Recent BMW trademark filings may reveal a new naming scheme for future electric cars, as well as the breadth of the brand's future vehicle lineup minus the full-on M models.
First spotted by CarBuzz, the automaker has registered 48 trademarks with the German Trade Mark and Patent Office in the past two weeks, mostly for different variations of model names that seem to expand upon the current BMW naming scheme for EVs.
2022 BMW i4 M50
Current BMW EVs are designated by the prefix "i," and it seems the automaker is looking to continue that in the future. It filed numerous trademarks based around the names i1, iX1, iX2, i3, iX3, i4, iX4, i5, iX5, iX6, i7, and iX7. Each comes in multiple numeric permutations. For example, the i118, i120, i130, and i140, that could continue BMW's tradition of using numbers to designate a specific variant's place in the model hierarchy.
Given that BMW already offers the i4 sport coupe and i7 luxury sedan as all-electric counterparts to the 4-Series Gran Coupe and 7-Series, respectively, it seems logical that the trademarks represent electric versions of other models in BMW's current lineup—specifically the 1-Series, X1, X2, X4, 5-Series, X5, X6, and X7. BMW already sells an iX3 in some markets, so it's presence here indicates that model will live on. Ditto for the i4 and i7, but perhaps with different names.
2023 BMW i7 xDrive60
The i3 mentioned here could be very different from the quirky hatchback that was discontinued for the U.S. in 2021 and ended production about a year later. Reports have indicated the i3 will be reborn as an electric 3-Series.
Not all of the trademarked names point to electric models. Numerous "X" SUV model names lack the "i" prefix, hinting at some future combustion models. An M350 was also among the possible future 3-Series variants. But BMW is planning a slew of new EVs, dubbed the "Neue Klasse," based on a new dedicated architecture and previewed by the recent i Vision Dee concept. Those new models will need names.
As mentioned, BMW filed for 48 names, so it's very likely many of them won't come to the U.S., where BMW tends to avoid sending low-powered base models.
Here is the complete list of the car names BMW trademarked: i118, i120, i130, and i140; i320, i330, i340, and M350; i420, i430, and i450; i530 and i550; and i740, i750, and i760.
And here's a complete list of crossover SUVs: X130, iX120, and iX130; iX220, iX230, and iX240; X320, X330, iX330, iX340, and iX350; X420, iX430, iX440, and iX450; X540, X550, X560, iX540, iX550, and iX560; X640, X650, iX640, iX650, and iX660; and X740, X750, X760, iX740, iX750, and iX760.