2010 BMW 7-Series M Sport PackageEnlarge Photo
In order to reserve the use of each of the model names, BMW set about registering them, such as M50d and M135, with relevant trademark offices around the world.
BMW, like most other automakers, also registers names of models it may plan to launch in the future.
But at the same time automakers also register names they may simply want to protect, so finding a name on a trademark database doesn’t necessary mean such a model is in the works though it may provide some clues as to what may eventually come.
A quick search of the databases at OHIM, the EU agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs valid across most of Europe, reveals some interesting names registered by BMW. These include the names M7 and M10, which were first registered in October, 2010, and September, 2011, respectively.
After doing a deeper search, the guys at Bimmerpost have dug up even more names including i1 all the way up to i9, which hints at more electrified vehicles from the BMW i sub-brand, as well as M1 and M2, which we've previously reported on.
BMW has even registered the Corniche name, which its ultra-luxury division Rolls-Royce is expected to revive for a convertible version of the Ghost.
Of most interest to performance fans are the M7 and M10 names. BMW’s U.S. chief Ludwig Willisch has stated that he’d like to see the next-generation 7-Series, due in about three years, offer a proper M model to take on the likes of the Audi S8 and Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, so clearly the M7 registration would be for this model.
The M10 name, on the other hand, poses a number of questions. Could it be for a standalone sports car from the M Division? BMW M desperately needs a rival for the top-selling Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, but so far the brand has consistently denied that such a model was in the works. That hasn’t stopped the brand from admitting it’d like to see one, however, and the revelation of the new trademark simply adds more fuel to the speculation fire.