This article features speculative renders of the future 3-Series Neue Klasse, which are not endorsed by BMW.
Trademarks filed with the European trademark office suggest that BMW is planning to rework its naming conventions in the future to accommodate its strategy of selling both electric and internal combustion vehicles in the coming years.
The recent trademark applications complement similar filings made with the German trademark authority, indicating that BMW may be preparing for a name change. While the naming conventions will remain recognizable, with the “i” prefix denoting electric models, there appears to be a move towards greater consistency across different drivetrain styles.
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The first model to use the new badging scheme will be the first to be based on the Neue Klasse platform, the X3 family, reports Car Magazine. In this case, internal combustion models will bear the names X320 and X330, while the electric variants will be named the iX330, the iX340, and the iX350.
Certainly, moving forward, there will be greater similarity in the names of both internal combustion and electric vehicles across the lineup. For example, the 3-Series models will adopt names such as 330 and 340, while the electric models will be referred to as i330 and i340.
The same will go for higher-end models. For instance, BMW’s luxury sedans are expected to bear badges that read 560, 660, or 760, while the electric models will show the similar numbers, with the addition of the i prefix – i560, i660 and i760 respectively.
This will enable all models within the 300 or 500 families to retain their designations as the 3-Series or the 5-Series, irrespective of whether they are equipped with an engine or an electric motor. BMW will thus uphold its longstanding naming tradition, which is likely to be well-received by the brand’s enthusiasts.
With Neue Klasse vehicles expected to arrive starting in 2025, we will have some time before the unified naming conventions come into place. Once on the market, they will hopefully simplify the lineup, and prevent the backs of BMW’s vehicles from becoming an alphabet soup.