example, with the i4 (4 series) and i7 (7 series). SUVs get an X between the i and the number, such as the iX3 (electric X3). The engine version is indicated by the addition of ‘eDrive’, immediately followed by a figure that more or less corresponds to the figure that a comparable fuel BMW would get. For example, the i4 is available as eDrive35 and eDrive40. With four-wheel drive it is even different: ‘eDrive30’ then becomes ‘xDrive30’.


That sounds cumbersome and in practice it is, especially because of the addition ‘eDrive’. This in fact creates a duplication, because the ‘i’ in the type name of these cars also makes it clear that it concerns an EV. New BMW type names have surfaced in the database of the German patent office DPMA, which should put an end to this ‘problem’. The names, dug up by, in fact combine classic BMW type designations with the new i-line. So three digits together. An electric 3-series can then be called i320, i330 or i340 depending on the power. So it will probably apply to all models in the future, from the i120 to the i760 and everything in between. Electric SUVs will again receive an i and an X, but as an iX130 or iX340.

Also non-electric

Certain non-electric BMWs also seem to be getting new type designations, especially SUVs and M models. Based on the patent application, an X5 xDrive40i will be the ‘X540’, an X6 with the same engine the X640. It is striking that a number of models that still fall under the M-sport label are indicated without ‘M’ in the list of new names. For example, we find an i450 (now i4 M50) and an X660 (X6 M60i). On the other hand, there is again an ‘M350’, which sounds like an upgraded sub-3 series in the spirit of the current M340i. The exact interpretation remains to be seen, but in broad terms, BMW’s new nomenclature seems clear.

Incidentally, BMW is certainly not the only brand that is firmly playing around with the names of its (electric) cars. For example, Mercedes seems to want to get rid of its electric EQ label, while Audi has just come up with a new way to distinguish electric models from non-electric models.


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